For any reader dealing with the loss of a spouse

My good friend Bill Dodds has written a powerful book for Widows and Widowers. Monica and he got married in 1974 when they were 21. She died of uterine cancer in 2013 when they were 60. Now he shares some of his experience for others going through the same thing

On Your Pilgrimage Called Grief: A Guide for Widows and Widowers

Sez he:

If I had my way you and I would just sit down and visit. You could tell me some of your story and I could tell you some of mine. You could tell me what’s going on with you now, today, this moment, and I could tell you what it was like for others and me when we were where you are.

One week “out.” Two weeks. A month. Two months. A year. Two years. Not that we fellow widows and widowers have “the answer” but we do have what we tried. What worked for us and what didn’t. How we made it from one week to two. One month to two. One year to two.

We’re no experts except, of course and sad to say, every widow and widower comes to know a lot about losing a dear one and surviving that loss. Not getting over it but learning to live with it as the pain lessens. As our lives move on.

An excerpt:

“The grief of widowhood is like a chronic condition. Yes, it does get much easier. Yes, joy and peace of mind—and heart—do return. But that grief can flare up both at expected times and at times when it’s unexpected.”

Here is a downloadable, printable handout for widows and widowers to give to their family, friends, and others:

A Few Things I Would Like You to Know about Widowhood


4 Responses

  1. Hi Mark,
    Don’t know if you recognize my user handle or not (it’s pretty dang generic), but I’ve been a follower of your blogs since the early 2000’s if you can believe it (don’t comment too often, but always a reader). I still credit your discussions with Zippy on torture with helping keep me sane, and showing that there were Catholics that still had principled beliefs.

    Sadly, my wife was diagnosed (at 49) with an aggressive form of metastatic breast cancer in the midst of this pandemic.

    While I no longer am a practicing Catholic, I bear no animosity to the idea of God and still feel that Jesus’ teachings have been a blessing in my life overall (his followers…eh…not so much) and I still mostly try to humbly live by them. And though I am not even sure about God any longer, I still pray simple prayers for help and healing for her, and appreciate the prayers of anyone who cares to offer them.

    Sorry for being so off topic to the post, but I guess when I read it, it made me think…I hope I don’t need this book for a long time yet.

    I know it’s a totally one sided relationship, but in some ‘internety’ way you seem like one of my oldest friends and have been the only truly consistent thing I have followed and read over these last 2 decades. Thanks for that. If you feel like offering a prayer for us, it would mean a lot to me.

    1. Of course! Just an idea: stop in at a local Adoration chapel and place your heart, your life, and your wife before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Ask him, simply, for help. Couldn’t hurt! Ask him, “Now what?” See what happens.

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