Finding Your Way after Your Spouse Dies
by Marta Felber

A Review by Donald Mitchell, a management consultant from Boston:

The Gentle Hand of Experience Grasps Yours!

Statistically, almost half of us can expect to outlive our spouses, usually as widows. The better the marriage . . . the greater the loss can be. Even losing a loved one after a troubled marriage can be a trial as you deal with loneliness and unaccustomed challenges and responsibilities. While many people can advise us about how to handle the legal, financial, and etiquette issues involved, only someone who has lost a much-loved spouse can help us deal with the emotional issues and grieving process. We are fortunate that Ms. Marta Felber has accumulated her experiences into a guide for us all.

Finding Your Way after Your Spouse Dies is divided into 63 brief “step by step” perspectives on the situations that you will face. While each one has a number of good suggestions, you will probably find much of your comfort in the brief prayer designed to capture the spirit of each one, and in the Old and New Testament Bible readings selected to accompany the prayer. I liked the advice. It calls for facing up to grief, but also reaching out for comfort, advice, and to new beginnings when you are ready. The book is especially helpful in building observations to help deal with painful milestones, like one year after the spouse’s death, birthdays, your anniversary, and going out to do something alone that you used to do with a spouse.

The book also has many references to other books and resource groups that will help you refind the beauty of God’s love and world. There’s a delicate balance between being supportive and lecturing, between sharing and demanding a certain reaction, and between describing an experience and wallowing in its misery. Ms. Felber has the good taste and judgment to hit these balances just right, so you are experiencing with her rather than feeling her loss added to your own. Nicely done! As I read this book, I also thought about how people who have not lost a spouse should read this book in order to be more helpful to people who have.