Got Weeds?

Weeds. Those pesky things that inhabit garden space and grow better than anything you plant. You pull them, you spray them, and you mow them down. It’s a never-ending effort and it often feels like the weeds are winning.

Grief is like that, too. Recovering from death is a daily process that requires patience and energy (things you’re a bit short on as a widow). Just when you think you’re done crying or screaming or staring out the window at a world that doesn’t feel real anymore, grief pops up out of nowhere and rapidly gains ground.

Like the weeds in your garden, grief doesn’t go away on its own, you have to actively tackle it. But you don’t have to do it alone.

The Widow’s Recovery System gives you one-on-one support and helpful resources to help you rebuild your life.

It’s easy to get started! Here’s how it works:

  1. You set up a free phone call with me to talk about where you are in your widow’s journey and where you’d like to be. (The whole program takes place in the privacy of your own home. You don’t have to go anywhere or get dressed up.)
  2. You order the program online.
  3. You’ll receive the link to 7 Recovery Audio Recovery Courses that provide valuable insights. As you listen, you’ll learn about the different phases of grief and gain a deeper understanding about the challenges of your recovery and rebuilding process.
  4. Your Recovery Workbook has practical exercises to release grief and rebuild a compassionate relationship with YOURSELF step-by-step!
  5. I’ll be there for you to get your back. Every other week, we’ll talk by phone, just the two of us, about how things are going. This gives you the support you need to move forward!
  6. And, you’ll receive unlimited email support for the full seven weeks of the program!



This amazing poem, that so speaks to what we have all experienced as widows, was written by Widows Recovery System client Karen Kuester of Hawaii. Thanks to Karen for giving me permission to share it.

by Karen Kuester

After he died
I rearranged my bedroom furniture.
There were indentations in the carpeting.
Where nightstands and the bed once rested
For the last twenty years.
There were indentations on my life
That we had shared.
My life was suddenly rearranged
Just like the bedroom furniture.
It was hard adjusting
To the rearranged furniture.
It was hard readjusting to my new life.

The Widows Recovery System is here for you. It helps you rearrange your life. Email me and let’s talk about how it can help you.

Honor What You’ve Lost

My husband would have turned 63 this week had he not have died from a stroke. That stroke took a lot from me. It took his life, but took a lot from me, too. It robbed me of my plans and dreams.

I found myself baking a key lime pie (his favorite) and grilling him a birthday meal. Only a few of us still remember his birthday. Our son (of course) remembers.

Like the other anniversaries that come and go each year, this one threatened me with darkness. Our son had just completed another life milestone and his Dad wasn’t here to share it, and that’s always painful. There’s an exquisite tenderness to a milestone or success our son has that I know my spouse would have been, in the words of his brother, “Obnoxiously proud of.” I can see his lopsided grin now.

The stroke that took him down gave me enough sorrow to last a lifetime. I don’t need or want to borrow any more from it or spend anymore time tripping around in the darkness of my own heart. So I’ve developed a flashlight system for times such as these.

When dark times or anniversaries (which are often the same thing) arrive, I shine my light around and find a good memory to polish up and display. This time, on his birthday, the happy cocktail was remembering the first key lime birthday pie I ever made him.

Our son was five. Birthday cakes are extremely important in the life passages of a five-year old so he had asked his Dad what kind of cake he wanted and he had said, “I don’t want a cake. I want a key lime pie!” And our son decided it was imperative that we honor this, because, well, he was five and to choose what kind of birthday cake you want is a sign of maturity and power when you’re five.

So, I dug around and found a recipe in an old Southern cookbook and we went to the store in search of limes. (Of course, since it was an old cookbook, it neglected to mention that you could just purchase key lime juice.) We bought 2 bags of the hardest little limes I’ve ever seen and commenced to rolling them around on a cutting board to soften them up. Then we sliced their hard shells in half and “juiced” them.

He squirted me in the eyes first. #%@! that juice hurt! Then I squirted him, not meaning to. #%@! We both squirted Mr Kitty, our giant black and white cat-dog who was perched on a stool at the counter helping. When the juice hit his eyes, he knocked the 2nd bag onto the floor in his haste to escape the pain. Those dang limes went all over my kitchen. It took the two of us (well, one of us was only five) all afternoon to juice those #%@! key limes.

The effort was worth it, because you have never seen a prouder smile than the one our son wore when he carried that key-lime birthday pie to the patio, covered in an entire can of whipped cream “squirts!” and blazing candles. He stuck it up as high as he could to reach the table and proudly sang “Happy Birfdays to you, happy birfdays to you, happy birfdays dear Daddies, happy birfdays to you!” And then with a rush of words he added, “Me and Mommy squeezed them all for you and I put the squirts on all by myself!”

I can still see my husband’s six-foot-two frame reaching down and wrapping itself around that happy little boy and the birthday pie. Still see them grinning at each other as he let him help blow out the candles. And in my heart, I honor us in that moment. I honor the love we shared that birthed that five-year old, I honor the crazy woman who squeezed two bags of #%@! key limes to make that first, all-important birthday pie, I honor the son who took such unimaginable joy in putting on a whole can of whipped cream “squirts” and I honor the me that never planned to lose his Dad.

When the darkness comes to you, find a flashlight. Shine it into your heart until the joyful moments reveal themselves. Keep shining your light on that memory until it sparkles brightly enough to block out the dark. Remember the love and refuse to borrow again from the pain. You’ve suffered enough. When you honor the dreams you have lost and still choose to live in joy, you honor yourself and others.

Schedule your complimentary call about the Widows Recovery System and let’s shine some light into your darkness!

Waiting for the Fireworks?

“Your ability to re-frame my negative thinking into positive action steps I can take is so valuable. I can feel the changes happening inside me.” Sue R, Nevada

Having trouble getting into the spirit of the holiday? Feeling left off the invitation list? Feeling like celebrating but don’t know where to go or how to do it?

It’s time to create a new normal. One where you plan ahead for events like the 4th of July and either throw a party or get invited to one. A new plan where you put your happiness in the driver’s seat and watch the fireworks that follow!

Holidays are usually difficult for widows (As are birthdays and anniversaries, but you know that already!) The key is to map out a strategy that lets you grieve who isn’t there (your spouse) ahead of time. Get a plan in place for how you want to celebrate and actualize that plan.

If this sounds like a lot, it is. But it’s so preferable to getting ambushed by the holiday and finding yourself alone. Alone stinks.

In the Widows Recovery System we’re all about making plans and talking through what’s coming up in your life. That’s how you heal and move forward. You have to acknowledge where you are, what you’re feeling, and then move toward where you want to be. It’s a proven system. It’s helped a lot of other women, make an investment in your future and let it help you.  Schedule your free call.

Isn’t it time to feel better and move forward?

Are You Tired of Pretending?

Still putting on that happy face, remembering that old adage, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone?” Trying to smile instead of weeping because you sense that probably is true?

Well, that depends on who is supporting you. If it’s friends and family, you’re instincts are right. Most of our friends aren’t trained in grief recovery, they don’t know how long it takes to “get over” the death of a spouse. (A. You don’t “get over it” you learn to live with it. B. The psychologists say 5 years to normalcy. Or longer, much longer, if you don’t do the work of grief and rebuilding.)

Your well-meaning friends and family will worry if you aren’t “feeling better” in a month or two. They’ll wonder out-loud if there’s something “wrong” with you. (And since they don’t know what to do, but want to help, they often do and say the wrong things!)

But feeling sad all the time isn’t the answer either, is it? No. It’s not. As you grieve and rebuild you’ll do the one-step-forward, two-steps-back dance. Some days it feels like you’re dancing to a soundtrack only you can hear.

With the Widows Recovery System, you’ll receive personal support from Certified Grief Recovery Specialist who has already danced her dance and is ready to guide you through the two-steps of recovery.

You’ll receive fascinating audio courses, a practical workbook where you can digest your feelings and examine your life, personal support calls at times you arrange, and unlimited email support for those moments when you just need to reach out and know someone who understands is there. And you do all of this at the times that suit you  in the privacy of your own space. Learn more and schedule your complimentary call today!


Are Memories Holding You Back?

“Memories… of the way we were.” Love the song, hate getting stuck there. When a life that was lived with another for 10, 20, 30, 40 years or more ends, the memories are everywhere. It’s easy to get lost in them. But to think that’s all you have left in life is tragic.

You’re not dead. (Pinch yourself and you’ll see!) You’re alive honey! Even when the memories are overwhelming, especially on days when there’s an unexpected trigger.

What can you do to release yourself from this cycle? You can process the memories, keep a few, and let go of the rest to make space in your mind for the present moment and your future.

It’s like finding that dusty box of old slides in the attic, holding them up to the light to see what’s recorded there, getting a few printed for frames, and putting the rest in the trash. The Widows Recovery System has a proven system for processing your memories and healing from your grief. It supports you as you live in the present moment and plan your future. It gives you awesome information and loving support, by phone and email.

“After each conversation I know where to go and how to get there.”

Get a proven system.

Your future is worth investing in. Join RECOVERING TOGETHER!

This new group program will provide you with real support and information from July 1 through Labor Day in September. Check it out and register today!

Unwanted Messages

Ever notice the dangerous language society uses to describe women? Language that says an overweight, old, bald guy with wrinkles and questionable facial hair is, “rugged, stocky, and earthy” but an overweight, white-haired woman is, “old and fat.” No wonder we have self-esteem issues.

What you tell yourself is important. It’s REALLY important.

If you say: “I’m so alone now. I’m getting so old, who would want me? Look at me, I’m falling apart!” but know that’s messed up and want to say: “I’m a beautiful person with a loving heart. I deserve joy after all I’ve been through. I am a survivor. I love deeply. I am enough!  I am ready to embrace my future.” then I want to help you do that.

Embrace your future.  Join the Widows Recovery System Group that begins July 1.

Healing Thoughts

The most important words you ever hear are the ones you tell yourself. When your spouse is no longer there to say, “I love you” or to support you with loving words, the language you use when you communicate with your own heart and mind are fiercely important. So speak lovingly to yourself, it’s a critical survival skill.

Try adding these phrases to your daily vocabulary: “I accept and love myself just as I am.” “I am enough.” “My life is unfolding in new and exciting ways.” Write these on your mirror, put them as reminders in your phone. Give yourself the boost of loving self-talk!

When July 1 rolls around, a new group of widowed women will come together to recover. You can bet that loving self-talk will be on the agenda, as will the dangers of isolation and depression. We’ll be learning a lot about how we can support ourselves in moving forward after the shock and darkness of death. Join us.



Just Going Through the Motions of Life?

Deep loss can make you feel like a robot on auto-pilot. You move through your day without feeling or awareness, not even sure what day it is some days.

Why is that? Well, you’re navigating a new world honey! The life you knew, that was so synchronized with another, that life was turned upside down when they died. It’s really pretty amazing that you are getting up and getting dressed. Give yourself 10 points for that.

Do you know that in some cultures (not ours, obviously, we’re self-absorbed and very death phobic) the surviving spouse is cared for by the community for a year? They cook, they clean, they wash your clothes, they take care of your kids. Your job is to think through the relationship, to determine the following: what do you want to keep with you, what was valuable that you want to share with others and, more importantly almost, what was negative (or affected others negatively) that you want to bury with the body and leave behind? At the end of the year, the community puts on a big party. The bereaved shares this contemplated knowledge and then they dig a pit and “bury” the things that needed to die with that person (like anger, greed, narcissism, illness).

In our culture we get a few casseroles and sympathy cards and then you’re on our own. That’s a cruel reality to navigate by yourself. It’s easy to shut down. To pretend it’s okay. To go through the motions and just buy into the “at least you had a good life” pacifier.

But pacifiers aren’t food. Any baby can tell you that. A pacifier is something that keeps your mouth busy so you can’t cry out that you’re hungry!

But you are hungry, aren’t you? Hungry for meaning and understanding. Hungry for a future that isn’t sad and lonely. You wish that it was possible…

And it is. It is possible. You just need the right support. You need a proven system that moves you through grief, that lets you understand why it’s so hard to let go. A system that gives you entertaining and fascinating audio courses and recorded meditations that let you breathe out sorrow and take on new ideas. A system that was created by a widow and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist.

NEW THIS SUMMER! RECOVERING TOGETHER: The Widows Recovery System Group. Only $495 for deep support and healing that will last through Labor Day in September! But to insure a great experience for YOU, space is very limited. Check it out and reserve YOUR space today!

Drowning in Grief?

Grief can be suffocating. Overwhelming. And you can’t shut it up forever. When you try to shut it down, it sabotages you. (Or, embarrasses you in public with a grief burst!)

Do you know that 70% of widowed women become chronically ill or die within 3 years of their spouse? (That’s a CDC statistic by the way. Many doctors think it’s actually a higher percentage than that.)

Grief is a necessary phase of loss. You can’t skip it. It’s not like breakfast. (Well, it sort of is, but it’s not good for you to skip breakfast either!) Grief ebbs and flows. One day, you’ve got this! The next, you can’t get out of bed. What’s a girl to do?

Knowledge is power, honey. The Widows Recovery System gives you the information and support you need so YOU have the power to take charge of your healing AND your future.

Created by a widow and a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, it’s a proven system for moving through grief into new life.

“Thank you for another meaningful, helpful, and insightful sacred support call. Our times together energize me. I feel optimistic after each conversation and know where to go and how to get there.”
Karen, Hawaii

NEW THIS SUMMER! Join the new Widows Recovery System Group that begins July 1! For only $495, you’ll receive over 3 months of real, meaningful support! To ensure your experience, space is limited. Order now!