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FYI...My book, "PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense! Insights From One Woman's Journey As The Wife of a Widower" is available for purchase at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and via the publisher, iUniverse.com.







Blessings...







Julie Donner Andersen



http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com



http://www.authorsden.com/juliedonnerandersen
Newsletter Dated: 1/23/2004 6:45:07 AM

Subject: WOW/GOW NEWSLETTER - February 2004 - Julie Donner Andersen

Hi Gals!

While perusing the Internet last week, I came across a website that allows folks to use their site as a sort of “online diary”. Well, to my pleasant surprise, I found a journal from a widower who details the loss of his wife and his eventual happy remarriage. Written with emotion and depth, this diary is very poignant, sad, and yes – hopeful and happy! Click to
http://widower.diaryland.com/older.html to read excerpts.

How were your holidays? I hope they were pleasant and full of warm memories to last a lifetime. Any New Year’s resolutions? I had one: make time to pamper myself. We women get sooo stressed from our busy, hectic lives. It strengthens our spirits – and by default, our relationships! – to give ourselves permission to be selfish once in awhile; to soak in a hot tub, get a massage, go shopping alone…whatever floats your boat! I find my “me time” refreshes and revitalizes, making me a nicer person to live with! So, my dear sisters, take time today to remind yourself that you are wonderful, beautiful, and most of all, worthy!

My favorite holiday is approaching: Valentine’s Day, a day when we are feted and honoured by husbands and boyfriends for being beloved wives and girlfriends (and don’t we deserve that?!). It’s also a day for reminding those we love how we feel. Ever try writing a love letter to the late wife? OK, stop laughing – it’s very therapeutic. Alright, it doesn’t have to be mushy, but just sit down during a quiet moment and tell her your thoughts. “I think we’d be good friends because…” OR “I think my husband loved you because…” OR “We share ____ in common, and that makes me feel ____” are great ways to start your letter. Humanizing the late wife through your own journaling is a wonderful way of remembering to give credit where credit is due. Sharing your journal with your boyfriend/hubs would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for him as well.

Blessings…Julie :)


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Questions Of The Month – January
Last month’s questions and your responses below:

*************************************************



1.) Did you deal with the Ghost Of Christmas Past (the late wife, her memory, her family, etc.) over the holiday? If so, was it better or worse than you had expected it to be? How so? What did you do to keep one step ahead of The Ghost?


~~We've just celebrated our 6th Christmas together and it's been 8 yrs. since his wife died, so the holidays aren't as hard as they were in the early years. In the beginning, her memory seem to shadow everything, from using their personal Christmas decorations (most of which she hand painted, crafted, etc.) to seeing her stocking with her name on it. It was uncomfortable using "her" things. My husband always used to tell me they were his things too, but it was still hard. Now most of that stuff is stored away for their daughter when she's older, and we have "our" own things from our life together and the family we've become and it's a lot easier now. We still include some of her things, though, because she deserves that place. It seems no matter how you try to keep one step ahead, you never really are. This year, someone sent us a Christmas card and combined her name with mine on accident. I wish it didn't bother me so much, but it does. Oh well! What's a WOW to do?!

~~This was our 2nd Christmas and went better than expected. We didn't have those "firsts" anymore in which we were tiptoe-ing around, trying to "get it right" for everyone,
particularly his daughter - and we felt more comfortable in our routine. Even things with the deceased wife's parents went more smoothly.

~~Much worse than expected. This was our first Christmas since starting to date in August. She just passed away the end of March. We have mutual friends - he's known them 5 years. They had been my friends for 20. I'm no longer accepted by the group and have since been removed from the invite list. We've kept our relationship private for the most part because of his kids. He now feels guilty when he lies to the girls for us to have time together and has pulled very far away. Is this just a phase? Did we start this relationship far too early? Or are we just not right together? So many questions and no answers.

~~ I tried by making it the best ever - perhaps showing him that I, too, could celebrate a holiday as well as his late wife. Unfortunately, I think it proved to be too much. I tried to make all his wishes come true and I think it was overkill (pardon the pun!) Before our celebration, he spent early Christmas Eve with his late wife's family, as was their tradition, and I spent it with my nursing-home-bound mother. His in-laws went out of their way to include me in their plans and seemed genuinely sad that I wasn't able to join them. They even bought me a present! We got together late to go to midnight services - his first time since his wife's death. His step-daughter and her fiance joined us which made it really special. While a man of few words, his actions led me to believe he was finally willing to let go of the tight rein he had on the past and at least put his toe in the future. He seemed truly happy with my efforts.

~~ My widower has celebrated every Christmas for the past 20 years with his deceased wife's family. Even though she has been gone for 7 years now, this tradition has continued. The entire in-law family spends Christmas Day at his home. He did not even see any of his own family members this year on Christmas Eve.

~~ Had my own Christmas feast at home with Widower and a few dear friends. Great success.



2.) Did you and your widower manage to create your own unique and special traditions this past holiday? Please share with us!

~~We hosted an Open House together for the first time, and will probably make this an annual event.

~~ (We are no longer together, but…) During the 3-1/2 years that we dated, there were 3 Christmasses. The first two, I went to his home late on Christmas Day with my 3 sons and visited for an hour. My boys would leave, then the in-laws would leave, (20 people) and then we would exchange gifts while we were alone, very late in the evening after doing some cleaning up together. I did not attend my widower’s annual Christmas party in 2002 because I was entertaining my own family and did not really want to see the in-laws. So last Christmas, he came over to my house around midnight, after his party ended, and we exchanged gifts. There were no special traditions beside that -- we exchanged gifts at the end of the day.

~~This was our 1st Christmas together. We bought some new tree ornaments together. I know he and his late wife always opened gifts on Christmas day, but I suggested we do so on Christmas Eve, right after midnight mass. It was a good idea – the mood was right and it felt very intimate.



3.) What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Does this holiday bring the Grief Monster out in him - or the Insecurity Monster out in you? Explain.

~~Valentine's Day - wow. This was the deceased wife's favorite holiday, plus then she died at the beginning of February. I enjoyed Valentine's Day when we were dating but I don't particularly like it now. Can't say exactly why. It makes me uncomfortable. We will be doing something different this year, though: our church is hosting a special Mass and renewal of wedding vows, with catered dinner to follow. We are going to attend that along with my parents and a group of friends, so that should be nice.

~~My whole life I have dreamed of a beautiful Valentines Day. I have never had one...ever!! I have never had flowers or candy...or even a kiss or acknowledgement. My ex husband was NEVER romantic. I have been so excited about this Valentines Day
because my widower is sooo romantic. He gives me flowers, cards, and little sweet gifts all the time. So I know this is going to sound childish, but…I just found out his deceased wife’s BIRTHDAY is Valentines Day! How wonderful is that?? I spend ALL my time being understanding...I swear I do!! I turn the other cheek...I look the other way...I do what I have to do to let the grieving process happen naturally...but dammit!!! I WANT MY VALENTINES DAY AND I WANT IT NOW!!! Will every Valentines Day always be associated with her from now till hell freezes over??? I guess they will be having a family get together to honor her. I don’t mean to take anything away from her, I swear...but do you think he will be ready for a sexy nightie and wine when he gets done that night??? (But I’m sure) I will do as I normally do and just hold him and tell him I love him - because he is so worth this effort.

~~ I stop on my way home from work and buy steaks and lobsters and prepare a beautiful meal, complete with chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert. His wedding anniversary is February 10 or 11 and in the past I would say that the Grief Monster has definitely come out in him around this time of year.

~~My widower has always been very open and honest about his late wife and their relationship, and I’m a good listener because I then try to do everything OPPOSITE than he and she did. They went to dinner on Valentine’s Day, so I always opt to make a nice meal at home. They exchanged gifts, but I prefer exchanging books (we are avid readers).

~~ Valentine's Day belongs to him as he runs a poetry reading that day. On Feb 7, I'm taking him to dinner and an evening of Flamenco at our local college theater. Biggest problem is his home and what it "says" to me: Memorabilia all over the joint; knock something down every time I turn around; If we ever are to get our homes combined, it would have to be in a NEW VENUE. Note to other "gals:" DON'T LET HIM TALK YOU INTO MOVING INTO HIS HOME. EVEN IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT, IT WILL NEVER BE YOURS.


************************************************

MARCH QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH

************************************************

Come on…send ‘em in! Your responses are guaranteed to be anonymous, as your privacy is of the utmost importance. Replies posted in March’s newsletter, due in your inbox in late February 2004.


1.) Do you sometimes feel that your hubs/BF is thinking of his late wife when he is quiet, staring off into space, or otherwise having a pensive moment? How does that make you feel?

2.) Do you believe that if the late wife were alive today (and you had never met her husband!), you and she would be friends? Why or why not?

3.) Do you still play “the grief counsellor” to some degree in your relationship? Explain.


*************************************************

DEAR JULIE

*************************************************


Dear Julie,

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I am already in knots. You see, my husband of 5 years and his late wife were married on Valentine’s Day! As if that weren’t bad enough, I have recently learned that he always adorned her with gifts of precious gem jewelry on that significant day. And I’m lucky if I get a lousy card!

I know this sounds so petty and jealous, but I can’t seem to help myself. Every woman wants the perfect Valentine’s Day! What advise do you have for me to avoid another disastrous holiday?

Signed,

Depressed on V-Day



JULIE RESPONDS:

Dear Depressed,

I’m curious about HOW you found out that the late wife got jewelry! LOL! But seriously, since you DO know – and are comparing it to the “lousy cards” you receive – no wonder you’re in knots!

All WOWs and GOWs compare themselves to the late wife and her relationship with their husband in some way at some point. It’s normal, human behavior. However, it is unhealthy for you and your relationship. Reading between the lines of your letter, I can almost read your mind: “Well, he must have loved her more than he loves me!” WHY do we allow the Insecurity Monster to run roughshod over our sanity? In the case of WOWs/GOWs, perhaps it’s because our #1 need is to feel that we are #1 in our husbands’/boyfriends’ hearts – yet we compete for that coveted prize with a SAINT!

For me, it was the same feeling, opposite need:

As a newlywed, I was unpacking some of Hubs’ boxes after we moved into our new house. In one unlabeled box was, among other mementoes, a stack of greeting cards from Hubs to his late wife. Oh Lord, the MUSH! I never knew my husband was Robert Browning incarnate! But here, before my eyes, were the most romantic sentiments and poetry of undying love ever penned on Hallmark’s finest! And he had never, EVER written such things on MY cards – usually, he’d just sign his name! At that point, I would have willingly handed over the gorgeous gemstone jewelry he had gotten me over the years just to have a card like HERS! I was devastated, and all I could think was “He must have loved her sooo much more than he loves me to have written such lovely things to her from his heart, but only signs his name to MY cards!”

To make a long story short, I confronted my husband about this issue - calmly and rationally - stating my feelings and asking for his. Prince Charming slyly told me that his love for her was “paper”, whereas his love for me was “gold”. Nice try, Romeo, but I wasn’t appeased…so we talked loooong into the night. Now, every Valentine’s Day or other special occasions, I no longer get jewelry – I get love poems and mushy cards. I think I made a good trade, but hey – that’s just me. J

Dearest “Depressed”, if you are upset about this issue, by all means, express your feelings to your husband. Be sympathetic about the death anniversary part of Valentine’s Day, but DO let him know that you are feeling insecure about the day. Tell him how you feel about Valentine’s Day OTHER than it being a death anniversary, and that you feel “left out”. You DESERVE to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, for it is a celebration of love in the PRESENT. Suggest ways the two of you can celebrate your love without the dark cloud of grief interfering (why not have your own personal V-Day on Feb 13th instead of Feb. 14th?). Chances are, like most husbands, he’s simply clueless about your needs, so use this as an opportunity to spell them out for him. And, like most loving husbands, he will probably come through with flying colors. ~ JDA


~~Do you agree? Disagree? Have some advice to help this reader? Let me hear it! juliedonnerandersen@mail.com

*********************************************

JUST FOR FUN...

*********************************************


A widow recently married a widower. Soon after the marriage she was accosted by a friend who laughingly remarked - "I suppose, like all men who have been married before, your husband sometimes talks about his first wife?"
"Oh, not any more, he doesn't," the other replied.
"What stopped him?"
"I started talking about my next husband."

***********************************************

An elderly widow and widower were dating for about five years. The man finally decided to ask her to marry. She immediately said "yes".
The next morning when he awoke, he couldn't remember what her answer was! "Was she happy? I think so, wait, no, she looked at me funny..."
After about an hour of trying to remember to no avail, he got on the telephone and gave her a call. Embarrassed, he admitted that he didn't remember her answer to the marriage proposal.
"Oh", she said, "I'm so glad you called. I remembered saying 'yes' to someone, but I couldn't remember who it was."

*************************************************

It was reported in an American newspaper that a man, when he booked into a hotel in Miami, wanted to email his wife to tell her he had arrived safely. Unfortunately he had lost her email address but thought he could remember it.
He sent the email but he had made a small error in the address and it went instead to the widow of a preacher. The man had died just the previous day.
When the old lady turned on her computer, she fainted with shock when she read the email.
It said:

"Dear Wife,
I have been checked in safely.
Arrangements are all in place for you to join me tomorrow.
I have to say it's very hot down here.
Your loving husband"

*********************************************

Now that I’m “mature"...

…I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
…I've learned that one good turn gets most of the blankets.
…I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just jackasses.
…I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
…I've learned that whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
…I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others. They are more screwed up than you think.
…I've learned that depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
…I've learned that it is not what you wear; it is how you take it off.
…I've learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think you're finished.
…I've learned to not sweat the petty things, and not pet the sweaty things.
…I've learned that ex's are like fungus, and keep coming back.
…I've learned age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
…I've learned that I don't suffer from insanity - I enjoy it.
…I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
…I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity
…I've learned that 99% of the time when something isn't working in your house, one of your kids did it.
…I've learned that there is a fine line between genius and insanity.
…I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away. And the real pains in the ass are permanent.



****************************************

ENCOURAGEMENT

****************************************

Respect and accept widower's second wife
Published January 3, 2004 in the Chicago Tribune:

Dear Ann Landers:

I was appalled at the selfishness of "San Antonio," who thought her father had no right to start dating again after the death of her mother.

I, too, am a widow dating a widower. His children treat me beautifully. They say they are so glad I came into their father's life because I've been good for him and anyone who is good for him is great, as far as they are concerned.

I lost a daughter to cancer a few years ago, and my son-in-law was devoted to her. After grieving a reasonable length of time, he started to date. My grandchildren were upset, and other family members expected me to be upset, also. I told my grandchildren, "Your dad was a wonderful husband to your mommy. He can do nothing more for her now. It takes nothing from your mommy for him to date another woman. Be happy that he has found someone nice."

He has since married, and his wife and I are the best of friends. I still have to boost up the grandchildren a bit, but they have accepted her and respect her, even though they don't call her "Mother."

If San Antonio accepts her father's relationship and treats the woman decently, she will not lose her father but may gain a good friend. That woman isn't replacing her mother. After all, life is for the living.

-- Been There in Baltimore

Dear Baltimore:

Beautiful. I could not have said it better. Thank you for all the second wives for whom you spoke so eloquently today. You did more to help than anything I might have said.

*******************************************

From The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, OK (USA) October 10, 2000:

DEAR ABBY: I'm writing regarding "Just Julie in California," who was upset that her husband carried two pictures of his late wife in his billfold.
I married a widower who not only had pictures of her in his billfold, he also one on the coffee table. He didn't constantly verbalize his love for me, but he showed it in countless ways every day, and I was happy to display a picture of his late wife in our living room. She was part of his life before me, and because I loved him so, I was grateful that he had a happy life before we met. Had it not been for their happy marriage, he might have been a different man than he was then, perhaps one who wouldn't have been so good to me.

My husband died suddenly after only 8 short years together. I am thankful that I didn't waste one moment of our wonderful life together by being jealous of the woman from his past. Julie should treasure what she has today, and stop worrying about a couple of photos from the past. -- SOMEONE WHO CARES

DEAR SOMEONE WHO CARES: Your signature says it all. I compliment you on your capacity to love and your common sense. New wives of widowers, please heed her message -- it contains a valuable lesson. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: This is for "Just Julie in California," who complained that her husband carried pictures of his late wife in his wallet.
I married a widower who had lost his wife to cancer six years earlier. This is my first marriage.
I know how overwhelming it can be to feel you are competing with a ghost. I solved the problem by remembering that I have a wonderful husband and that it was that dear departed lady who taught him about women. I also know that my husband gained strength and compassion by caring for his first wife during her illness. I count myself fortunate that my husband knows how devastating it is to lose a spouse, so he cherishes me.

"Just Julie" should take heart and consider that if her husband loved his first wife so much that he carries her photo in his wallet 11 years after her death, how much he can love the wife he is able to hold in his arms. Sign me ... JOHN'S SECOND WIFE, NEW JERSEY

DEAR JOHN'S SECOND WIFE: Your husband picked not one but two "winners" to marry. You are a very perceptive woman. Take a bow -- you deserve it. John is a lucky man to have had two such wonderful, loving wives.

****************************************

The Awakening

A time comes in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying, or struggling to hold on! And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... and that's OK (They are entitled to their own views and opinions). And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself; and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers ... and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop manoeuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world ... and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love; romantic love and familial love; How to love, how much to give in love; when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love...and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms ...just to make you happy.

And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up." You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect; and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch ... and in the process you internalise the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest.

And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play. You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve ... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms.

And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers.

It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about; a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever, settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

And you make it a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

~Author Unknown

********************************************

NEWS OF THE WEIRD

********************************************


From The Watford Oberserver, United Kingdom:

Widower commits suicide as he was 'lost' without his wife

A RETIRED lorry driver who lost his wife to cancer hung himself because he could not go on without her.
Joseph Dennis Christie, of Boundary Way, Garston, was found dead at the home he had shared with his wife for three decades, on Tuesday, August 26.
At the inquest at the Old Courthouse, in Hatfield last Thursday, coroner Edward Thomas, said Mr Christie – known by his middle name Dennis – killed himself after finding it difficult to live without his wife.
Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Thomas said: "He found it very difficult to come to terms with his wife's death.

"He loved his wife so much and was a kind person much loved by his family.

"He had been devoted to his wife and nursed her through her illness and died because he could not bare to be apart from her."

1:58pm Wednesday 12th November 2003

~JULIE RESPONDS: It’s a sad but true fact – Statistics have shown that older widowers do not cope as well with the loss of a spouse as younger widowers. I truly believe that WOWs are angels on earth. Our presence in our formerly widowed husbands lives has, among other things, greatly extended their life expectancy!

****************************************

Widower 'never got over' death of wife

From icCheshireOnline.co.uk Dec. 11, 2003:

A WIDOWER died after a 12-hour drinking session on the anniversary of his wife's death.

An inquest heard Malcolm Cunliffe, 57, suffered massive head injuries when he collapsed near a pub.
Mr Cunliffe, a chemical process worker, had been drinking at the Bradley pub in Albert Road, Widnes, since opening time on the day of the accident in June this year.

And his pal, Robert Birch, revealed that Mr Cunliffe, of Chester Street, Widnes, had never recovered from the death of his wife a year before.
He said: 'On the day of the accident, Sammy was on holiday from work.

'I met a friend who said Sammy had been in the pub since opening. When I went in at 8pm he was drunk.'
Mr Birch offered to walk Mr Cunliffe home, but his friend left alone.

Mr Birch said: 'I saw something in the road. When I got closer I realised it was Sammy.'

Passers-by called an ambulance and administered first aid but Mr Cunliffe died in Whiston Hospital.
A police investigation ruled out any third party being involved.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Cunliffe died from severe head injuries.
Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rhein-berg recorded a verdict of accidental death.

~JULIE RESPONDS: The death anniversary of a spouse can be an incredibly lonely, heartbreaking day. Men who typically bury their feelings instead of airing them have a particularly difficult time. Widowers NEVER “get over” the loss of a spouse, but there ARE ways of coping with loss. If your man has a problem with alcohol abuse, don’t think it will stop when he “stops grieving” – because he will never do either without help. Widowers will always grieve to some extent. Contact your local AA or Al-Anon today.

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BOOK REVIEW

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BUILD A BETTER SPOUSE TRAP
By Theodore Wentworth
Paperback: 220 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 9.00 x 6.00 Publisher: M Evans & Co; Reprint edition (January 2004) ISBN: 1590770323

From Publishers Weekly:

In his foreword, Chicken Soup for the Soul series coauthor Jack Canfield writes, "Ted Wentworth knew how to look for the woman his heart was yearning for... and he found her. We're lucky he decided to pass his secrets along to the rest of us."

“In this simple book, Wentworth shares plenty of tips and personal anecdotes on coping with loss, moving on, starting a new relationship and even getting married again. Although the title makes the book sound like a sneaky expos on snaring a mate, Wentworth's guide is really about recovering from lost love and generating new romance.” ~Agent, Carole Bidnick.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Note from Julie: I saw the author on TV last month – what a hoot! Although I haven’t read his book yet, his story is one of love, loss, and happy remarriage. Sound familiar? :) Enjoy! ~J.D.A.

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Note from Julie: As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you feel it may help, or share it with your widower.

I’m just an e-mail away…J.D.A.

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