Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dealing with New Loss or Grief During the Holidays

I recall very well the first holidays, anniversaries and birthdays alone as a widow. Sometimes you want to be with others and other times you will want to be alone. It's important not to isolate yourself, but do be kind to yourself during these stressful moments. If you need to cry, do so. If you need support, ask for it. True friends and family that love you will be there to lend support. Sometimes we're afraid to ask for that support, but on the other side, sometimes those friends aren't sure what to do for you, even if it's just listening while you talk or sitting quietly with you for support.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sorting Through the Old Loss to Welcome the New Year

This is one of my more heavier posts in many months. But ultimately, it is a timely post as we get ready to welcome a new year. I always love the advance of a new year. There are so many possibilities ahead, so many avenues and opportunities for life in all of us.

For the last several months I have been working with life coach Janet Greene of Greene's Release, through some issues that had lain dormant, unbeknownst to me, in the last five or six years. I guess some of the upwelling of emotional dramas I had been feeling this month were undealt with shocks and memories from the past. Certain events seems to bring these emotional dramas close to the surface; resulting in a feeling of being stuck in place, annoyance, resignation and even a sense of apathy and regression.

I received a small gift in the mail at the beginning of December from a well meaning person. The gift set off this chain of thoughts and unexpected feelings, stirring memories that had remained buried for many years. There's a book out called Feelings Buried Alive Never Die and without having read that book, that would be the gist of this post today. Sometimes we feel the need to bury feelings so we can go on living day-to-day. We're not always aware we've buried them. At times it feels like the easist thing we can do for ourselves is ignore pain that rips at us, just let it be and hope it will go away with time.

Well, this is five years down the road and it just so happens this month some of that buried emotion started to unbury itself and I felt like I was literally being swamped all over again, in grief. I didn't understand what was happening and I didn't want to even look at what was causing the problem -- but I had to. So I made the decision to address what the heck was going on. I felt I had come so far in my life on my life after loss journey, and yet December I learned I hadn't sorted through everything in regards to this loss.

My friend of 18 years passed away at 53 years of age the week before Christmas. Since I'd known she was sick with cancer in February of this year, I had a heavy feeling for the outcome. I wondered did I have that feeling because my husband had died from cancer also? She had endometrial cancer and it was quite advanced. The doctors gave her a variety of mixed outcomes, but in my mind I felt it was the end.

I supported her as best I could, but all the time I was peddling toward what I feared was the inevitable outcome of this disease for her. She did everything the doctors suggested, the treatments they set up for her, beginning in March. They operated, they did the chemo and the protocols. My friend grew progressively weaker. One of the many times I went to see her in the hospital -- I thought I was in the wrong room. I didn't recognize her. I am glad she was asleep and didn't know of my instinctive move to back out of the room.

She remained cheerful and upbeat, even though she said to me several times she didn't think she was going to make it. Immediately after the chemo treatments, which went on for months, the doctors said she was in remission. This did not make sense to me, given her weak, debilitated state. My friend wondered about that also, but continued to trust in her doctor's care. What else could she do? She refused to have hospice, she said to her it was like giving up. I explained that my husband had been on hospice for pain control for seven months, and if they wanted to help her, let them have someone with her during the day to help her. It was a difficult situation for her, from my perspective. She was proud, independent and had always been very self-sufficient, raising 5 kids on her own. Now, she was dependent on others for her care and it remained difficult for her to accept that care, even to the point where at times I could see she pushed her family away.

In the end, her family and friends were with her in the hospital when she died. I was there the last hour also. I had driven that night, making the 3 hour round trip. I was going to wait until the next day but something inside urged me to go that night. I arrived to find her comatose, hooked up to a respirator. I could see it was pumping the oxygen into her. The only time she responded was when her son told her he was going to bring her dog in to see her. My friend had always had an incredible rapport with and love of her animals. This is the only time I saw her open her eyes when they mentioned her dog. I said my goodbye to her and told her I would miss her, and then knowing they were going to remove the life support, I left. She died as I was half way home, I later found out. I went to her funeral and it was a nice service with people getting up and speaking of my friend in honest and thoughtful ways. As I sat there the hot tears came to my eyes went down my cheeks. I pondered the loss and said the final goodbye, knowing she was somewhere in that church.

That same week my neighbor's pregnant daughter lost her baby in childbirth. They did everything they could to save the baby boy, but his organs were failing and he had been deprived of oxygen and nutrients inutero. It was incredibly sad to think of this young couple, the week before glowing with anticipatory happiness of the impending birth. I felt sad for my neighbors, the grandparents, because they too had lost a child many years before at birth. I sometimes wonder how this all works out in each of our lives -- the ripple effects it has on each of us, not only immediately but many years later. The sadness of loss is so very real and deep. But it gets deeper when we bury it within ourselves. It comes out in various ways through the years in actions and emotions -- and we're not always aware of the source of these emotions. When the emotional shock isn't dealt with, it festers beneath the surface, an unscabbed, unhealed wound.

The little gift I received triggered something within me this month, followed by the two deaths one upon each other. The gift was a keepsake ornament given to me by someone who had a good heart but mistakenly
thought this would be of comfort to me. It was meant to hang on a tree or in your house and you insert a picture of your loved one and it says "Remember me".

I felt this gift was out of place in my life, after five years. I had moved my life forward, the emotions looked at and dissected fully, and to have this ornament show up now stirred up the remnants of tears and emotions as yet undealt with.

I will donate the gift to someone newly bereaved, because it is not something that I need any longer. I have a small area in my house where there are pictures of my husband, myself and my kids. The loss no longer hurts but is a gentle remembrance of a life that has changed and evolved to who we are as individuals and as a family today.

I am through this month being bogged down with vague feelings of depression and fear, facing the tears inside that I've left uncried, the feelings that I've let go unacknowledged. Feeling these buried emotions, letting them speak fully to me, is a gift to myself for a new year of new beginnings. I am free of the chains of my emotional enslavement. The fears which held me are dissolved and blown away.

Janet Greene is a Life Coach who developed the Greene's Release method. You can learn to release what's holding you back from being truly happy and successful and living your true potential. She can be found at">

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss" available in ebook

I am up and running! "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss" is available in ebook format. You can order it from my website"> or a link on this blog, to the right. $8.95 for an instant download with artwork. Thanks for asking!

Monday, December 15, 2008

DeStressing the Holidays

The holiday seems full of stress, and perhaps we set ourselves up for this stress. Does everything have to be perfect, from our homes to our decorations, to the holiday baking that has to be just so? Can we cut ourselves some slack? Right now a good friend of mine teeters on the brink of dying. I've known since March that this day would come. Also, the newborn infant of a young couple I know passed away this week, living barely an hour. I know a man who lost his wife quite recently, so he's suffering the loss of a spouse through this holiday season, a time when many of us may take our family and loved ones for granted. You always think they're going to be there, but I know from my own experience life can change in the blink of an eye. Hug them, love them, be there for them. Let them know you care.

When death comes close and enters your realm, hopefully you can really see what's important in life. And guess what, it's not about the little stuff like the lopsided tree or the latest toy that you think your child has to have. Perhaps we simply must define in our hearts what the true meaning of these holidays is to each of us. It may be something as simple as enjoying your family and seeing what they really mean to you. Forget the presents, forget the running around crazy for the perfect gift. The love and appreciation for life starts inside each of us. I hope never to lose sight of that truth. I learned it the hard way, and I would not wish that lesson on anyone.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Articles on Grief

I have been working the last several weeks on new articles related to the grief process. This is a fairly new process for me, and these articles are based on the use of Greene's Release, a means of healing trauma. I'm compiling information and will be posting more on the subject in the coming weeks and months.

What if you found out there was a way to heal grief, really heal it, instead of letting time and distance bury it further from your thoughts and mind? Would you be interested in taking that route? I'm exploring this alternative right now.

Beyond 50 Radio Interview

On December 5th I was interviewed again by Daniel Davis of Beyond 50 Radio, for their Beyond 50's "Widowhood" talks. The interview is approximately 36 minutes.">

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Radio Interview by Linda Binns, Harmony In and Out

I will be interviewed tomorrow, Tuesday, by Linda Binns of Harmony In and Out. Turning Crisis into Opportunity.

EVENT: Elaine Williams Interview
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 2nd at 8:00pm Eastern Time
FORMAT: Simulcast! (Attend via Phone or Webcast -- it's your choice)

Sometimes You Need to Cry

Sometimes You Need to Cry
Elaine Williams ©2008

I recall a period in time, at about 18 months after my husband passed away, that I felt pretty good about myself. I had handled what life had thrown me and come out battered, but mostly okay on the other side. After caretaking my husband for almost a year, I was battling some minor health problems of my own, related mostly to stress, but most days I was certain my life was on track. Steady and focused, my three boys were also adjusting and it seemed we all had a grip on reality.

On this day, I was on my way to an appointment with my holistic doctor when the radio began playing a song I had never heard before. The singer’s words stirred something inside me. The song spoke of loving someone through the years, and even with that person gone, the threads of memory remained.

The words reverberated through me, and I experienced almost a kind of shock as their meaning sank in. Out of nowhere, I began to cry so hard I had to pull off the road. I had no control over the rush of anguished emotion. All my hard won calm fled, chopped off at the knees as I hugged the steering wheel of my car.

I cried as if a great well had opened inside and pulled my guts out. When I finally began to calm and the tears subsided, I had to wonder where this emotional outburst had come from. How could a song open a wound of such profound loss?

I arrived at my doctor’s office, and as usual with holistic doctors, they not only want to know about you physically, but they dig deeper into the emotional aspects of your life. I hesitated only briefly before telling him what had occurred on the way to his office. I felt embarrassed by my earlier semi-breakdown. I tried to explain that I’d been feeling good, and then to suddenly have this upheaval had thrown me for a loop.

He explained it was to be expected there would be days where emotion could still catch me by surprise. With the loss still relatively fresh in my life, how could I expect to be 100%? I admitted to him that I’d been feeling excruciatingly lonely, but I thought I was handling it. Some days my idea of “handling” it meant ignoring or burying my feelings. Always a very private person, I hadn’t shared much of my thoughts with anyone. When friends asked how I was doing, I would usually say I was okay. Inside, I kept thinking, who wants to hear that I just want to get through another day?

I felt much better after speaking with him. Not only was he a sympathetic ear, it felt good to open up and share my worries about being alone, my concern for the kids’ welfare and fears that I wasn’t handling my finances to my best advantage.

We talked extensively about the triggers that stirred my own private misery. Something as straightforward as a song, or as complex as past memories, seemed to have the power to entrench me in great emotion. He made me realize there would be times I merely needed to cry as part of grief’s healing process. There was nothing complicated about it. Each time we are brave enough to reach down and allow our true emotions out, it brings a little more healing into our lives. As time passes, and we remain true to ourselves, a new sense of empowerment emerges.

Monday, November 24, 2008

November Book Contest Winners!

Diana D. and Nancy C. have each won a copy of "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss" in the November book contest giveaway.

If you'd like to enter for the December contest, please send an email with ENTER ME in the subject line, to

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some Great Books in These Times of Need

Below is a list of some wonderful books and resources in these times of economic and emotional turmoil.

A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss by Elaine Williams
A Widow's journey through loss, grief and renewal
Midwest Book Review - 5 Stars

Book: Money and Manifesting by Dyan Garris. Why the Law of Attraction is not enough to manifest and exactly what to do about it. Learn to manifest in a multi-dimensional, integrative way.

Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient
When she was suddenly assaulted by myriad baffling symptoms of joint pain and extreme fatigue, the author embarked on an intensive search for diagnosis and treatment of what would be diagnosed as systemic lupus erythematosus, a little-known autoimmune disease that promised to destroy her body, her mind and her spirit. From the pages of her intimate daily journal, we travel with her through chronic joint pain, frustration, anger and grief for her former self to her current state of remission. Far from being a litany of complaints, the author’s pages reveal her unexpected spiritual growth and gratitude for life itself, and she hopes she can be of help to others who suffer from this disease or other chronic illness.
Contact: marilyncmorris@ sbcglobal. net

Invisible Blueprints -- Intuitive Insights for Fulfillment in Life by Diane Brandon – 5-Star Rating on

Invisible Blueprints encapsulates information Diane Brandon has gained through her integrative intuitive counseling work with clients and covers such topics as personal growth and unfolding, essence, relationship types, soul agreements, purpose and mission, reincarnation, spectrum of consciousness, manifesting, and even how readings are evolving from "fortune-telling" to counseling and personal facilitation.
Available on and www.dianebrandon. net/products. asp.
Contact: diane@dianebrandon. com

Law of Achievement; Discover Your Purpose, Possibility and Potential
Law of Achievement offers a rare look into what it really means to discover your purpose, possibility and potential. Kathleen and Lori dare to reveal uncommon and rarely explored philosophies in this unique book.
Message of Hope; Inspiriational Thoughts for Uncertain Times
Message of Hope offers invaluable, inspirational, highly recommended perspectives for dealing with life's uncertainties, especially those arising from change, loss, death, and fear. Each single page observation is worth of contemplation and reflection.
Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer
P.O. Box 551
Pleasant Hill, OR 97455
541.654.0426 (blog) (spiritual blog)

How to Heal from Psychic Attack the Problem Solvers Alphabet by Nita Hickok ISBN 1411688708
The Problem Solvers Alphabet uses symbols to cleanse, clear and resolve problems in the persons life to empower them in all of their decisions. Nita http://www.lulu. com/astralhealer

Bringing to Beneficial Law of Attraction: The Manifestation Teachings her extensive studies in ancient and contemporary wisdom and philosophy, Ms Bradford has acquired more then a quarter of a century expertise in Clinical and Transpersonal hypnosis. In spite of her extensive professional credentials, she could never have imagined the singular psychic event that would transform her life. Commencing in the winter of 2004, a hypnosis client, Lena Lees spontaneously channeled twenty-eight sessions delineating Eastern goddess of Compassion, Kuan Yin's modern spiritual scriptures. Witness and transcriber of these sessions, Ms. Bradford then compiled them into the extraordinary manuscript, The Living Word of Kuan Yin: The Teachings and Prophecies of the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy. Distilling from that work, the essence of the goddess teachings, Ms. Bradford now brings to you the highlights of Kuan Yin's world-renowned compassion along with the next generation of manifestation sciences.
The Living Word of Kuan Yin <"">Click here to go to the webpage.

Beneficial Law of Attraction: The Manifestation Teachings: www.lawofattractioninfo.

by: Joyce A. Anthony
"Who he is and why he's here is a mystery, even to Storm--a mystery that can only be solved within the whirling rainbow. As he searches for answers, he touches the lives of society's forgotten and when he finds his identity, nobody is left untouched."

A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story available through Learn to write a book, what publishing options you have, and how to market for success!
Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power
Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power offers practical and fun ways for parents to develop and nurture maximum brain power from the womb to baby’s first birthday!

Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year
With its realistic portrayal of the many ways that life is changed after the baby is born, Oh, Baby offers practical advice and sensitive know-how to help you survive -- and even thrive! -- in the first year.

It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence
In It’s Twins, parents of multiples tackle the important questions on raising twins of any age with plenty of tips, tales, tricks-of-the-trade, trivia and more.
Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power
Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year
It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence

MAY I SEE YOUR HAND? Palm Reading for Fun and Profit
A How-To book for Asian Palmistry
All the information everyone needs to go forward with anmate or to learn how to find theirs.
Also 46 short stories from soul mate palm reading clients.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Relationships, Love, Romance and Soul Mates
The title/sub title give away the whole story of this book.

Palm Reading Sessions from 1956 to 2003

Myrna Lou Goldbaum
Palmist/Psychic/ Author
www.soulmateconneci tons.blogspot. com
Myrna Lou Goldbaum
PO Box 19081
Boulder CO 80308

Healing the Shadow
An in-depth look into the human shadow, how it affects us and how to heal it.
A book for the advanced spiritual seeker providing a host of helpful techniques and insights.
Journey to Enlightenment
A contemporary view into the transformational process called life.
Ross Bishop
201 Jefferson Drive, Palmyra, VA 22963-2325
(434) 589-3902

web site:

OWEN FIDDLER (Sing along to the tune of the Beatles' "Nowhere Man")
Has a selfish point of view, why he's such a fool, no clue. Isn't he a bit like me and you?
Owen, man, please listen. You don't know what you're missing. Owen, man, your world is at your command!
He's no role model for you or your kids, but reading his story will learn ya a thing or two, and that's a fact. This is an entertaining, thought-provoking, humorous and spiritually insightful book which will surely have you thinking about your own life. Hey you – yeah, you! Do you like to dance? Don’t forget to pay the fiddler!

Title/Author: "Meet Your True Self through Meditation" by Swami Shyam

Description: A view of the Self through the eyes of the enlightened being.
Reading this book transforms one's consciousness into the state of
meditation and knowledge of the Self as the free Space. Written in an
engaging and intimate style, the text explains what to expect from
meditation with a gentle explanation of the practice, and includes
anecdotes; a clear description of the meaning of the super state of
consciousness; references to the Bhagavad Gita; and the technique of
meditation that anyone can follow.

Available at:

Juliana by Adelle Laudan
Juliana's healing journey after an abusive marriage.
BUY link

Title: In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation
By Jane Rosalea Booth
ISBN: 978-1-4251-2004-7
To order: or
A simple daily approach to meditation, ancient wisdom and inner
peace, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation is a guide
for exploring our inner sanctuary and reminds us to live each moment
from the natural, peaceful place where we are closest to God.

Once Upon a Time There Was You: Three Magic Secrets to Finding Your Real Self
More than just another self-help book to discover new ways to find yourself but rather a journey to the center of yourself and back out again that gives you the key to YOU and also helps you to fit it into the lock and turn it.
Contact: 310-264-5625; or

"Core of Your Business"
one line description: An empowering workbook to help you get in touch
with the core of your business. Exercises for listening and
strengthening your small business.
contact: http://www.coreofyo urbusiness. com
Kaya Singer kaya@awakeningbusin 503-493-1199

Debra Oakland
Living In Courage Online

A Spiritual Oasis for Overcoming Life's
Biggest Challenges
The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to WriteA dynamic blend of inspiration and instruction for anyone in any genre seeking to write more effortlessly, flowingly and engagingly.

The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy-The critically acclaimed, award-winning visionary novel that will change your life.
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)Paperback: 244 pages . Publisher: ePress-online (September 18, 2008) ISBN-10: 1934258245 , ISBN-13: 978-1934258248,Amazon Link: ,Fictionwise Link:
Five planets visibly align in the dawn sky marking the long-awaited Kamali's Cycle. Based on ancient prophecies, Elita's faith carries her to the first portal where she is faced with a choice; the risk of never seeing her home again. Upon entering the first gate, there's no turning back. Her faith quest thrusts her into a one-way race against time, before the planets move out of alignment and the gates close for another 50 years. Follow Elita on this life transforming mission to free her home world.
Windwalker (Fantasy),Paperback: 220 pages ,Publisher: epress-online (September 14, 2007) ,ISBN-10: 0977222489 ,ISBN-13: 978-0977222483,Amazon Link: ,Fictionwsie Link:
The peace-loving Stygian people trust in their ancient prophecies predicting the coming of the Arich-their savior. Paranoia and fear prompt the issuance of royal Jonnick decrees designed to thwart his coming. Midwives ordered to report the birth of any child born on a moonless night know it means death to the child. Effects of the law trickle to the present where Manelin, a social outcast, and Jalil, a lame Jonnick girl ordered to be killed at birth find themselves thrust into the midst of unfolding prophecies and a world on the verge of annihilation.
Bartlett’s Rule: A novel about love, patience & hope.
Reach the author at:

POLARIZING YOUR LIFE TOWARD PERFECTION, Philip F. Harris. Alter your life and you reality and learn how to use The Law of Attraction!
COLLECTED MESSAGES: GUIDES FOR PERSONAL TRANSFORMATIOM, BOOK I AND II, Philip F. Harris. Discover tools for better health, relations, abundance, awakening and more.
JESUS TAUGHT IT, TOO: THE EARLY ROOTS OF THE LAW OF ATTRACTION, Philip F. Harris. In the top 2% of all books at Amazon since October 2007. 2nd edition now available from ALL THINGS THAT MATTER PRESS


"Eight and Beyond." Title track from "Eight" CD by Dyan Garris. Part of the Spiritual Toolbox(TM),This CD is 12 tracks of music for ascension and is #8 in the now complete series of music and meditation for Automatic Chakra Balance(TM), relaxation, help in sleeping, and vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit.

"Elements of Grace." An MP3 from the recently released "Eight" CD by Dyan Garris. Part of the Spiritual Toolbox(TM),This CD is 12 tracks of music for ascension and is #8 in the now complete series of music and meditation for Automatic Chakra Balance(TM), relaxation, help in sleeping, and vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit.

DVD's by Gurutej go to to purchase
1. Awakening the Intuition for Women: Our Intuition is our link to the source of all creativity. Loosing this gift is one of our biggest losses, it is losing the inner voice of our soul.
2.Mental Clarity; Would you like to be more clear, alert and present in the moment? If yes, this is you new best friend.
3.Strengthening the Immune System: Stress compromises our immune system and today we all need help to uncompromising it.
This is the support for your immune system that is always available to you.
4. Kundalini Yoga for Balanced Chakras: Your energy centers are crucial to every part of your life. This will help you have a balanced life. Try it.


"A Journey Within Meditation -- Introductory Guided Meditation" by Diane Brandon

An introductory Guided Meditation recorded by Diane Brandon, Integrative Intuitive Counselor, Radio Host, & Author. This meditation, almost one hour in length, allows you to experience meditation by going to a deeper level of consciousness, as well as to find your own answers within and achieve deep relaxation and relief from stress. Diane's voice is soothing and expert, as well as adept in guiding people into deeper levels of consciousness. Available as MP3 file or CD. For more information or to order, go to either or Contact Diane at

Healing Methods – CD
Advanced healing methods for the spiritual seeker.
The Shamanic Journey – CD
The ancient shamanic journey process explained.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Making Claims on Military Life Insurance

Below is a link to a blog written by "L.A. Sosnowski, a veteran of the behind-the-scenes insurance field, whose goal is to help consumers buy smarter and get their money's worth."

L.A. Sosnowski writes: "In honor of Veterans Day this year, I want to help the families of military veterans get their proper benefit checks for life insurance policies held by service persons. IF you have kept up your military group life insurance policy during service (if still in uniform) or after discharge, you (or rather your beneficiaries) should be able to get the VA to accept your claim. Just read this article and go to the link given below to find the claim form."

Go to the link below for full information.">

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Widowed or Divorced -- Alone During the Holidays

Widowed or Divorced -- Alone During the Holidays
Elaine Williams ©2008
I understand the pain of being left alone during the holiday season, and the pain is especially acute for a new widow.

For many people, holidays center around family and celebrations, and this time of year can be one of the most difficult times to get through. After the loss of your partner there’s nothing quite as painful as that emptiness, whether it’s a holiday once shared, or an anniversary or birthday.

Even if the loss is due to divorce, it is still a major life change, subject to emotions of loss, anger or perhaps feelings of abandonment. Through the holidays these emotions may surface and be experienced more strongly than other times of the year.

Some may argue that death of a spouse is out of your control and therefore worse than divorce. If the partner you love has divorced you, your choice has been taken away -- similar to losing someone to death. There’s also the added complication of perhaps feeling as if you've been thrown away, an understandably devastating experience. I have experienced both divorce and death, and the aftermath in each instance is neither pretty nor painless.

Does losing a partner in death hurt more than divorce? Losing someone you love, regardless of how that occurs, is a permanent wound on the heart. During holidays and special times, try not to totally isolate yourself, thereby adding to moments of stress or alienation. Allow family and friends to help you get through difficult times, even if it’s something as simple as picking up your children from school or helping you shop for groceries. You can still be alone with your thoughts to sort through your grief, but it doesn’t hurt to allow others to help absorb some of the heartache during this time of year.

Those who really care for you will be glad to assist you on your journey, so be open to accepting help from time to time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

November Book Contest Winner

November book contest winner is Melissa S. Congratulations. Anyone wishing to enter the December contest, please send an email to with ENTER ME in the subject line.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Depression and Loss

There seems to be a lot of notice being given to depression on the internet, some of them through different professional articles. I would caution that feeling 'depressed' due to loss of a loved one, is different from other forms of depression. For some, getting through the grief process can take time. It is a process unique to each individual and not to be rushed. However, having said that, there is nothing wrong with getting help to get through the rough spots in life. Sometimes we need a little something more than what we can do for ourselves. Sometimes all we need is an ear or a shoulder, so don't be afraid to seek professional help, if life is getting you down.

I've also been exploring other healing methods, and I'm currently working with Janet Greene of Greene's Release at"> to explore her method of healing ourselves and finding the real you. It involves methods to heal through traumas and loss that have occurred in each of our lives. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Interview Wednesday with Melanie Anderson

Melanie Anderson, romance writer, is interviewing me at her blog tomorrow. Melly's tongue in cheek humor is sure to be a hoot.">

The Sea at Dusk

Another lovely day by the Sea

I usually take a short vacation after working all summer in the heat. It's the best time of year, the Fall, as far as I'm concerned, to be by the sea. I love the sounds, smells and charm of the ocean. It just pulls me back every time. This year I got together with two writing friends I met by the sea last year, but a little further south. We decided to hang out for a week at this quaint little home on the ocean, so close to the waves the first night it was a bit intimidating to see them crashing just below my balcony. Oh, but to fall asleep each night with the sound of the ocean, there's nothing like it.

I spoke with my kids today and apparently there was 8" of snow with another foot or so expected before tomorrow. Brr. It's early for that, not even Halloween. So I sit here typing and writing and looking out my balcony at the cloud studded sky, and I'm thankful for what and who I have in my life. It's absolutely perfect.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

November Author of the Month at Women and Hope

I just received the wonderful news that I will be November's Author of the Month at the Women and Hope Website">.

"Women & HOPE is all about women coming together from all over the world with a selfless spirit to support one another in achieving their goals so that every woman is successful in every aspect of her life and is living her best life." Women and Hope Founder, Dr. Deitra C. Payne Ph.D.

Help For Widows Who Suffer Alone During The Holiday Season

Press Release
2008-10-25 15:27:27 -

Award winning author and contributing writer Elaine Williams understands the pain of being left alone during the holiday season. Her book, A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss, offers a message of hope that is particularly needed by many left alone during this time of year.

'For most people,' stated Ms. Williams, 'holidays center around family and celebrations. For widows, especially new widows, this time of year is one of the hardest times to get through. After the loss of your partner there is nothing quite as painful as feeling alone during these special times.'

According to the U.S Census Bureau, there are approximately 700,000 new widows every year. Widows and widowers are not the only ones who suffer during this time of year. Surveys and studies also illustrate that a staggering 10% of all marriages end in divorce. The emotional problems that affect those experiencing widowhood or divorce can be overwhelming. These feelings are exacerbated during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's seasons.

32% of women aged 55 and older live alone, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss addresses the important issues involving loss created through death or divorce and offers real hope to those left alone and those left behind.

'I personally don't see much difference in dating after loss or following a divorce,' stated Ms. Williams, 'as both occurrences involve a major life change, subject to emotions of loss and anger or perhaps betrayal and abandonment. At no time do these feelings surface more strongly than during the holiday season. Some who have lost a spouse may argue that death is worse, being final and out of your control -- while divorce is a choice. I disagree. If the spouse you love has divorced you, the choice has been taken away from you, similar to losing someone to death. You also have an added complication of perhaps feeling as if you've been thrown away, an understandably devastating experience. I have experienced both divorce and death, and the aftermath in each instance is neither pretty nor painless.'

'Does the death of a partner hurt more than divorce? When you lose the person you love, regardless of how that occurs, it is a permanent wound on the heart. Loss of any kind is never easy. It can be especially difficult during the holidays,' stated Ms. Williams, 'but try not to totally isolate yourself during moments of stress; instead allow family and friends to help you get through difficult times. You can be alone with your thoughts to sort through your grief, but also remember to allow those who care about you to help you on your journey.'

A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss is a finalist in the USA Book News Best Books Awards for 2008. The book has received a 5 star rating from Midwest Book Reviews. Copies of 'A Journey Well Taken - Life After Loss' are available at her website. A portion of the profit from each book is donated to charity. Ms. Williams is available for media interviews by contacting her at the address below.

Elaine Williams
On Wings Press
Phone: 518-589-6229

Monday, October 20, 2008

2 Winners of A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss and NEW CONTEST November

October contest winners are Ellen G and Linda B. Thanks for entering. Anyone wishing to enter for the November contest, please send an email to with ENTER ME in the subject line.

Finalist USA Book News - National Best Books 2008 Awards!

One of my first emails I received this morning was exciting, in that I was notified by USA Book News that my book, "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss" had finaled in the Health:Death and Dying category of their National Best Books 2008 Awards. The winning book in the category was awarded to a book by New Horizon Press, Voices of Strength: Sons and Daughters of Suicide Speakout by Judy Zionts Fox, RN.

I was quite excited to find myself honored by such an award. It just proves the book is needed and will end up where it needs to go, and in whose hands it needs to be.

" is the premier online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses. Over 500 winners and finalists were announced in over 140 categories covering print and audio books. Jeff Keen, President and CEO of, said this year's contest yielded an unprecendented number of entries, which were then narrowed down to over 500 winners and finalists." (

For information on this award, please visit:">

International Women Writer's Guild in NYC

On Sunday I rode the train into NYC Grand Central Station and went to a writer's conference sponsored by the International Women Writer's Guild. They had agents on hand to meet and talk with about your writing projects. It was a wonderful experience and definitely time well spent. I have several agents who requested more information on my book, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss.

All in all it was a very enriching experience. It was also the first time I had the opportunity to do a pitch to several agents at once.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mental Health Radio Interview

The days have been so warm, almost balmy this last week. It's incredible to think we're into fall already, and winter soon will be upon us.

I've been listening to various blog talk radio shows lately and they've got some really wonderful speakers and topics. Everything from spiritual awareness to book talk. I've been on several shows myself and it's usually a pretty easy format. I have a radio interview coming up tomorrow, Thursday, on Mental Health Radio with Jacqueline Foreman and we'll be talking about "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss." You can listen live at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday at">

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Book Review, White Feathers by Pamela Jouan

"White Feathers," by Pamela Jouan is an eloquent, moving tribute to her parents. As a widow, I know from personal experience there is no measure for grief when a spouse dies. I identify fully with the emotional turmoil you describe following this devastating loss, and also the chance to find joy in life again." Elaine Williams, author "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss."

The author, Pamela Jouan writes, "I wrote a book for my mother last year that I just self-published. It was originally a gift to her for what would have been her 40th wedding anniversary on that Easter Sunday. I have since published it with all proceeds benefiting cancer research. My father passed away from cancer 3 years ago this September...I have been getting tremendous response from widows who identify with the story.

White Feathers is the story of what would happen if we were given one more day with someone we had lost. The main characters, a couple called Charles and Ruby, are modeled after my parents—most of the details of their lives are all based in fact, as well as a few extraordinary points. Needless to say, my book weaves faith and hope into a tale about lost love and dealing with that loss.

In an effort to do a little more, I decided to publish my book and contribute all proceeds to cancer research. It is currently available through for purchase. I created a web site"> that talks more about my book and has a list of questions to base a book club discussion on."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Change of Pace

Recently I went to visit my oldest son in Maryland. We had a wonderful time, when the weather finally cooperated we walked around the inner harbor and through festivals and events they had going on throughout the city. It was a great time and nice to catch up with my son. I was a little nervous just before I flew, as I always get that way just before I get on the plane. I don't fly enough to be comfortable with it. My son also drove us to Annapolis and we walked around that historic and very beautiful town. It kind of reminded me of the narrow, one way streets of Marblehead, Mass, a small coastal town I lived in back in 1978.

I am going on a writing retreat next month to a lovely beach house in North Carolina. I am very excited about that. I'm meeting two friends there that I met last year at another writer's retreat in South Carolina. Kim is flying in from Iowa and Anna is driving up from Georgia. It should be so cool. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and be warm, sunny and no tantrums. I'm working on a new story and intend to get a good head start. I really get a lot of inspiration being by water.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Circle of Seven Radio Interview">

Seeing the Other Side of the Coin

Today my youngest looked over at me and asked me why I was different than other mothers. Curiously, I asked him in what way. He replied that I come up with some pretty strange and different stuff and he didn't know any other mother who would do that. I laughed and made a freakishly stupid face, almost automatically. He laughed too, and said, "yeah, stuff like that." (Or maybe he meant when he used to get off the bus and we'd run toward each other and belly bump. Or when we walked up the road and he was going on one hundred pounds and I'd offer to carry him on my back. Or maybe it was just me coming into the woods with him and hauling out firewood blocks because I didn't want him in the woods by himself).

Well, I told him, (unconcerned to look silly in front of my kids), it keeps life interesting. He agreed and said it was never boring. Coming from a sixteen year old, that is certainly a compliment. It quite made my day and I thanked him.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Circle of Seven Interview Friday, Sept. 19

I will be a featured author on Today's Author with Circle of Seven Productions. When I was first thinking about creating a book video to advertise my book A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss, I did an internet search for book videos and trailers and what kept coming up in the searches was the company COS, or Circle of Seven. They are the foremost leader in the book video world, and Sheila English started their service in 2002.

Please drop in, the radio spot is located at> and will be at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time. I will be interviewed by David Ewen, and I will be giving away two copies of A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss! Come join us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beyond Belief Video - September 11 War Widows

"Beyond Belief," is an award-winning and inspirational documentary film by Beth Murphy, about two 9/11 widows who cope with their grief by forming a cross-cultural foundation to raise money for widows in Afghanistan.

The film was featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last year and is now being released on DVD by Alive Mind at a>

With your help, $3 from each sale of this DVD will go to the organization formed by the two widows, Beyond the 11th at>

REVIEW by Elaine Williams, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss>

"In tragedy, often times it is the strongest who step forward and dare to make a difference.

As 9/11 widows Patti and Susan work through their own grief and loss, they move outside of themselves to highlight the extreme poverty of Afghanistan widows. Their personal journeys are enhanced by their efforts to empower these same women, strangers, half a world away.

This emotionally charged film draws you in from the first moment - it is a beautiful testimonial to the strength and courage of the human spirit."

For a limited time you will receive a 25% discount when you make a donation with your purchase. At checkout, please enter the coupon code 911HOPE25>

Note: I am not associated with this site, nor have I received any compensation.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Greene's Release - Freedom from Emotional Pain

I recently ran across an interesting blog by Janet Greene. Janet is the author of "Heal Your Self, A Journey to FIND You" and "Heal Your Heart, A Journey to find your SOULMATE". Also, "The Little Book of Secrets" and "The Road to Integrity." Each book shows the reader how to permanently heal emotions and beliefs that sabotage their life. Janet's technique is called Greene's Release.>

Excerpted from Janet's website;

"The Greene’s Release program will show you how to realize your life potential by showing you the steps to rediscover your innate ability to permanently resolve any issue, and open the door to the extraordinary personal growth that naturally follows each release." end of excerpt.

Janet offered to show me how The Greene's Release technique worked. I was intrigued and found the session deceptively simple and yet so effective in helping one get past hurt and deep pain. As a widow I have worked on getting to the root of issues that have bogged me down, but with Janet's direction, I reached down very deep and came up with information I had not fully expected or even known was blocking me. I dealt with unresolved pain, looking it fully in the face and literally blowing it away. What is left behind is a sense of calm.

If you take a look at Janet's website, you'll see more information on this deceptively simple process. She offers a relatively inexpensive workbook on the Greene's Release method which is available through her site or Amazon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Book Giveaway Reminder

I'm giving away two copies each month of A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss. Send an email with ENTER ME in the subject line to

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

5 Star Review by Midwest Book Review

5 Stars
A story that the recently widowed will take comfort in reading. September 2, 2008
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) -

"To love someone unconditionally for over twenty years and then have them snatched away, this one of the most heartbreaking experiences life can impose upon any of us. "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss" is Elaine William's reflections of her life after dealing with the death of her husbands. She deals with widowhood at a relatively young age and dealing with it through her writing, where she has done quite a few works from fiction to non-fiction to screenplays. Deftly written with an engaging sensitivity and candor, "A Journey Well Taken" is a story that the recently widowed will take comfort in reading."

New Review at

"A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss" has a new review at>.

Below is the beginning of the review by Ellensue Spicer: You can click on the link above to read it in its entirety.

"As a divorcee, I was under the naive impression that women who were widowed didn’t suffer the way divorced women did. After all, the person responsible for some of my pain was still walking around, often causing me more pain. At least, as a widow, there was some closure. But after reading Elaine Williams moving and courageous account of her “life after loss” (subtitle of her book), I revised my thinking completely..."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thoughts on Being Invisible

Have you ever had a moment or a day when you felt invisible? The world goes on around you, and yet, you feel of little consequence. Thoughts invade, what if I were to disappear, would anyone care -- would there be any impact on other lives? Yes, I know there would be, but in my five minutes of invisibility today, I wondered. How many others walk around this life feeling invisible and don't get through that feeling in five minutes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Taking Care of Business

Due to economics I've been busy thinking of ways to budget and cut costs before winter hits. I know, it's only August, but since it's all up to me, and with the rising prices of fuel, gas, and income changing, etc., I've come up with a few ways to go more carefully into winter. I've wrapped my hot water heater with insulation, and also the pipes. Today I put another 6 inches of insulation through my entire attic. I did it at night, but it was still about 95 degrees up there. There was a lot of satisfaction in taking care of this.

I've also bought a woodstove, they're more efficient than ever before, less emissions also into the atmosphere. I made a deal with my youngest son, who cuts wood and sells it, and I've been helping him split wood. So we're in good shape. There's still a few things that need to be taken care of around the property, specifically the barn roof needs to be nailed down better so it doesn't get lost this winter with the wind. I'm hoping to get away for a week, so we'll see what happens.

Review: Fatherloss, How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Death of Their Dads by Neil Chethik

"This is an excellent resource if you have boys who have lost their dad. My three boys lost their dad when they were 11, 18 and 19 respectively. It's been difficult knowing what was going on with them at times, emotionally and mentally, since each child reacted differently. Neil's book really helped me shed some light on certain behaviors and reactions, even now more than four years later. He gives many examples based on age groups of what to expect due to father loss, and what may be helpful to ease some of the pain due to that loss, and what a dad can do now for their sons. I really found this book helpful and would recommend it to anyone who has sons. The bottom line is, let your kids know you love them before it's too late."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Comparing the Death of a Spouse and Divorce

Can We Compare Death of a Spouse with Divorce?
Elaine Williams ©2008

I’ve been asked if the pain of divorce is comparable to the death of a spouse. Having experienced both scenarios, I can say yes and no.

Is there a difference in the emotional quality of life or the emotional devastation that occurs? Both are equated with feelings of abandonment, pain and emptiness.

Some widows and widowers will argue there is no comparison. Death is not a choice. It is life interrupted. Death leaves us with no options in the final round as compared to divorce. Divorce is a choice not to love the person you were married to – but in my opinion, “not always.” In divorce, there is one leaving and one left behind. Whether divorce or death, both situations involve distressing circumstances, equally divergent set of emotions, running on parallel lines, sometimes intermingling or converging. Neither situation is easy or quick.

From my own experience with divorce, I married young, but after two years the relationship became suffocating. I sought counseling, but nothing seemed to lift me from my despair. I was torn by the traditional values that were ingrained in me; that marriage is a commitment and sacred trust. The union I’d entered so hopefully and willingly two years before was slowly killing me emotionally and mentally. It came down to survival. I chose to save myself, and after six months of painful indecision, I left.

Even though I chose to leave, I suffered at hurting the person I had once loved, and no doubt I left devastation in my wake. It wasn’t until some 20 plus years later that I actually made contact with my ex-husband. I felt sympathy laced with sadness to learn he was dying. In our small town I had avoided him in the intervening years, and in the last months of his life, I acknowledged his presence, our past, by sending him a get well card that I truly meant. This minor contact let him know I forgave him for the past, and I forgave myself for closing all thoughts of him from my heart and mind. Did it change the decision I made to end our marriage years before, or open the way for any regrets? No.

A few months before he died I dreamed of him. We were both in water, but he was drowning. I pulled him out, got help and resumed what I was doing. He came back a short time later and thanked me for helping him. When I awoke, I realized that all our relationships leave a residue in our lives, imprinting us with their memories. Whether we end a relationship or someone walks away from us, there is pain, a sense of loss, a questioning of ourselves. Could we have been better, smarter, more loving?

We could avoid pain by not loving anyone, close down life and become angry and bitter. We might as well lock ourselves in a dark room and never emerge to experience life’s joy.

Life is filled with incredible loss and devastation after the death of a spouse, but there is an equally big hole when a divorce takes place, on both sides, whether we consciously choose to acknowledge it or not.

Is the pain of divorce and the loss of a spouse on equal footing? They each carry incredible pain and repercussions, abandonment issues that blast a hole in the heart. Why do we even need to compare? Both scenarios involve a death of someone we loved, a loss that is irrevocably seared on our hearts.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Book Contest Winners!

Kay and Candice have each won a copy of "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss." I will be offering a new contest for 2 individual copies of "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss" in September. If you'd like to enter, please send an email to with ENTER ME in the subject line.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book Review: Surviving Ben's Suicide by C.Comfort Shields

Recently, I was asked to review a book entitled "Surviving Ben's Suicide, A Woman's Journey of Self-Discovery" by C. Comfort Shields. My review follows:

"Surviving loss. Comfort Shields' story about surviving and living again after the suicide of her boyfriend is deeply personal and poignantly honest. Suicide is devastating, leaving loved ones bereft and with unanswered questions. Human life is frail, but as Comfort comes to understand, we are only responsible for our own actions and decisions. As much as we love another, we can only do so much to help them on their life journey, and the final decisions are up to each individual. Her story will reach out and touch many suffering along the same path."

Comfort's writing draws you into the story of her life as a young woman. And her love for Ben, a troubled young man. I am posting an excerpt with permission.

"...And then it hit me that I had been feeling lousy at work because I thought that I deserved it. I thought so because I believed that I was responsible for Ben’s death. But I wasn’t responsible for the choices that Ben made...
This revelation freed something inside of me, and I was able to go to work the following Monday and see myself through the eyes of the people around me. I knew I had made a mistake or two that week and that I would make another the next. I also knew, though, that most of the work I did was pretty good. And I knew that sometimes my boss might feel a little annoyed with me but wouldn’t have asked me to stay in my job if she had not wanted me there. Not only did I like and respect my boss, but she had become my good friend—even though I had not allowed myself to believe that she was my friend. . . .
I began to think about how Ben came to me—how he may have tried Sarah Lawrence as a last resort and how others had turned away from him. I started to feel proud that I had been there to reach out to him. And then I saw clearly that I had taken on a huge responsibility and that I had expected to win. The stakes were high. Life and death. Although Ben had not survived, at least I could say that I tried."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Living Fully

Life is certainly different after loss, and it's true we don't have a clue how it will turn out. I've changed in so many ways, grown stronger as new experiences have reshaped my life today. I try to remain open to living, and I am at a different place than I ever might have imagined. My life and interests have branched off on a totally different course than if my husband had lived. And at this time, 4 years later, I know life, despite everything, is good for me.

It has become vitally important for me to do the things I enjoy, even start new interests that I've always wanted to try. I've reshaped my life socially, because relationship dynamics change when you're no longer part of a couple. But all in all, I have grown and become empowered through this process. And grief is an ongoing process. It's so important not to shut down or get stuck in anger or bitterness. We can't allow ourselves to spin in place very long and remain stuck looking back at what we had and what might have been. Life is for living and I intend to live my share and perhaps a bit more.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Infant Bereavement and Remembrance Photography

Recently I came across the website of photographer Cherly Mauldin. Her photography services cover a wide range of subjects, but what I found very interesting were the services she offers regarding infant bereavement and remembrance photography. Cheryl belongs to a nationwide network of affiliated photographers who offer this service to families, called "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" at>.
You can see all the services available as well as contact information for families to get in touch with infant bereavement photographers in their area.

Cheryl's website blog with information and pictures is here.>

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Unbelievable Clematis July 27, 2008

Click on this picture to see the full size unequaled beauty of my clematis today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Win a copy of A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss

Beginning August 1st, I will be giving away 2 copies of "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss". To enter, simply send me an email with "Enter Me" in the subject line. Your email remains private. Send to

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome Changes Radio Interview Now Live

Today I was interviewed on Welcome Changes Radio by Velma Gallant, also known as "The Queen of Joy," a woman of growth, learning and expansion. Velma is an abundance coach who will help you create your life of joy, passion and freedom. Here is a link to listen to the show on July 22, 2008.>

I feel honored to have been interviewed on her show, and some of her past interviews include Neale Donald Walsch, author of the "Conversations with God" series and Mike Dooley, one of the teachers for the best-selling DVD and book "The Secret." Velma will also be interviewing Joe Vitale, "Mr. Fire," in an upcoming episode, as well as Kurek Ashley, an international entrepreneur and success coach.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"When Does Touch Become Critical" Featured on

I am now a contributing author on This site has a wealth of grief and loss related information from various authors and professionals. Please check it out.>

More Stages of Grief - Memorial Hospital Hospice

This site offers some more good information on the stages of grief. Following the five stages they also list "Grief and Stress" and "Recovering from Grief.">

Stages of Grief - It can be a Messy Process

From my own experience as a widow of four years, not only writing about grief the last several years but talking with others -- often times people don't understand the sometimes messy, non-linear and very individual grief process. There is no set way to do it. However, I've found the best way to "do it" is to take it day by day, sometimes moment by moment. No expectations, no hard and fast rules, just do what works to get yourself through it and into a better place emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

The Kubler-Ross Model defines the stages as follows: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Even Elisabeth Kubler-Ross stated that not everyone always experiences all of these stages nor are they experienced in a clear, linear fashion. Kulber-Ross talked about the above stages in relation to someone who is dying, and also those who have lost a loved one. However, these stages of grief can also be linked to a situation which involves a real or perceived lack of control over one's life.

In the end, it's interesting how we each handle life's "smackdowns".

Inspired Stamping with Sympathy Cards

I found this blog this morning by Annette Rolls, entitled, "How to Express Sympathy in Sympathy Cards. Supporting Others in the Loss of a Loved One." What's interesting about Annette's post, her suggestions are applicable to anyone having suffered the loss of a loved one, whether it is in relation to creating a special sympathy card or helping that person through their loss in daily life. Here is the URL.>

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Difference Between Love and Lust

The difference between love and lust: Love is when you want more than one moment of lust.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

SlideShow Lt. Col. Steven Beck, US Marine Corp. Assistance Officer

"In the book, 'Final Salute,' former Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler chronicle the experiences of a U.S. Marine Corps casualty assistance officer, Lt. Col. Steven Beck, as he calls on families in Colorado to notify them of a family members' death. Lt. Col. Beck talks about his duties captured in the photos.">

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tribute to our Soldiers, and the Widows

This is a tribute to our soldiers and the war widows. Every time I see this picture, it really hits me. Scroll down to look at the picture of the plane passengers above as a casket below is removed from their plane.>

Dancing all Over the World with Matt

Every time I see this video it makes me smile. It's so simple, a guy going around the world dancing in different places, and sometimes people join him. It's a video of life and joy. Here's Matt's home page.>
Click on the arrow below to play the video.


Friday, July 4, 2008 Interview

The latest interview is now available on Beyond 50 Radio at Talkshoe. Click on the July 2 show to listen. A Journey Well Taken. Show is 30 minutes. Host is Daniel Davis.>

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Websites that Roar - The Price of Love

I was searching grief-related blogs last week and ran across a posting by Roads "Websites that Roar."> and was surprised to find my blog mentioned. Also mentioned is 33 year old Marissa's story as told by her surviving husband, a dying man's journal, a single parent dad's story and Lesson's from Lou, a husband who died from cancer. All blogs mentioned are touching, relevant, differ in their scope, but they are all the same in grief.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Some Insight into Grief

I read an article recently about loss and grief. As a widow of four years, I can offer some insight into the grief process. I am 51 years of age. I was 47 when my husband of 20 years died from esophagus cancer at age 59. I took care of him for 11 months while he fought his best to survive. All cancer is devastating, but esophagus felt doubly so, since you cannot eat. He survived as long as he did only because he had a stomach tube inserted. My book is about mine and my family's experience during caretaking, my husband's death, and the emotional and mental turmoil following his passing. Not only for myself but also for my children.

The first thing I would say, based on my experience, is don't make any major changes in the first 12 months, and actually, for some people the time frame may be longer.

Grief is a constant up and down for many months and even years. Although I felt compelled to clear out my husband's clothes within the first month of his passing, at four years I still have moments from time to time where the loneliness of being a widow hits me and brings me to my knees for an hour or two. I consider myself in good form emotionally, mentally and psychologically, but again, loss still bites from time to time. It comes in quite softly and nips at me, and then I move on.

My life has taken unexpected twists and turns. I love my life, but also know that keeping my heart and mind open to living is part of the solution of living a full live. It's so easy to close down and be fearful, afraid to live or experience anything again. Many days in the beginning of loss, you operate in a numb state, where each day is an uninteresting series of events. I remember at one point being afraid that the numbness might never recede. I was afraid I would stay in that limbo. I had no interest in anything, except the wellbeing of my kids. I didn't care about my health, I just wanted each day to be over.

Thankfully, I grew into who I am today. I've learned to live on my own, support myself and be happy for the person I am. I've made some mistakes along the way, but I also learned from them.

In the early days I thought I would get through the grief quickly. I wanted it to be over and resolved. Of course, that's not how grief works. It takes its own time. Just when I thought I was doing okay, I'd get hit up the side of the head and emotional turmoil would take me on a ride.

One thing I did learn is "normal" is no longer what it used to feel like. I have created through trial and error a new normal, a new life. I have slid into it the last four years; sometimes with hurt and sometimes quite simply.

I never tried to break away from my past, afterall, my husband and I had 23 years together and three boys. But I came to realize for myself, I needed to redefine me, minus my husband. It's not easy. But it is possible.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Standing in the Face of Grief

If you allow grief to knock you down, get back up, because chances are it's not done. Grief can be a long, drawn-out process with valleys and huge hills. You think you're doing okay, you're keeping busy, but then suddenly, in a quiet moment, it hits you in the back of the head. The tears run unchecked.

When grief is done, you get back to your life. Don't fight it, but don't let it control your life either. Eventually, it'll seep away, you'll see what's around you once more, and your life will take on a sense of normalcy again. Accept that "normal" may be different than what you knew before. We all know that's life, and life is full of change.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Portion of Proceeds to go to Make a Wish and HospiceWit in S. Africa

Portion of Proceeds from book sales go to Make a Wish Foundation . Also HospiceWit in South Africa to buy board games, Magical AIDS Journey and Magical Maze Journey, to help children with AIDS and children grieving the loss of a loved one, respectively.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Complicated Grief" Study by UCLA Scientists

A new study by UCLA scientists suggests that long term or "complicated" grief may trigger neurons in the reward center of the brain.

We all experience grief in some measure throughout life. We live through the painful adjustment of the loss of a loved one -- the emotional and psychological lows. But for those suffering complicated grief, the normal grief reaction remains painful and debilitating, sometimes leading to suicidal thoughts or an inability to resume life, even many years later.

If you look at the MayoClinic site
you will see symptoms that apply to the grief process. I recognize my own grief journey in these symptoms.

What moves the grief into "complicated grief" is the extended period of time that these emotions continue to be apparent in the grieving individual. While I understand the grief process personally, I disagree with this article where it says "normal grief symptoms gradually start to fade within six months or so". From my own experience, I was just beginning to lose the numbness at six months and therefore becoming alive to my grief at six months. Does that mean I've suffered from complicated grief? I don't believe so.

What I do believe is the grieving process is very individual. I also believe that if grief continues and there is no quality of life resumed, then there is the possibility of complicated grief and professional help should be sought.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Grief is One More Journey in Life

In my habit of reading blogs of other's who have suffered the loss of a loved one, I am reminded again and again of those early, deep and entrenching emotions. In today's society where many want to just "get through it" or get it over with quickly, no matter what IT is, grief is just a process that takes its own time. It has its own agenda, based on you, the individual. No amount of prodding, sweet talking or ranting will make it move any faster through your life. The good news is, it does move on and we become a different person, and we can control the process, to some degree. We can seek help, support, and remain open to life. Through my four years of "widow" experience, I can attest to the fact that life does take on a new normal, as long as we don't shut down and close in upon ourselves.

I am sorry for the loss anyone suffers in life. It's not fair, we rant and cry, and I recall like it was yesterday the lost, desperate feelings. For a time I buried myself in my grief, my loss, and in the end I found that talking about it to a professional really helped me sort through my feelings, fears and emotions. I wasn't going crazy, even though at times it hurt so bad I didn't know which way to turn. I also started a journal, and if I felt desperately unhappy, I would write in my journal. So cry, be angry or just stare out the window if that's what you need to do today, but don't be stuck in it day after day. I learned in the beginning to get through each day as best I could, with no expectations of anything. It's just the way grief is. Take your time to naviagate this new life, and you may find, as I have, that keeping your arms and heart wide open to life, will bring you unexpected joys and experiences. Trust me, there is life after loss, it just takes a bit of traveling to get there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mom Minus Dad Resource Guide

"In her groundbreaking book, Jamieson Haverkampf shares how she and her sister, in their early 30’s, found success and managed struggles during their journey after their father’s death. This jam-packed resource guide is filled with more than 500 invaluable Web sites, companies, government resources, U.S. laws, books, and nonprofit organizations to assist adult children who seek support while they aid a newly widowed parent." From

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Getting Hit with the Alone Bug

I got bit yesterday by that loneliness thing again. I wish I could figure out the trigger, because then I'd seek it out and chop it off at the knees.

Elaine Williams' Review "Beyond Belief" Documentary

"Beyond Belief," is an award-winning and inspirational documentary film by Beth Murphy, about two 9/11 widows who cope with their grief by forming a cross-cultural foundation to raise money for widows in Afghanistan.

The film was featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last year and is now being released on DVD by Alive Mind at

With your help, $3 from each sale of this DVD will go to the organization formed by the two widows, Beyond the 11th at

REVIEW by Elaine Williams, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss

"In tragedy, often times it is the strongest who step forward and dare to make a difference.

As 9/11 widows Patti and Susan work through their own grief and loss, they move outside of themselves to highlight the extreme poverty of Afghanistan widows. Their personal journeys are enhanced by their efforts to empower these same women, strangers, half a world away.

This emotionally charged film draws you in from the first moment - it is a beautiful testimonial to the strength and courage of the human spirit."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Crafting a New Life as a Widow

Elaine Williams ©2008

When you become a widow your life changes and there is no guarantee of sanity in the transition. Some days are topsy-turvy; other days have a numbing calm. You wonder if life will ever be joyful again. You’re not crazy, you’re grieving.

Joy has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it, yes, even in the midst of loss. I discovered it’s a waste of energy to feel guilt over a moment of joy while in the pain of loss. I used to tell myself I had to stop being so serious and cut myself some slack. I refused to be a victim in life and I vowed not to become bitter over my husband’s loss.
Sure, it was unfair that my kids lost their dad at 11, 18, and 19, but inside each of us are life tools, and we do the best with what we have learned in life.

So how do you craft your new life as a widow? Time and patience are the best advice I could give. I had never expected my husband would die, even though he was diagnosed with end stage esophagus cancer. I was so determined he would get well, he would beat it, that losing him never was an option until the last three weeks. So I wasn’t prepared for his death, but who ever is? Stuff like this didn’t happen to me. I’d always considered myself an upbeat, lucky person. I still consider myself in that category, which is why I know from my own experience you can create a new life and be happy and feel joy once more.

I recall many days up until about two and a half years into my loss where I felt weighted down by uncertainty and indecision. I wanted nothing more than to just hide away in some safe, dark place where no one else could find me. Many days I felt a complete lack of enthusiasm for life. I worked because that occupied my mind, and in deepest grief, I often wondered if I’d ever experience true joy again. I felt off kilter, as if an essential life force had been pulled from me. I had a big hole.

For months I hung in a kind of limbo. I asked myself what was it that I wanted to do with my life? Was this empty feeling all there was? I knew I had to contribute something more – that there was a purpose for me. I wanted full knowledge of what my the next step was in my life.

As a writer I attempted to pick up my writing, but there was no passion there. I have always been a writer and to think that that well had dried up, felt devastating.

Slowly, I began to find a new me, one that I had never fully tapped into. I wondered had experiencing loss uncovered the stronger, more independent me? I have learned to live fully on my own, taking care of my children but also taking care of myself.

When I made myself step outside my comfort zone, I often found a new world waiting for me. I discovered that living a full life is all within my own control.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Processing Grief

Sometimes you just want to rush through the grief process. There's confusion, pain, fear and a pulling inside, wanting to hide. Just take it slow and let life unfold gently, doing the best you can without making yourself do anything new until you're ready.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Children in Grief

Elaine Williams copyright 2008

I have three boys who were 11, 18 and 19 when their father died from cancer. They all reacted differently to this loss, and many times I felt at a loss myself in trying to determine the best way to help them through their grief.

My oldest son moved away from home a year and a half after my husband’s passing. It was a move for the best, a need for him to establish his independence, but at the time it was very difficult for me. My son had relationship problems, moved into a dumpy apartment and associated with people I didn’t know. He fell into a drinking and partying lifestyle.

My middle son retreated emotionally, becoming distant. Even though he still lived at home, I had to wonder many times what was going on in his mind and his heart. I knew he was as wounded as I felt at the passing of his father, but he was unwilling to share even the most minute details of what he might be feeling.

My youngest son clung to me as if he were afraid to let me out of his sight. He asked me once what would happen to him if I died, as his father had died.

I calmly reassured my youngest that I expected to live a long time, I still had a lot to accomplish. But I also reassured him that his grandparents or aunt would take care of him if something did happen to me.

Being newly widowed, at times the struggle threatened to engulf me. Day-to-day living felt hard and there was no getting away from it or retreating. Frightening, hard, taxing, tiring, exhausting. In the beginning. The first two and a half years I now look back and realize yes, I came through it, as did my children, and I would never want to live through it again, but we did okay. We lived it each day doing the best we could.

We made some bad choices, but we learned and came away with something valuable. Speaking for myself, I felt ripped in two many days. When I made dating mistakes, it hurt incredibly, and yet the biggest wounds, after my husband’s death, were the wounds of my children. I felt like I could handle anything at any time that happened to me, but when it involved my children, all bets were off. I wanted to take away their hurts, soothe them over, make everything okay again. But that’s not how real life is, and indeed, it’s not how it should be.

My kids grew through their own experiences, and that’s how they learned that life does go on. Mom supports them and helps to a degree, but they have to learn to deal with their own things that come to them in life. We held together as a family and I like to think my husband is still watching over us, keeping us safe in his way, and admiring how we’ve all come through this trial of grief and loss. No one ever said it would be easy, but then again, no one every really brought this subject up before we had to experience it first hand. That’s just he way life is, sometimes it smacks you in the back of the head and you don’t see it coming, other times you see it but hope it’s going to miss you. If we’re lucky, we rise to the occasion in the best way we know how, without bitterness or undue pain.

Life wounds each of us in various ways, it’s how we come out of the wounding that tells the truest sense of who we are, or can be.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stress as a Widow’s Companion

Elaine Williams ©2008

Beginning a life as a widow was not an easy one for me, and whether you want it or not, it is a new life. Strange, alien, different from anything you have ever known. Many days I resisted any type of change, whether it was physical or emotional. I felt too tired dealing with the day-to-day stresses to think about allowing one more thing to change, no matter how small.

Of course, you can only float for so long avoiding the changes. Your life has turned around drastically and maybe even in small ways after the loss of a spouse, but eventually you have to acknowledge the changes as they take root. Once a widow, your life is never the same.

Some of the obvious changes occur as follows:

1. Incomes can be halved, and in some cases, become nonexistent with the death of a spouse.

2. Tax filing status, and the tax implications. I found it best to have an accountant to consult for income tax preparation.

3. Socially. You’re no longer part of a couple. Sometimes other married couples aren’t sure where you fit into the social circle. At times, you’re not sure where you fit in anymore. There is always an adjustment and this may possibly mean letting go of old friends and being open to meeting new friends.

4. Ecomically. The bills are still coming regularly, despite death. If you have children, it can be especially difficult dealing with this part of your life. Young children may need daycare, older children may be in college, and the in between is you’re still buying food, clothing, and the everyday essentials for living. Your children will be eligible for social security until they’re eighteen and in high school, and you may receive social security benefits for yourself until the youngest child is sixteen. Even though I had four years to prepare for the time I would no longer receive that help from social security, it was still a daunting prospect to think of my income dropping again.

My income halved when my husband died, and then it halved again when social security stopped. However, a little creativity and planning can go a long way.

5. Family. The family unit is minus one. As the surviving spouse, we do the best we can, being mother/father combined. I tried to keep things as normal and rational as possible for my children and myself. Some days were easier than others.
6. Physically. Given the economics and almost certain changes to lifestyle, this can be the most taxing challenge. You need to take care of yourself and deal with any stress in your life in the kindest way possible. Otherwise you may have difficulty taking care of anything else.

7. Emotionally. My husband’s death, the extreme feeling of loss, threw me into an emotional tailspin. Some days felt like a virtual roller coaster, and I hate roller coasters. Everyone processes their grief experience in their own way and time. Don’t try to rush into any major decisions, especially in the first 12 months of loss.

8. Support. I found it beneficial to accept help from outside sources; family, friends, grief support groups, therapists. Support, in any form, will ultimately help in the grief process. Keeping your fears, feelings and emotions suppressed can serve to make you ill and perhaps delay the entire grief process. And it is a process.

So move slowly through your life as it is now. I recall times I wanted to rush ahead to get through the terrible feelings, the fears, the tears, the feeling of abandonment. I am four years into this journey, and some days it was excruciating, while other days it felt okay.

In the end, I learned to fully embrace my fears, so I could then kick them to the curb and freely be who I needed to be. A woman newly evolved.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Frazzled Entrepreneur Interview Live Now

I had a wonderful chat with H. Les Brown of The Frazzled Entrepreneur. It was quite an enjoyable hour. You can catch the show at

or go to the interview directly on my page and click on "Radio Interviews" at top of page.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Journey Well Taken "Total Success Now" Interview is Up

"Total Success Now" is a compilation of posts regarding how one can achieve total success through actively using spiritually based techniques, rather than an ego based frame of reference. For further reading, samples are available at

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Radio Interview at The Frazzled Entrepreneur

Interview Thursday May 29 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time at

"H. Les Brown, MA, CFCC grew up in an entrepreneurial family and has been an entrepreneur for most of his life. He is the author of "The Frazzled Entrepreneur's Guide to Having It All." Les is a certified Franklin Covey coach and a certified Marshall Goldsmith Leadership Effectiveness coach. He has Masters Degrees in philosophy and theology from the University of Ottawa. His experience includes ten years in the ministry and over fifteen years in corporate management. His expertise as an innovator and change strategist has enabled him to develop a program that allows his clients to effect deep and lasting change in their personal and professional lives."

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Journey Well Taken Featured on A Book Inside

Carol Denbow of "A Book Inside" has graciously invited me to be in the Author Spotlight.
"A Book Inside is where new and seasoned authors come to learn the complete process to writing, publishing, and selling their stories. Step-by-step, in an easy to read and comprehend format, each blog will guide you through your journey to your ultimate goal of seeing your book in print."

It's a great resource of information is you're writing or thinking about writing and getting published. Stop by and check it out.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Portion of Proceeds to Make a Wish Foundation

I will be donating a portion of my proceeds on the sale of A Journey Well Taken:Life After Loss to Make a Wish Foundation.

Audio Version of A Journey Well Taken

I've been working on the audio version of my book, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss. The audio will be available through my website in the next week. It is comprised of 4 CD's, and is approximately 3.5 hours in length. It was professionally read by a talented young woman, Leah Frederick. The price for the audio is $19.95 plus $2.95 shipping, and applicable sales tax for NYS residents.

Interview slated for "Beyond 50" Radio Show is a variety talk show for baby boomers. I've been invited to be a guest on their show with host Daniel Davis on July 2nd at 9:30 a.m. (PST) That's 12:30 Eastern time.

They've had an eclectic selection of guests and topics such as Marianne Williamson on Embracing the New Midlife, Facebook expert Mari Smith, and upcoming Guy Finley on Living Fearlessly. I will be speaking about my book A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss, how it came about, and the emotional and financial aspects of becoming a widow. As the date draws nearer, I'll be posting more about Beyond 50 Radio.

Upcoming Featured Author on

I have been invited to be a featured author on July 31, on the blog of Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D and Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D, at their blog

As the date draws nearer I'll be posting more information about this wonderful blog. Rosemary and Phyllis' blog is by their own description, "A comfortable place for Baby Boomer women of the 'Sandwich Generation,' to share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Purpose in Life

Sometimes I've wondered why I've had my life experiences. Why do some people seem to experience extreme highs and lows in life, while others coast along at a steady, unexciting rate? Would I change any event or person in my life, that has led up to who I am today? Undoubtedly.

At 51 years of age, I choose to live with the decisions I've made and hope to make more enlightened choices in the future. There's so much to be gleaned from life's little surprises, joys and loss -- what do we do with those experiences? Do we let them close us down, or do we take from them what we need and go on to the next. Life can be an exciting, fabulous ride if we move out of our comfort zone once in a while.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Watching Death Take Shape

In the last seven years I have personally watched three people I deeply care about, move toward death, and die. My grandmother, my mother-in-law and my husband. Each faced it in their own individual way, but in the end it was peaceful and you could see them just letting go. I guess ultimately that's what we all do, is just let go

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Journey Well Taken Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle

My book finally appeared on I've uploaded the information so it can also be purchased for the Kindle reader. That will be happening soon.

Here is the link to purchase the book.

Video Interview

On Monday I took the train into NYC to meet with Relentless Aaron, an author of 36 books and self-made promoter, entrepreneur and marketing whiz. Relentless is just that in his book promotions, relentless. He has sold over 200,000 of his books, hand selling them on the streets of NYC. HE currently has a multibook control with a large publisher, but he still hand sells his books. He now helps others market their books and I felt fortunate to have met up with him before he moved South, to Atlanta. I will be posting the video interview once it is available. If you'd like to check out his webpage, go to or his myspace page with the name relentlessaaron. He has approximately 25 channels of streaming video.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

US News and World Report Interview

Today I was interviewed by US News and World Report senior Editor Kimberly Palmer regarding the financial aspects of becoming a widow. The report is slated to appear in June, so I will post the link for the interview at that time.

Book Available on Barnes and Noble

I just found out my book A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss is available on Barnes and Noble. How cool is that? Also and an African book seller that lists the price at R202.95. I'm not sure how much that translates into. Hmm. It was incredibly satisfying to see it listed, and I'm still waiting for it to show up on amazon.

Barnes and Noble link

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Recent Widower

I met a man online today through one of the blogs, and he's newly widowed. His wife passed away about two weeks ago. He's full of vim and vigor and determined to move on, as he put it, and I interpret that to mean move through his grief experience quickly and pick up the threads of his previous life.

I remember being that and there and now, four years later, I offered him what I hope will be taken as words of help. Please take it slow and don't try to take on the world, let it come to you for awhile until you adjust to this new life that is now yours.

I know from my own experience the twisted, convoluted, surprising, painful and yes sometimes exhiliarating ride ahead. I also know we can support and help others along this grief jouroney as best we can, but in the end, it's each individual's show. Their decisions. Their life.