Testimonials and Book Reviews
What Others Are Saying About "A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss"
"You had me with the first few pages. Very Powerful. Thank you for sharing it with me. If you have ever lost someone you loved, read this book. It will touch your heart and soul as it did mine --" Jon Gordon, author of the international best seller The Energy Bus. www.jongordon.com
"I took some time to look it over and was inspired to see how much your journey parallels those of other widows who determined to grow through their experiences, and not cling to the past.
I am sure that other widows will benefit from reading your story and be inspired to write their own. You are a wonderful example for them and I can imagine that you have many rich conversations ahead of you. As someone once said to me, in the first year after I was widowed: 'You can't hang onto your experiences; you just have to give them away. That's what they are for; to give to others.'"
I wish you many blessings,
Rondi Lightmark, M.A.
Writer and Registered Counselor
"I read your book with interest over the weekend. It is a moving piece and I cried more than once while reading it. It is compelling and well done. I did not want to put it down."
"I enjoyed reading your story. I understand your feelings of loneliness at times and wanting to find that special "someone" that possibly doesn't exist. As a mother of 3 children I understand fully about letting go. It is their responsibility to create their own paths with our guidance. It can be very overwhelming at times, dealing with major business issues, children and 2 homes all on my own. I agree 100% with you about the online dating.
By the end of your story you seem much more at peace with yourself than in the beginning. I feel the same way with my life now after almost 3 years. I think we are both on a parallel journey and time is helping to make me more comfortable being alone. I don't love it but like you, I am not willing to settle for just anyone. I am looking forward to new experiences and leading a fulfilling life with or without a significant other. Thanks for sharing your story with me."
Widowed three years
A Journey Well Taken:
"I was so touched by the sensitivity of your words and how you share your feelings of sadness, despair and at the same time bravery and hope. Your story is a testimony of love, strength and hope. In your lines you have described a painful experience but at the same time the evolution of a wonderful woman who does not stop searching.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece with me. .. as a thantalogist and grief counselor I can see you went through the different stages and tasks bereaved persons go through and you transformed your loss into an opportunity to grow personally and spiritually. It is a pity I didn't have your story when I wrote my book in Spanish "Transforma tu perdida. Una antologia de Fortaleza y esperanza." (Transform your loss. An anthology of strength and hope). It would have been an inspiration as well. . .."
Ligia M. Houben, MA, CT,CG-C,CAS,CH
Life Transitions Coaching and Consulting
Certified Grief Counselor-Thanatologist
"Elaine Williams has written a deeply personal, yet universally appealing and boldly honest account of the loss of a loved one that will inspire and motivate the reader to grieve and go on -- to not only survive in the face of loss, but ultimately to thrive. I am pleased to highly recommend it."
Pamela D. Blair, co-author I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Loss of a Loved One, and
"I enjoyed your book! It's obvious that you're a good writer and it's a heart-felt story."
"The book is good and I am sure that it will be quite helpful to early/young widows.
It is also a quick read - which is also a good thing as something complex was certainly beyond me during those early years and I know this is the case for many women. As well, you do catch some of the nuances of widowhood - nuances which can only be brought to light by one who has been there. Best of luck with it."
"I related to so many things you shared in your book. I'm encouraged by how you have uncovered your own inner strength through your journey. I hope and continue to pray that God will reveal his purpose for your life as well as my own. I've been drifting since my husband's death in 2004.
"We have some things in common when it comes to the subject of grief and it feels as though I know you after reading 'A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss'. I admire your willingness to be open and vulnerable -- I've seen pain and loneliness in there too, and you talk about that openly."
"I just want to say that I read your excerpts of your story and I found it so touching and inspirational. I found it by accident, as if I was led to it. I lost my husband suddenly and have experienced all that you mention as far as grieving. Just recently my mother was diagnosed with esophagus cancer, and has elected to try radiation. She is a two-time survivor of cancer. So what I've read so far, in your excerpt from your book, is very informative, and so touching. Thank you for sharing it." -- Steppingstone
"Thank you so much. . . it helps somehow to know what you're feeling is normal and that you're not alone with those feelings. The more stories I read the more I realize
"I really enjoyed reading your book. I just wanted you to know I feel some of your pain. Thanks again for writing your book and may God bless you." -- Polly R.
"Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are very strong and give me courage." -- Nicole
"I was looking on the web for information to help my mom who was just widowed a month ago. I ran across your story. As I began to read it I got goose bumps. I knew your husband had esophageal cancer as soon as I read about his burping. My dad just lost his battle with that horrid disease. We also tried many alternatives because he also felt he wouldn't survive the traditional approach.
My heart goes out to you. Your husband was way too young to be stricken down by this disease. Your children should have been able to have their dad much longer. He sounded like a good man. I am sorry that you weren't able to grow old together, as I am sure you planned. My dad was 76, full of life, a great husband, father, and grandfather and interested in everything. Even though we know he lived a full life we thought he was too young, but we are all grateful for having had him that long. . . my mom misses him like crazy. Thanks for sharing your story." -- Cathy B.
"I am a 47 year old woman and just lost my husband 30 days ago today suddenly from cardiac arrest. Finding and reading your excerpt tonight is truly a blessing and has brought me comfort in knowing that I'm not alone. What you've put into words describes so much of what I'm feeling inside. I will look forward to reading more of your journey that is only beginning for me." -- Patti W., widowed 1 month
"I was very moved by your story. Like you, I also lost my husband suddenly to cancer and believe that although we move on and stay strong for our children, our hearts never really heal. I read the first part of your book to my best friend last night who stood with me and went with me to chemo with my husband. The tears rolled down our faces as we shared in your grief." -- Miriam B.
"I've just finished reading your story. My Dad, my Mom's partner for 38 years, died. . . the past 2 months have been, as you can imagine, very, very difficult. I was looking online about what a person goes through when they lose their life partner. I want to understand what my Mom is going through that she may not be able to express. I also wanted to find something that would maybe encourage her, and give her hope.
Your story touched me so deeply... It brought me to tears. (I had to close my door and just take the time I needed to read your story in its entirety.) Thank you for taking the time to write your story... Please know you've touched a life today."
"I think your book will comfort many women and let them know that there is life after widowhood. It will validate and normalize many of the issues and concerns they have."
Ellen Besso, Life Coach, Writer and Registered Clinical Counselor -- www.ellenbesso.com
"I read the book and enjoyed your story though very personal and individual to you, I could relate to being a young widow.
I also enjoyed reading about the dating, because that is something I think about for future and knowing how hard it is to be 50+ and dating let alone dating at all. . . Here's wishing you peace and serenity always."
S. Greenberg, lost life partner
"A Journey Well Taken is an honest, courageous and ultimately uplifting account of one woman's journey through the uncharted territory of bereavement. It will prove a great source of comfort and support for those traveling a similar path."
"Elaine Williams knows pain, the deep, gut-wrenching pain that comes from great loss. In 'A Journey Well Taken' she tells how she pulled herself up from the depths of despair following the loss of her husband and then discovered the true strength she had carried with her all along. Poignant, often funny and forever wise, this is a guide to finding the happiness within."
--Joe O'Connell, author of Evacuation Plan: A Novel From the Hospice. www.joemoconnell.newsroom.com
"Personally, I found A Journey Well Taken to be an honest, courageous and ultimately uplifting account of one woman's journey through the uncharted territory of bereavement. It will prove a great source of comfort and support for those traveling a similar path." Lucie Storrs, www.thelightbeyond.com
"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.
Author Williams gives us a detailed account the last year before the death of her husband, Joseph, from cancer. Elaine spent those months of her husband's life taking care of him, while also caring for her three sons: 11, 18, and 19. As she says in her opening chapter, she "wanted to cry at the injustice of becoming a widow at 47 years of age."
From the first sentence in her book: "My heart felt ripped out, a feeling I never experienced before," I was totally engrossed in Elaine's valiant journey into widowhood and beyond. Even though I could not identify with the early part of the book, because the end of my marriage was totally different, Elaine nevertheless kept my interest page after page. However, she does talk about delving into alternative medicine for her husband, and I admire her willingness to try whatever she thought might work. One of the results of her husband's death is her interest in alternative health measures.
Later on in the book, she writes on page 128: "Twenty years of marriage is a long time, but eventually the memories came without the pain." She ventured out into the world of dating, something she had not experienced in decades. Here is where I related more closely to Elaine's situation of being on her own again after so many years of marriage. Or as she sincerely states: "I had been with Joseph a long time, and then suddenly I am dating and all the rules have changed. I'm not sure I ever really knew the rules" (p. 95).
During the three or four years after Joseph's death, she struggled raising her boys and noted that her views on child rearing changed. She now allows them their independence, letting them make their own mistakes, but admits this has been very hard for her to do. (I also have three children and my youngest was 11 when we separated, so I could identify with her thoughts on children.)
At the beginning and end of her chapters are little thoughts or poems in italics that are quite touching. Here's just one example:
'The pain of loss is real
but the loss of self is even worse.
Being true to yourself is the way home
even when you don't know how to get there.'
This is a beautiful book: sad, happy, inspirational, and lovely. Instead of being negative, Elaine is stronger as a result of her experiences after her husband's untimely death . At the end of the book , she notes that she has become at peace with herself and still feels very lucky, despite what has happened in her life. She feels "fully equipped to handle whatever appears."
I love Elaine Williams' courage, her attitude, her take on life, and her words. Whether you are divorced, still married, or a widow, her book is uplifting and shows how the human spirit can rise to almost any occasion."
Ellensue Spicer, www.menupause.info