“I spent my eleventh wedding anniversary planning my husband’s funeral.” So begins Tidd’s emotional memoir of coping with life after becoming a single mother with three children at the age of 31.
One of the greatest innovations of the Internet age is how it has facilitated people connecting with other people who have similar interests. One example is the online support group; no matter the nature of support required, there’s likely an online group focused on that need. The author discovered this when, one summer morning in 2007, her husband was injured in a traffic accident; as his condition went from bad to worse, she had to make the decision to let him die. Heartbroken and in uncharted waters, Tidd turned to the Internet and began sharing her story with others. The “Widdahood” website was born, and she became a national speaker on grief, coping strategies and the benefits of organ donation. This book is an extension of these efforts, but the author goes farther and creates a narrative out of her struggles with coping, managing the affairs following her husband’s death, and finding new ways to look at old beliefs. Few stones are left unturned: Tidd found herself the target of judgments about the grieving process, and despite multiple resources designed to support her, she was often confused and lost. At the end of the book, the author also provides tips for supporters of widows and widowers on such topics as memorializing, coping, setting milestones, dating, moving forward and “What to Say (and What Not to Say) After Loss” (don’t say: “This was part of God’s plan” or “I know how you feel”).
Tidd combines indignation and sarcasm with humility, and the result is a moving, helpful look at how to navigate the difficult times that come with tremendous loss.