In 1998 I became a widow when my first husband, Malcolm, died after a decades-long battle with cancer (he was first diagnosed at five years of age). In addition to the trauma of losing my life partner, other challenges arose when I discovered that his will wasn’t valid. All of a sudden I faced potential difficulties accessing our banks accounts and dealing with our co-owned business. Malcolm was also the driving force behind that business, so overnight I lost the engine for the business and the means with which to effectively continue. There was no insurance; Malcolm was not insurable courtesy of the illness.
The first two years after his death were extremely difficult. In that time I learned many hard lessons. It is no exaggeration to say that the experience of being a widow significantly changed the course of my life.
Ever since that experience I have watched women face innumerable challenges as they go through loss and divorce. In my current business I see women every week who are in very vulnerable positions and who have no idea how precarious their situation is.
I have been thinking about ways to help other women ever since my own loss. I have asked myself what I would have done differently if somehow I had known that my first husband would die. How could I have made the passage easier for myself and protected myself from all those difficulties? In retrospect, there are a number of things that I could have done and there are several suggestions that I would make to all women today.
In researching my book, I wish to explore other women’s experiences to see if there are any common themes, any patterns that emerge from many data points rather than just my own. I suspect, from personal experience, that certain key themes will emerge but I want to know for certain by speaking with a large number of women.
The purpose of this book is to help all women, whether they’re happily married, divorced, single or widowed. One doesn’t have to be widowed or divorced to benefit from the wisdom of those who have been through challenging situations. My goal is to help women become stronger, more protected and by extension, less vulnerable.
My working title is “If I Had Known”.
If you know someone who has experienced challenges as a result of the loss of a husband, whether through death or divorce, please connect us by email. I’d love to interview her. All requests for anonymity will of course be respected. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep an eye on my blog. Every week I will post a brief summary of some of my interviews and my own lessons learned. And if you have questions or comments, by all means post them. I look forward to your feedback.
Thank you in advance for your help.