Goal: Overcome the Death of a Spouse and Find Love Again

Marathon Girl and I got a write-up in Utah Valley Magazine. The article (and others in the magazine) focuses on achieving goals. My section is about how I made goals to rebuild my life after the death of my late wife. Marathon Girl's section focus on running. If you don't want to read, I at least encourage you to check out the beautiful pictures of Marathon Girl (just ignore the ugly guy next to her). From the article:

Abel Keogh is as uncomfortable with change as the next 6-foot-3 guy. But after becoming a widower in 2001 when his pregnant wife took her life, Abel realized if he didn’t embrace change he also wouldn’t embrace happiness.

Over the next several weeks, Abel forced himself to go through a mental exercise of deciding where he wanted to be in five years. He made a list of 30 or 40 things he really wanted to do, and every day he lived his life as if enacting all of the changes he envisioned.

One if his primary goal was to marry again and have a family. Fifteen months after burying his wife, he married Julie—who he calls “Marathon Girl” on his blog. They quickly added five children, who are ages 7, 6, 5, 2, and 5 months.


Many in the widow/widower world get comfortable in their grief and self-pity. Abel knows there is a powerful stage in the next process.

“When I chose to change, I realized I had a chance to create a new life and do things I couldn’t have done before,” he says. “You have to figure out how to adjust or you can get smashed by it.”

On Nov. 10, 2011, Abel marked the 10th anniversary of his first’ wife’s death with a thoughtful and upbeat post about moving on. He had crossed everything off the list he had made previously.

“We can make the life we want to make,” he says. “We’re the ones who hold ourselves back.”

Abel held himself back by not initially forgiving his first wife for taking her life.

“Once I stopped being angry and blaming her, everything else fell into place,” he says. “For others, this might be losing their job or having their spouse walk out on them. Part of the healing process is moving on and getting past the victim mentality.”

Read the entire article or check out the awesome photos of Marathon Girl.