Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story

For those of you who have lost a spouse, you may have reached a point of readiness to look for love once again.

I was 46 years of age, a widow of seven years, and a veteran of a happy twenty-year marriage at the time I began this process.

Although I was told that it would take from five to seven years for me to feel truly healed from the wound inflicted upon my heart from my late husband’s unexpected death at the age of 41, I really did not believe it. After all, seven years sounded like a very long time!

I must admit, though, that the seven-year mark did make a difference. It is not that I grieved deeply the entire seven years, or that I even grieved the same way and for the same things each year, but somehow at that juncture, it just felt different. Perhaps there is something to the theory that states there is a natural release of energy every seven years, which encourages one to move forward and make changes.

As this seventh year was upon me, I knew I had moved through my grief journey in a healthy and successful manner to reach a point of readiness to search for love once again. How confusing it was, yet at the same time how wonderful and exciting!

And, although I was relatively new to the dating game, I did have the experience of a successful twenty-five year relationship history, so I knew what it took to have a good relationship. However, it had been a long time since my last date – 27 years, to be exact -- and I just wasn’t sure how to find one again!

At first, I approached it as a science lesson as I examined the environment and specimens carefully. Over time (and many dates!), I refined my attitude and techniques to become a happy and successful dater, and, eventually, I found a new love.

I chronicled my journey in Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story. It is a blueprint to help readers redesign their future so they, too, can begin to the write the new story of their life, which may include a new love connection.

A seminar on Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story will be presented at Camp Widow 2010, a weekend-long gathering of widows from across the country and around the world. Being held in San Diego, California on August 6-8, 2010, it is a place where the participants come together to create a community of people who understand the life altering experience of widowhood. Camp Widow provides practical tools, valuable resources, and peer-based encouragement for rebuilding your life in the aftermath of the death of a spouse.

Camp Widow is a program of the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation , an organization which works hard to provide a national network of support for anyone grieving the loss of someone they love--with a special emphasis on those who have been widowed. SSLF offers a variety of programs intended to connect its members for the two-fold purpose of providing peer based support opportunities and connecting the many wonderful organizations that provide services offering comfort for those traveling the difficult journey of grief.

I hope you will be able to join me at the conference!

Ellen Gerst, a Life Coach who specializes in grief and relationships, is the author of A Practical Guide to Widow/erhood. Born out of Ellen’s own experiences as a young widow, A Practical Guide provides "how-to" information to help a griever re-adjust each aspect of his/her life without his/her loved one. Her newest book, 101 Tips and Thoughts on Coping with Grief, is an easy-to-read reference guide filled with suggestions for every day use on moving forward through the grief journey. Ellen has also written Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story, a step-by-step guide on how to redesign your life to include a new love connection after the loss of a mate. For more detailed information on products and services, visit her website.

Photo by tanya b/StockXchng

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Comment by janice garrett on April 25, 2010 at 9:36pm
Itruly feel for you I lossmy husband Dec 3 2009 and it is the hards thing that I myself have been thought I wasn't with him when he dies he was hit by a car about two miles from home by my next door nebior I was told that it is very normal to cry but you have to look at the good thinks that you had and the thing you shared as a coupleand be happy that he is not hurting anymore I didn't think I would make it this far but time does help and the support from freinds and family. good luck and stay busy
Comment by Kenyada Mabone on April 16, 2010 at 3:00pm
Hello my name is Kenayda and what wonderful kind words you speak. I lost my husband Feb 10, 2010 he passed in my hand which most people don't get to share those last moments with their loved one but I did. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be there when my husband was crossing over I had tears but I was happy that he was pulled out of his pain. I cry every day for him or almost every other day several times a day to the point where I am sick, I don't have a taste for food or nothing I just cry for my husband. I have tried to get into a group here in minnesota but I cannot find anything so I just cry. I wished that I could be apart of this conference that is coming up in Aug but I don't think that I will make it. I just want to share my feeling to you and maybe you can e-mail me back with what I can do to pull myself together. thank you kenyada

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