Categories
COVID-19 Giving Support Grief/Dispair Healing Self-care

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Forever

Terrell Whitener

As I sit down to share my thoughts with you, it has been 64 months since I joined the community of widowed men. During that time, I have experienced so many things. Currently, as I find myself navigating this period, I call social distancing, I find myself with a lot of time to be alone with my thoughts. For many, this can be a very troubling time. When I was initially forced to quarantine, I entered it with some trepidation. I felt that I would miss interacting with my friends and family, which I do. Oh no, not take away my baseball season! I have learned to live without it. No summer travel, oh come on now! What do you mean cruising is too dangerous even to consider? But I love my cruises. No dining out, no concerts, missed the Rolling Stones again! What is a man to do?

See, my dear brothers, I am not a man that dates. My family and a small select group of friends are my social outlets. I am blessed to have the privilege of sharing my thoughts with you all a couple of times a month, but overall, my life is quiet. During this time, I have rediscovered reading, saved a ton of money, gotten back into music, undertaken household projects, demystified Zoom, done some preliminary work on my podcast as well as signed an agreement to do a second book. Not bad for a guy with too much time on his hands, huh.

But from time to time, thoughts of how wonderful it would be to be sharing this added time with Robyn creeps through my mind. It is natural to miss our loved ones and managed correctly; these thoughts can be very therapeutic. It is not the fourth quarter I planned to live, and it certainly was not the one we designed for each other. Over time, however, my feelings have transformed from feeling that I possibly got cheated, to at times feeling Robyn got cheated by dying. I do not spend a lot of time with those thoughts, but they surface occasionally. But once I get my thoughts together, I spend much of my time being guided by these overriding mental principles:

I Realize and Reflect on the wonderful life I have had. Please be clear, we all have had something exceedingly difficult happen to us in the loss of our loved one. In no way am I minimizing that reality at all. But I try to live in the vein of gratitude over perpetual grief. I understand I will never get over the loss of Robyn. As I have stated before, I do not want to. But over these last five-plus years, she had settled into the positive memories that make the void in my life bearable.

I also Remember, but try not to Ruminate. Recently I made a big decision. Over the past six months, I have started redecorated my apartment. I am finally in an emotional place to take on the project. One of the complicated parts of taking on this project is choosing what needs to be given away, donated, or thrown away. Robyn and I spent countless hours sitting in our living room, laughing, and talking, watching television, or just occasionally spending some quiet time together. I so needed her to get better so we could get on with our forever. The time had come for the couch to go. It had been her favorite seat and my seat of comfort in the early days after her death. Since the start of the plans to redecorate, I tried to make that couch work, but to no avail, it had to go, and it did, and I lived. No more rumination, it is time for action.

Finally, we need to find strength, Recharge, and Re-emerge. Now I am not advocating everyone goes out and buy a Maserati or that “tricked out truck” but make a responsible plan to move forward. For some who are in the earlier stages, I urge baby steps. For others, it is time to take the responsible plunge. A couple of months ago, I wrote about discovery. I guess this is another branch on that tree. New experiences are out there.

Yes, a funny thing happened on the way to forever, and in this, we all share the same experience, WE ALL RAN OUT OF TIME!

As always, I welcome your feedback. And as always, I wish you nothing but the best. Each one of us is on a unique path to our forever. I wish you all traveling grace along the way.

____________________________________________Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss. Terrell can be reached at his newly redesigned thedebriefgroup365.com, there you will find all his social media contacts. You can find his article every two weeks here on WSN-MO.

Categories
Giving Support Widower Awareness

Widower’s Need to Lean Upon Others

Each day, millions of people wake up and start their day the same way they do every other day. Their life is a routine, their life has normalcy, and their presence is taken for granted. However, there is another group of people that have an adverse perspective of life. These people take nothing for granted. These are also people that yearn for normality and the previously mentioned routine that so many do without thought. These are the millions of widowers who wake up daily and do things that they once did without much effort.

There was a time in my life that I did these everyday tasks without much thought. I had a routine, and it was great. Coincidentally I took this routine for granted; there was no immunity to that mentality. The first few days and weeks and months of learning to be a widower is difficult. I could write pages of why it’s difficult, but that’s not the mission of this column. I am here to tell you about why it’s essential to get up each day and put one foot in front of the other and work your way towards being the new you. For some, it may be using positive affirmations in front of the mirror each morning. For others, it may be getting dressed and conquering the task of feeling like you are happy with who you see in the mirror after some personal grooming.

It’s important to remember that even though there are days that you may feel alone, you are not alone. Many, many other widowers are experiencing similar feelings to what you are feeling. There are also just as many widowers that want to and are willing to talk about those feelings. Everyone has days that are better than others, and by banding together, we can hold each other up. There’s nothing wrong or suspicious about a bad day. We all have them, and they are a part of the healing process. One mistake some of us make is to try to go through this alone when there are people and resources available.

We are a band of brothers with something in common. It’s a group we don’t want to be a part of, but here we are. Stay strong my brothers and hang in there, the sun will rise tomorrow.

Chris Brandt

Chris can be contacted at brandt5@hotmail.com

Categories
Giving Support Grief/Dispair Healing Mental/Emotional Health Moving Forward

Is Contentment Even Possible?

Fred-18

Remember that feeling of peace, that feeling of being comfortable with yourself, your circumstances, and your marriage? Maybe you were 10, 20, or even 30 years into your marriage before you reached this point. Many of us were fortunate enough to have achieved that blissful stage of existence… even if it was only for a few moments here and there.

I remember so clearly how I reached this state of contentment later in my life. It was strange, but one day I happened to look around at all that my wife and I had achieved together and told her that I was genuinely content for the first time in my life. Little did I know that a few years later, I would lose the most important part of that contentment.

After my wife’s (Theresa) passing, I felt anything but contentment. I was miserable. My body, soul, and mind were in a constant state of turmoil. I was wracked with physical pain, questioning my relationship with God, doubting myself, and experiencing delusions from lack of sleep. I was incapable of even a few moments of happiness, much less being comfortable. I was always stressed and could not relax for a moment, much less sleep.

It took many months to achieve a level where I could feel at ease and appreciate what I had with my wife. I could now enjoy the remnants of what we had built together. She was not there with me physically anymore, but she was with me always in my thoughts and very being. She had helped me to build a new better me, and that did not suddenly disappear when she died.

The children we had raised were still with me, in addition to four grandchildren. Our friends were still there the first year and often offered to help during this painful time. The life we had built was still there, and she was woven into every aspect of it.

During this journey, I had to reinvent myself (see my blog – https://www.fredcolby.com/blogs/widower-reinventing-yourself-to-live-again-1). This took time and lots of persistent effort, with a few wrong turns. As this “new me” emerged, I found that the turmoil in my life began to diminish. I made new friends, learned new skills, took risks, and tried new activities. Over time my new and more self-confident self-image began to emerge along with a gradually growing sense of well-being.

Eventually, I even found a new best friend (a widow herself) who was happy to join me on this new journey. Both of us have welcomed the other’s spouse into the relationship, and both of us are respectful of what we had during our previous marriage.

Not long after this, I realized that for the first time since Theresa’s death, I was once again feeling contentment about my past and current life. This contentment has allowed me to release the stress and doubts and fears of the previous few years, and to enjoy life again.

While I am incredibly grateful to have this new best friend in my life, I do not believe that you require a new partner to achieve contentment again. The critical elements of your sense of well-being were there before you lost your wife, and so many of those elements can still be there for you going forward.

You may have to work hard to achieve contentment once again, but it is possible, and it is well worth the effort.

© Copyright 2020 Fred Colby   All rights reserved

______________________________________________

Fred Colby is the author of Widower to Widower, which is available on Amazon.com. You can find Fred’s column appearing here on WSN-MO every other Tuesday. Widower to Widower is available through your local bookstore, my website, and Amazon.

Categories
Finding Purpose Giving Support Healing Manful Emotions Mental/Emotional Health Moving Forward

I feel good, is that ok?

Jim Winner

Today is a cool, clear, and beautiful Indiana summer day. As I write this, I am sitting in my courtyard, listening to the birds sing. The flowers are in full bloom, and kids wave to me as they ride their bikes by my house. It all feels right. I feel good. But wait. Is that ok? Is it alright to be happy? Should I feel guilty because I feel good? I know that answer. So do you. But if you’re like me, sometimes a little reminding is in order.

During Joyce’s illness and prognosis, she had many opportunities to share her hopes and wishes for my life after she was gone. Those of you who have had these conversations know they are extremely difficult, hard to listen to, and even harder to accept. But accept them we must, because that reality is here. I would dare to say that each of our wives had the same wish for us. That wish was simple. It was for us to keep living. I remember the day Joyce took my hands, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Keep living. Don’t stop being happy”. As I look back on that conversation, I marvel that even in her final weeks and days, she was worried about me. I know many of you who are reading this are nodding in agreement because your wives said the same thing to you. For those brothers whose wives passed away suddenly, you know they also had the same wish. You were happy with your wife. Their wish was for your life to continue. They wanted you to find your happiness. They wanted you to keep going.

I do not believe that anyone can bring us happiness. Our happiness is our responsibility. If we aren’t happy with ourselves, it’s not reasonable for us to ask someone else to make us happy. Not only is it unreasonable, but it’s also a recipe for disaster. As I continue my journey, I have come to understand that there’s room for grief and happiness at the same time. Those two words are not mutually exclusive. The grief process we go through relates to what was lost and what never will be. At the same time, the quest for happiness involves what is and what is yet to be. Friends, the good news is there’s room for both.

I endeavor to choose happiness every day. Please know I don’t say that flippantly. I am mindful of how much time I spend watching the news. I am intentional in the tone of the conversations I have with my friends and neighbors. I always wave back and stop to talk when I see those kids on their bikes. I invest in the rebuilding of my life. I choose to smile even when I don’t feel like smiling. Dale Carnegie once said, “If you act enthusiastic, you will become enthusiastic.” I believe that is especially true for how we deal with happiness.

We all have people and things that make us happy. Make time for both. Maybe yours is time with family and friends, walking, reading, cooking, building things, or playing a round of golf. Whatever allows you to focus on something positive, and in the future, I encourage you to do it. Thank God, we can look to the future without ever sacrificing the memory of the past. That’s a real blessing.

I hope you choose happiness today.

Categories
Finding Purpose Giving Support Moving Forward

Poker with Friends

Jeff

These last couple of months, while we have been sheltering in place here in California, I have had the pleasure of joining in on a zoom call and playing poker with a group of friends I have known for many years. These aren’t just friends; they are my fraternity brothers from my days at UC Santa Barbara (which ended four years before I met and married Suzanne).

Some of these brothers knew her. Most did not because despite being close in college, we all went our ways—and I lived abroad for nearly 20-years after college, so I did not see many of them (other than on Facebook) for many years. There were exceptions, but not many.

Seeing and spending time with “the boys” has been refreshing. It has made me relive some of my youth—remembering all the awful things we used to do, like drinking, cussing, teasing, etc. But it has also been an excellent opportunity to reconnect more deeply. To bring together brothers who shared experiences in college that shaped us into the men we became.

I have been able to play every two weeks for the last two months, except for when my new partner came out from Kansas City to visit two weeks ago (after travel restrictions to California were lifted by her work). It has helped to keep me sane at this time when I have not seen or able to connect with people in person.

At times during the games, we do get serious and start chatting about deeper level emotional and spiritual things (while we are playing)—of course, that’s in between the teasing and the banter. And it seems that so many of my brothers keep asking me about finding passion and purpose in their lives.

The thing is, in my life, and my most recent experience as a widower, I’ve seen so many people make the same mistake I used to make: stay in dead-end jobs with low pay solely for the sake of “security,” wasting years of their lives doing something they just don’t love. To me, that’s just backward.

Why do we waste so much time sticking with stuff we don’t genuinely care about? Is it the money? Is it recognition? Is it the health benefits? Is it truly for “security?” I just don’t know.

Of my fraternity brothers, I am one of the very few that is genuinely “self-employed.” And I love what I do. No, I don’t get health benefits, and I don’t want or ask for recognition. Nor do I have much security. But I do get to do something that I am genuinely passionate about and care about. I get to serve and help other widows and widowers.

And I wonder why we aren’t all doing something that we truly love? And I think of all the times I wish I could have been at home with Suzanne, working on something I was passionate about and loved to do instead of wasting all those years complaining and moaning about dead-end jobs and long commutes.

I’m considering putting together a free program on how to get unstuck from the thinking that is holding us back from being happier and living our purpose and passion. Would this be of interest to any of my fellow widower brothers? It seems to resonate with some of my fraternity brothers, and let’s face it; you guys are my fraternity now.

If this seems like a good idea, then please DM me with your thoughts or message me here in the group. Or, if you have any other ideas for anything better, then please let me know!

In solidarity.

Jeff

______________________________________________

Jeff Ziegler can be seen every two weeks here on WSN-MO. You can write Jeff at Jeff.ziegler@ymail.com.

Categories
Finding Purpose Giving Support Healing Learning new skills Maintaining a Home Moving Forward Uncategorized

“A rose by any other name”

Jim Winner

Joyce was always my biggest cheerleader. Many years ago, she encouraged me to become a Master Gardener. The process was a great experience and I learned a lot. Joyce loved our garden. She was proud of my work, and I delighted in creating a beautiful space for us. In the past several weeks, I’ve spent countless hours in that special place. The work of cleaning, weeding, planting and pruning has been good therapy. I enjoy my time in the garden.

At the end of March, I gave my roses a hard pruning. I removed the dead or weak branches and left 5 or 6 of the strongest canes on each plant. I mixed in some new amended soil around the base of the roses, added some feed and nutrients and began the waiting process. As I look at the roses today, I see plants that are healthy. They’re growing, reaching upwards, and if I do say so myself…are looking pretty good.

Like my roses, we all got a hard pruning when our wives passed away. We didn’t ask for it, but a big part of our life no longer existed. We found that part of our life was removed from us. The longer we were together the more of us got pruned away. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? A part of us dies with our spouses, but a large part of us is left to renew, recover, regrow and restore.

After a pruning, no rose grows back to be the same plant it was. Canes and new branches grow in different directions. The shapes and sizes are different. The plant may produce more or less flowers depending on many environmental factors. Pests or disease may thwart and impede the health of the plant. With the right care and attention (and a little bit of luck) roses can come back after hard pruning to once again be healthy, vibrant, and full of life. So, can we.

Compare our journeys to these roses. We have endured a difficult and dark winter season. We have had to suffer through our own hard and undoubtedly severe pruning. Here is the good news. We survived. New growth can and does begin to emerge. Hopefully, the deep roots we have shared will keep us strong and hold us steady. Our loved ones, while no longer with us, will always be a part of who we are. They will always help to shape us. Perhaps our feeding and nourishment comes from this group of men. Certainly, our friends, our families, our faith and many other sources of support and resources are available to us. Keep yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually fed. Stay positive. Keep the pests and diseases away. With time, we can all grow again. We won’t be the same men we were. Personally, I hope to become a better man.

No, I’m not saying any of us are as pretty as a rose…and like a rose, I am sure we can all be a bit prickly and thorny from time to time. It is my hope and prayer that you will join me in believing that even the hardest unwanted pruning can create meaningful and healthy new growth for all of us. 

May we all bloom, dear Brothers.

Categories
Giving Support

I Don’t Know Everything!

Fred-18

WSN-MO: Widower to Widower with Fred Colby

And… more than likely, neither do you.

One of the biggest shocks of entering deep grieving as a widower is the realization of how ill-prepared we are to deal with it… much less survive it!

And yet, widowers will often say things like: 

  • “I don’t need any help,” or 
  • “No one can help me,” or 
  • “No book, article, or blog can tell me what I need to know to get through this.” 

Often, when one digs deeper, you find that these widowers are in just as much pain and are just as lost as the rest of us.  The only difference is that they have a harder time admitting it, and just want to be left alone. I know because I felt that way for a while too.

They might also say, “Time alone can heal me.” Does anyone honestly believe that if we just self-isolate in our home that time will heal us all by itself? Or do we need something more, like: 

  • Human contact
  • Love and support from family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors
  • Grief therapy or counseling
  • Men’s grief group support
  • Hearing the experiences of fellow widowers who survived this experience
  • Activities, exercise, and projects to help us reengage with life
  • Opportunities to share our and our wife’s story

Time, together with some or all these things can help us heal. But if we just hunker down and wait for time to heal us, we will likely be disappointed. To grieve is a verb, not a noun. It is active, not stationary. If we don’t process (another verb) our grief, we are stagnant in our grief and may have difficulty extricating ourselves from it.

Grieving is an act of loving, remembering, and honoring the one we lost. The more we do all three of these active parts of grieving, the faster and better we are apt to heal.

That is not to say that we should all do it the same way or at the same pace. On the contrary, our unique grieving experience is what makes it so special to each of us. It is painful, at times life threatening, and often seems unending; but the fact that we do emerge from it, makes it another one of those growing opportunity and life experiences that makes us who we are going forward.

If we had long loving relationships with our special wives, we know that they would want us to grow and become even better men, rather than want us to sit at home moping about and wallowing in our grief. There is a time for that part of grieving, but it is not intended to be an ongoing permanent state of mind. If it becomes that, our ability to heal is greatly diminished.

So, do not fall into the trap of thinking you know all the answers and what is always best for you. Open your mind to other possibilities.  Accept that others may be able to help you, that you can learn from the experiences of others, and that there just may be a viable and healthy future for you.


© Copyright 2020 Fred Colby

All rights reserved

——————————————————————————

Fred Colby is the author of Widower to Widower, which is available on Amazon.com. You can find Fred’s column appearing here on WSN-MO every other Tuesday. Widower to Widower is available through your local bookstore, my website, and Amazon. Buy Widower to Widower through Amazon. (If living in Canada go to Widower to Widower – Amazon-Canada) See Testimonies and Reviews of Widower to Widower. Website: Fred Colby, Author

Categories
Giving Support Moving Forward Self-care

Let’s keep rowing!

Jim Winner

Many times during our journey with Joyce’s cancer, I asked the question, “how did we get here.” How did our lives flip upside down so quickly?

How would our lives look after we got through her illness? Then the questions changed from “we” to “I.”  What real changes do I need to get ready for after this ends? How, then, will I live?  I imagine most of you have asked these same questions and more. After all, we’re all in the same boat.

Well, here we are again. With all the disruptions in the world, I find myself asking the same questions. How did we get here? How will my world change yet again? What will my new normal be when I’m still figuring out my old new normal?  Same questions, same answers. Once again, none of us knows how or why we got here, but here we are. Face masks, hand sanitizers, and toilet paper are treasured commodities. Oil has no value. Go figure. We’re all in the same boat now. Let’s keep rowing.

The question we need to answer is, “now that we’re here, what are we going to do about it?”  How will we change once this ends? How can we learn and be better from this experience? The losses we all continue to process and work through are very hard. Compound that with social distancing and quarantining, and it’s brutally hard. But we press on. We endure. We survive. I’ve been making a conscious effort to be intentional about refocusing my priorities and thinking about how I want to allocate my time and resources to those things I value most. This is a rare time in life. Many of us have more free time than we’ve had in years.  Let’s use that time to our advantage. Consider using this time to think about any changes you might want in how you’re going to live life going forward. Let’s remember the term self-care. We’ve been through and continue to go through life’s most challenging journey. Use some time to be good to yourself. Let’s keep rowing.

I’ve been in sales and marketing all of my business life. I’ve always measured my success by my productivity. This has carried over into my personal life. I don’t believe this is the time for that. Like many of you, when this quarantine started, I made a list of all the things I “needed” to do. That list remains virtually untouched. After all the chaos and upheaval in the world, my list seems insignificant. Somethings that I thought were important don’t seem to matter much now.  If those closets, drawers, and boxes get cleaned out, that’s good.  If they don’t, that’s good too. That list will be there when the time is right.  Our goal right now should be to survive this time with our spiritual, mental, and physical health intact. We brothers of widowhood continue to run our race with endurance. We’re all in the same boat, let’s just keep rowing.

Categories
COVID-19 Finding Purpose Giving Support Health Moving Forward Service

Growing through it

Jim Winner

Good morning brothers! Our nation continues working hard to get through the Coronavirus pandemic. I’m proud of all the front liners serving us all so well. If anyone reading this is a front-line worker, you have my heartfelt appreciation. I also hear people talk about how much they want their old life back. I hear people say, “things will never be the same.” I hear people say how out of control they feel. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone but me? If they’d only ask, I’d be glad to tell them they’re right. They will never get their old life back, life will never be the same, and no, they never were in control of very much. WE know that.

I think it’s very interesting the pandemic is coming right during the Easter season. Like most of you, I find myself being home a lot more. I have time to think about what’s important to me. I have time to think about how I want to be different after this all ends. By the way, it will end. I’ve seen more of my neighbors (from a safe distance) in the past two weeks than I have in the past six months! I’ve had good phone calls with friends from long ago. I’ve been much more aware of the need for community, and the importance of people in my life. I’ve been able to focus on taking care of me. I don’t want to lose any of that. It gives me hope that things won’t be the same. They may be better. We, collectively, may remember what’s important in life. I hope so.

In the Christian faith, this is Holy Week. This is the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. Tomorrow is what’s known as a good Friday. It’s the day of His crucifixion. We mourn that death. Three days later, on Easter Sunday, we celebrate His resurrection. We are reminded of our hope and promise of life eternal. I am comforted in my faith knowing that one day I will see my wife again. That’s a reason to celebrate.

This will be my first Easter without my beloved Joyce. Our house would have been decorated with all things Easter. She enjoyed family gatherings, coloring eggs with the neighbor kids, and lived her life as an Easter person, full of faith, hope, and love. I know many of you are going through your first Easter without your wives. I encourage you to have hope that you will continue to grow during the grief process. If Easter is a part of your belief, I know you will rest in the hope that you will see her smiling face again.

Wishing you all continued health and healing! ( wash your hands! )

Categories
Giving Support Moving Forward Widower Awareness

Where Can I Get Help?

Fred-18

WSN-MO: Widower to Widower with Fred Colby

If you are a widower looking for help, ideas, or support, this blog is for you!

While there are very few good books out there specifically for widowers, there are several organizations around the country that can provide help or direct you to the help that you need. 

Here are a few of the key ones that I have compiled to share with my fellow widowers.

Cancer Support Community: located in many communities to help families deal with the challenges of dealing with cancer and its consequences.

GriefNet.org: an online support group that offers specific online groups for loss of spouse or partner.

GriefJourney.com: offers online grief support and resources.

Griefshare.org: offers a listing of church-based grief groups in your area.

Grief Healing: a variety of articles, discussion groups, blogs, and more to help you through the grieving process.

Grief Support Services.org: provides a wide array of online services for fees.

Hospice Foundation of America: provides information about many hospices around the country and access to online articles about end-of-life and grief.

Meetup.com: provides access to many group activities in most areas, including grief groups.

Mygriefangels.org: lists hundreds of resources, including many specific to certain types of losses (e.g., due to cancer).

Modern Loss: provides articles written by people like you and me who have gone through the grief process and have something to share.

National Widowers Association: Lists widower support groups around the country as well as various resources that are helpful such as articles and blogs.

Online Grief Support: offers online support, including online groups, information about grieving, and even After Death Experiences.

Open to Hope: offers articles and talks on grief by real people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. They have sections specific to the loss of a spouse.

Pathways: offers hospice, palliative care, and grief & loss counseling services for all ages in northern Colorado.

Soaring Spirits International: provides a variety of online resources to assist widowed people in helping each other.

The Grief Toolbox: A resource for books, articles, and resources needed to educate ourselves and our loved ones on what is happening and how to best keep going forward.

Widower to Widower: offers free blogs, resources, podcasts, and links to many other organizations.

Widowers Support Network: provides “Widowers Support Network – Members Only,” a free and private online Facebook page for widowers where hundreds of widowers from around the world provide mutual support, humor, and ideas to help fellow widowers through this experience.

If you need help during this strange and crazy time, don’t hesitate to reach out to these groups or your brothers in grieving. To go it alone is not healthy for you or others. We were not made to be isolated and alone, and that is not what our wives would want for us either. So, honor your wives by reaching out to others for help when you need it, and to help others when they need it.

© Copyright 2020 Fred Colby

All rights reserved

——————————————————————————

Fred Colby is the author of Widower to Widower, which is available on Amazon.com. You can find Fred’s column appearing here on WSN-MO every other Tuesday. Widower to Widower is available through your local bookstore, my website, and Amazon. Buy Widower to Widower through Amazon. (If living in Canada go to Widower to Widower – Amazon-Canada) See Testimonies and Reviews of Widower to Widower. Website: Fred Colby, Author