Me and my book, Dating a Widower, got a write-up in today’s (Provo) Daily Herald. The story also includes stories about widows and widowers who successfully remarried.
The holiday season can be especially challenging for those who have lost a spouse, but as the season revolves around hope and love, widows and widowers should have hope for the future and may find love in unlikely places. Such was the case for Spanish Fork residents Randy and Melanee Bronson, who in 2007 each lost their first spouse to pancreatic cancer.
Randy’s late wife Gayle and Melanee were roommates at BYU, but parted ways when they married. Randy and Gayle moved to Alaska and Melanee and her husband Kev moved to Connecticut, but they continued to keep in touch with Christmas cards every year.
When both spouses died, Melanee continued to send a Christmas card to Randy, and he reciprocated. A year and a half after both their spouses passed away, Melanee and Randy began to correspond and date.
There is a source available now for those who may be dating a widower, just as Melanee did a couple of years ago. Eagle Mountain resident Abel Keogh’s latest book, “Dating a Widower — a Guide to Starting a Relationship with a Man that is Starting Over,” analyzes the mind and actions of widowers who have dived back in the dating world, giving women dating widowers insights into their motives. Keogh taps into his personal experiences as a widower as well as research and case studies from widowers around the country.
Keogh started blogging about his experiences as a widower back in 2002, while recovering from his wife’s death. The blog’s popularity grew as women dating widowers sought advice and insights from Keogh.
“I decided to write the book to get the most common issues and concerns out there,” he said.
Keogh’s blog, www.abelkeogh.com, continues to have Widower Wednesday, a column addressing issues regarding widowers, dating widowers, and moving on.
If you’re a Vince Flynn fan or have one on your shopping list, you can get a free download of his book Transfer of Power from December 22, 2011 through December 30, 2011. The free download is available through Kindle, Nook, Apple, and Kobo.
If you haven’t ready Vince Flynn but have an e-reader, this is a great way to check out one of his books without any cost. He’s a great storyteller. I highly recommend his books.
Q: Is it okay that the late wife has a stocking up?
A: It is if she’s around to get the goodies on Christmas morning.
Q: What about Christmas presents for the late wife?
A: See my answer to the stocking question.
Q: What if the widower wants to give me some of his late wife’s jewelry or other personal belongings as a Christmas present?
A: It’s not okay for him to do that. He probably means well but it’s seems a tad creepy. If it’s some kind of family heirloom, he should give it to (or save it for) his kids, a sister, or other family member.
Q: What if the kids want to give a present to their late mother?
A: If you feel it’s appropriate, it’s something they can leave at the cemetery or other memorial location. I don’t see a point in making it part of Christmas morning because that can really have a downer affect on Christmas morning/opening presents thing.
Q: What if the widower wants to visit the cemetery on Christmas day?
A: That’s up to him. Hopefully he’s aware of how that might affect his mood, your mood, and the general spirit of the holidays.
Q: What if my widower’s sad during the holidays?
A: That’s his problem. Don’t let his attitude or feelings get you down. If it’s too much for you to handle spend the holidays with people that will make you happy.
Q: How do you get through the two or three Christmas holidays without your late wife?
A: The first one was really rough but that was because she died six weeks earlier. Every Christmas after that was actually pretty good. I felt extremely grateful to have Marathon Girl as part of every Christmas after that one. It was hard to be sad with her in my life. If there were any lingering feelings of sadness, I did my best to help others. That always helps, no matter what time of year it is.
Q: If you could give widowers who might be struggling with the holidays without their late wife this holiday season any advice, what would it be?
As most of you know, I’m working on a sequel to Dating a Widower. Titled Marrying a Widower the book will focus on how you can know whether or not the widower is ready for marriage or some other lifelong relationship. (Dating a Widower is more about knowing if he’s even ready to date and start a relationship.) What I’d like to know from all of you is what topics you’d like to see addressed in this book. For those who are married to, engaged to, or divorced from a widower or are just working toward marriage with a widower, what issues have you experienced that others might be dealing with? What do you wish someone had told you before you married a widower?
I have a rough outline of topics I’m going to write about but want to be sure I haven’t overlooked anything before I start . Put your ideas in the comments below or send me an email if you’d rather keep it private. Any and all ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Update: Thanks to all those who have asked about submitting essays for the MAW book. I’ll have a full list of topics that I’ll post in early January that will let you know the topics I’ll need essays on. Hold off on sending any until then.
Often I’ll get emails from women whose relationship with a widower recently ended. A few weeks or months after the breakup the widower will call, text, or email the woman saying he wants to talk, go out to dinner, or get back together. If the woman still has feelings for him, she’s excited to hear from the widower again but wants to know how to approach the situation the second time around so it doesn’t end badly the second time around.
My advice: Don’t call him back.
Widowers (and men for that matter) will only contact when they want something. It could be that they’re feeling lonely and need to talk with someone. Maybe they’re horny and want nothing more than a roll in the proverbial hay or just want someone to come over and take care of them again. There could be a thousand reasons a widower starts contacting you again but odds are it’s not because he’s come to his senses, got over his grief, and wants a committed relationship. It’s usually because he wants your time, your body, your money or something else that he’s currently not getting from someone else. And there’s no easier target for a widower than a recent ex-girlfriend—especially when he can pull the widower card and claim he’s miraculously overcome his grief and is ready to start over.
Widowers don’t change their stripes overnight. If he treated you like garbage before the relationship ended, was stuck in perpetual grief, or made you feel like number two day in and day out, odds are you’re in for more of the same the second time around. So if a widower contacts you after a break up, save yourself further heartache and don’t contact him again. Your silence will speak louder than any returned phone call or text message. Eventually he’ll get the message and move on to weaker prey.
If you think your widower’s the exception all of the above, I’m not going to stop you from getting back together. But I do implore you think pretty hard about getting involved with the same widower again. I’m a big fan of the saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.” If you end up getting burned again (and most women who go back to their widowers do), you have no one to blame but yourself.
During the winter months the first thing I’d do after waking up is head straight to the living room where I’d send next a heater vent. There I’d sit there until the furnace clicks off and my legs and toes were toasty warm. Once the heater clicked off I’d hurry off to my bedroom where I’d get dressed and get ready for the day.
When it turns cold, the first thing my kids do after they wake up is tiptoe downstairs and lie on the heater vent near the foot of Mom and Dad’s bed. They share the vent until the furnace clicks off and which point they race to the table for breakfast then, after eating, hurry off and get ready for the day.
As a lifelong Broncos fan, I have to admit my interest in the team has waned over the last decade. Season after season of losing and subpar performances severely taxed my interest. Still, like all fans, I keep waiting for the preverbal “next year” to arrive and deliver the Broncos from the wilderness to the promised land of playoffs and Super Bowl rings.
Then comes along Tim Tebow and everything changes. The Broncos, with him at quarterback, are 7-1. Today they beat the Bears in what can only be described as a series of miracles: Marion Barber getting knocked out of bounds with 1:06 left giving the Broncos a fighting chance. Matt Prayer hitting a 59-yard field goal as time expired. Then, in overtime, Barber fumbled the ball. The Broncos recovered and kicked the winning field goal a few minutes letter. The Broncos just won their sixth game in a row thanks to the arms, legs, and heart of a quarterback most people thought would never play a game in the NFL. You couldn’t write a better Hollywood script. It was like the Gods of Football want Tebow and the Broncos to win.
Despite a 7-1 record as a starter, Tebow’s still a polarizing figure. He wins ugly. He believes in Jesus—big time. He’s driving all the football experts crazy. But I don’t care about any of that. Thanks to Tebow, Broncos games are fun to watch again. They’re in sole position of first place in the AFC West with a great shot of making the playoffs. For the first time in years, I’m actually looking forward to the games.
I lost my wife of 23 years this September to an extended illness. My wife always made the holiday season so special and I’m not looking forward to the holidays without her. Yes, I’ll have children (16, 19, and 21) friends and family to visit and spend time with so I won’t be alone. However, I just don’t know if I can make it through this time without having a complete breakdown or ruining the holidays for others. Do you have any suggestions of things I can do to take some of the sting off this holiday season? What did you do make it through the holidays after your wife died?
First, sorry to hear about your wife. It seems like the first time through the holidays is always the hardest. But even though your late wife won’t be there to share the holidays with you, that doesn’t mean this time of year has to feel empty or pointless.
The best thing you can do is to stop thinking about your loss and focus your thoughts and energy on others this holiday season. There are lots of ways to do it, but here are some ideas to get you thinking: Work with a local church or charity and see if you can buy some presents for a needy family. If you’re feeling adventurous, dress up as Santa Claus and deliver the presents in person (or get a friend to do it). Maybe you can volunteer your time with a soup kitchen or visit a nursing home and spend some time with those who may not have any family during this season either. Invite your neighbors to a party or dinner. Help a neighbor string Christmas lights. Shovel a neighbor’s walk. Think of ways to help your talents and abilities to help others. For your kids or other family members, take them out to a fun holiday movie. Drive around and see some Christmas lights or take a special family vacation to get away from things. There’s countless things you can do but you have to start thinking of ways to help other people need instead of what (or who) is missing from your life.
Thinking about others and giving of yourself isn’t cure all for your loss this time of year. There will be times you’ll miss your wife and all the things she did to make this season special and you might just need to take a few minutes have yourself a good cry. But you can remove a big part of the sting by cheering others up and helping those who may also are experiencing a difficult times this holiday season. Yes, the holidays won’t be the same without your late wife but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. Just think of things you can do for others and you’ll find that the holiday season won’t as gloomy or sad as you think they might be.
Just realized that I never gave an final update my NaNoWriMo progress. Here it is:
For the second year I realized that the way I write isn’t conducive to putting out as much words as possible in 30 days. When I write a novel, I usually do so with a pretty thorough outline. Even with that, however, I still find that characters and minor plot details evolve as I write. And as the change, I find myself going back to rewrite details earlier in the book so they match up with changes made halfway through.
For example, say I write 1,000 words a day for a week giving me a grand total of 7,000 words at the end of the week. But as I finished up Day 7 of writing, I realize that a character needs to evolve or change to make him or her more interesting or real. As a result, I may spend several days re-reading everything written to date and rewriting 1,000 words a day. So after nine days my “official” word count still remains in the neighborhood of 7,000 words even though I’ve probably written somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 words. So when trying to write as many words as possible in a certain amount of time, I find myself going back and rewriting stuff before I move forward and create new content.
Anyway, I finished NaNoWriMo with 20,135 “new” words though if you count all the rewriting I did during this time, the actual count is probably three times that number or enough to make me a NaNoWriMo winner–but not in any official sense. On the flip side, the 20,135 words I did write are pretty polished. Just another rewrite should get them up to publishable quality. Now I just have to work at writing the other 80,000 or so words of content. It’s something I can do over the next several months–it’s just going to take an awful lot of rewriting to get there.