After losing your life partner, there are moments, many of them in fact, when you may doubt your very sanity. For most of us, that triggers the "flight or fight" reaction. If you fight (confront) it, your chances of coming through this intact are much improved. If you try to run away from it, you may only be delaying the inevitable grieving process.
The greatest fear I had during the earliest stages of my grief was that I was going crazy, was losing all control over my thoughts, and that I might make decisions harming me, my family and my friends. That included suicidal thoughts. This scared the hell out of me and I became desperate to find answers, so I could avoid making bad life choices. I quickly found those answers would be hard to find, and that resources for widowers were minimal and often of dubious value.
This book is my response to frustration I experienced during this search. I have done my best to compile the most vital information I could find on the widower experience into this one book, so the reader does not have to go to as many sources for answers as I had to do.
From the beginning, I struggled with the "widower" label; it asked me to accept the death of my wife. Each widower's experience may vary from mine, dependent on many factors such as length of marriage, depth of your connection to your wife, and/or how dependent you and your wife were on each other.
The frustration I experienced while trying to find materials that would be helpful to me often left me floundering. Visits to online and brick and mortar bookstores, online searches for relevant articles, and perusal of the few resources I did find, failed to provide answers. My therapist, who consulted with others as well, also could not find much that was helpful.
Through this book I wanted to include many of the critical issues that you will not find addressed in other publications. What I wrote here can often be raw and brutal at times, much like the grieving process itself.
I spoke with other widowers to confirm that mine was not a unique journey but was in fact similar in many respects to their journey as well. The entry into grief is intense and harsh, and I could not see how I could write this book without being totally honest about the experience.
When you consider the impact of these issues upon your psyche and well-being it is rather amazing that there is little research on the topics I cover here.
I am the expert only on my own experience. It is important to note that each widower's experience is unique. There will be common threads and shared experiences, but each must find their own path. We must learn from each other, to realize that we are not going crazy, and to know that we can survive this experience.