Widower to Widower: Surviving the End of Your Most Important Relationship by Fred ColbyWidower to Widower: Surviving the End of Your Most Important Relationship by Fred Colby

Widower to Widower: Surviving the End of Your Most Important Relationship

byFred Colby

Paperback | April 15, 2018

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After losing your life partner, there are moments, many of them in fact, when you may doubt your very sanity. For most of us, that triggers the “flight or fight” reaction. If you fight (confront) it, your chances of coming through this intact are much improved. If you try to run away from it, you may only be delaying the inevitable grieving process.

The greatest fear I had during the earliest stages of my grief was that I was going crazy, was losing all control over my thoughts, and that I might make decisions harming me, my family and my friends. That included suicidal thoughts. This scared the hell out of me and I became desperate to find answers, so I could avoid making bad life choices. I quickly found those answers would be hard to find, and that resources for widowers were minimal and often of dubious value.

This book is my response to frustration I experienced during this search. I have done my best to compile the most vital information I could find on the widower experience into this one book, so the reader does not have to go to as many sources for answers as I had to do.

From the beginning, I struggled with the “widower” label; it asked me to accept the death of my wife. Each widower’s experience may vary from mine, dependent on many factors such as length of marriage, depth of your connection to your wife, and/or how dependent you and your wife were on each other.

The frustration I experienced while trying to find materials that would be helpful to me often left me floundering. Visits to online and brick and mortar bookstores, online searches for relevant articles, and perusal of the few resources I did find, failed to provide answers. My therapist, who consulted with others as well, also could not find much that was helpful.

Through this book I wanted to include many of the critical issues that you will not find addressed in other publications. What I wrote here can often be raw and brutal at times, much like the grieving process itself.

I spoke with other widowers to confirm that mine was not a unique journey but was in fact similar in many respects to their journey as well. The entry into grief is intense and harsh, and I could not see how I could write this book without being totally honest about the experience.

When you consider the impact of these issues upon your psyche and well-being it is rather amazing that there is little research on the topics I cover here.

I am the expert only on my own experience. It is important to note that each widower’s experience is unique. There will be common threads and shared experiences, but each must find their own path. We must learn from each other, to realize that we are not going crazy, and to know that we can survive this experience.

Title:Widower to Widower: Surviving the End of Your Most Important RelationshipFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:188 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.4 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 0.4 inPublished:April 15, 2018Publisher:Fred Colby, AuthorLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1732115907

ISBN - 13:9781732115903


Table of Contents



Chapter 1: My Introduction to Grief

Chapter 2: Illness & Death

  • Role of Hospice
  • How to use the Caring Bridge Website
  • Creating Memorials to Your Wife
  • Some Tips for You and Family
  • The Passing of Your Wife


Chapter 3: The Aftermath – What Now?

  • Immediate Impact on Me and Family
  • Including Children in Decisions and Tasks
  • Sharing with Friends and Family
  • Accepting Help and Including Others
  • Continuing as Father and New Role as Ma/Grandma
  • Taking Time to Grieve
  • Celebration of Life/Funeral Service
  • Post Celebration – What Now?
  • Avoiding Major Decisions for a Year

Chapter 4: Coping with Grief

  • Physical Pain
  • Crying and Sobbing – Dry Heaves of Crying
  • Craving for Wife’s Embrace and Lovemaking
  • Shutting Others Out
  • Trip to Temporary Solitude & Its Benefits
  • Temptation of Alcohol and Drugs
  • Suicidal Thoughts, Fear of Death and Building Resilience
  • When Parents Outlive Your Wife
  • Does a Lengthy Illness Reduce Deep Grieving?

Chapter 5: Counseling – When and Why

  • Why Counseling is Important
  • Where to Go for Counseling
  • Talented Women Therapists Can Help You

Chapter 6: Grieving – How Men Differ from Women

  • Can I Live Again
  • Dealing with Crushing Loneliness
  • Sex Drive or Lack of It – What Does it Mean
  • When Does Deep Grieving End
  • Activity and Tasks as Self-Therapy
  • How You Remember Your Wife
  • Revisiting Old Memories, Places & People
  • Surviving Anniversaries and Birthdays
  • Expressing Your Grief in New Ways
  • Revisiting the Past
  • Losing Your Memories and Images
  • Holidays – Landmines on Path to Recovery
  • Life After First 6 Months and Holidays
  • Can I Love Again? And On Welcoming Death
  • Learning to Live Alone – Truth or Bullshit?
  • Setbacks and Continuing Rollercoaster
  • Getting to a Happier Healthier Place


Chapter 7: It Will Never Be the Same Again

Chapter 8: Building New Relationships

  • Dating Tips for Widowers

Chapter 9: Sharing Your Life With Two Women

Chapter 10: Some Closing Thoughts



Editorial Reviews

“This new book is now … on the National Widowers Organization website… it reflects the first hand input of a widower combined with scientific research to put things into perspective. It offers insights and recommendations that can only come from someone who has been there.”  National Widower’s Organization“Fred Colby's book, Widower to Widower, shares his experiences as he navigates the grief process following the death of his wife. With a straight-forward voice and clear writing style, Fred provides insight from his personal journey to provide education, understanding and comfort to other men who are grieving. This book is an essential tool for grief counselors as well as their male clients.” Mia Towbin, MS, LMFT - Grief Counselor.“For any man who has suffered, either recently or not so recently, the death of his beloved wife, Fred Colby's book is essential reading. As a fellow widower, I give this book my highest recommendation.” Robert Devereaux, Widower, Writer, Actor