|Chapter 1:||Take the Time to Really Learn Who You are||1|
|Marie’s son committed suicide and husband died from pancreatic cancer|
|Chapter 2:||Don’t Let Anyone Make Your Life Decisions for You||13|
|Lynn talks about her husband’s brain cancer at the age of 59 - married 29 years.|
|Chapter 3:||Stand Up for What You Know is Right||27|
|Sarah’s husband had a tumor in his liver and died at 64 – married 43 years.|
|Chapter 4:||Don’t Expect a Quick Fix||39|
|Maya was married 25 years when her husband died of a massive heart attack at age 46.|
|Chapter 5:||Write It All Out In a Journal||49|
|Ruth had 2 young children when her husband died of a heart attack at age 45 – married 18 years,|
|Chapter 6:||Don’t be Afraid of Remarrying||61|
|Grace’s marriage was difficult, husband died of cancer at 75 –married 55 years, 9 children & 1 died.|
|Chapter 7:||Try Life On Your Own Before You Get Into Another Relationship||73|
|Vicky’s second husband died at 57 – widowed twice|
|Chapter 8:||Think about the Good Times You Had Together and Not the Hard Times||85|
|Ann’s husband died of brain cancer at age 55 – married 35 years.|
|Chapter 9:||Don’t Clutter Your Life With Stuff||97|
|Helen was a caregiver for years to her second husband, died at age 76 - married 23 years.|
|Chapter 10:||Don’t Give Up Your Independence||107|
|Lucy’s husband had heart surgery, dementia, cancer – marriage was difficult.|
|Chapter 11:||Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart||119|
|Janet was only 40 when her pastor husband died of brain cancer - two young children.|
|Chapter 12:||Helping Others Will Help You to Heal and Grow||131|
|Heidi’s husband committed suicide and her daughter grew up to be suicidal.|
|Chapter 13:||Find Someone to Talk to About Your Husband||143|
|Tina had three husbands – she talks about life with each one and her true love.|
|Chapter 14:||Do the Things You Always Said You Wanted to Do||155|
|Joan lost her daughter (cerebral palsy), mother (breast cancer) and husband within two years.|
|Chapter 15:||Try to Find Your Own Balance||167|
|Roseanne’s son died at age 11 and husband died on the job two years later – she was 39.|
|Chapter 16:||The Author’s Story||179|
|Mary was 50 when her husband died of cancer – married 27 years.|
The Sisterhood of Widows
The Sisterhood of Widows is a powerful book of empowerment containing sixteen true stories from widows of all walks of life who reflect and comment about life after the death of their husbands. Their stories cover death from accidents, cancer, heart attacks, and even suicide. All are told in a truthful and sometimes painful manner.Emotionally every widow handles loss differently and yet there is a common bond they share that makes them part of a sisterhood. It provides knowledge so that a widow can make informed decisions about her future.
As a widow I had to find my balance and my recovery was easier due to the support I received from the community. They embraced my belief that all widows need the support of the outside world to get their balance back. I thank all the people that support me as a widow and in turn make it possible for me to extend that support to other widows like me.
Here are a couple of examples:
Mary Francis has mapped a journey that none of us wish to embark upon; widowhood. This book chronicles the experiences of sixteen women who have made that journey revealing the host of emotions and challenges they encountered along the way. If you’ve been widowed your journey will be unique, but I believe you will find comfort, strength and inspiration in the courage that is the common thread here. In the equally brave act of sharing their stories, these women have offered a gift to those who will follow in these difficult footsteps.
—Holly Reid, Preplanner/Aftercare Advisor, Brenan’s Funeral Homes, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Finally! A motivational book to help widow’s face an incredibly difficult time. The life lessons they share reveal their raw and real experiences—emotionally, financially and physically. In the health care profession, we see women put themselves last in a crisis and their health deteriorates because of it. This book is a wonderful collection of “life after loss” experiences and how women not only survive, but find a way to thrive.
—Natalie Treadwell, Founder of Food For Life Healthy Lifestyle
Having my mother widowed at a young age, I experienced first hand the trials and tribulations she faced being left with four young children. As an adult, reading these pages has helped me to relate to how and why my mother dug in to overcome the daunting emotional and financial obstacles she faced. Being a strong mother and father figure she instilled strong spirituality, morality and work ethics into her children, making all of us what we are today.A book of this nature would have been a tremendous support to her at that time, just knowing she wasn’t alone. I am very confident that this collection of intimate stories will not only help, but will put widows in a place of hope which they may never have thought possible.
—Stephen Spires, Owner, Smet Monuments
The majority of society chooses not to speak of death and loss. As a Hospice Patient-Family Volunteer I have been with loved ones that will not seek help that choose to carry on and never get past their feelings of guilt and loss. Those feelings affect their lives and those they love on many levels and will prevent them from having an abundant life.Mary Francis has provided a light through the tunnel of grief and a source of comfort and understanding to widows that only someone who has endured this kind of loss can provide.
—Deborah Ryan, Hospice Patient-Family Volunteer
I applaud Mary’s ability to both recognize a definite need for widows who are coping with the loss of their husband, and her fortitude and approach in completing this work. Mary, as a recent widow, was able to realize that only a widow can offer the best advice to another widow. Each testimony gives different insight and understanding into the transition of wife to widow. These testimonies layered together under one cover, offer a needed comfort to a new widow. Mary gives the reader the opportunity to write their own chapter and formulate their own healing strategy by translating the personal testimonies of fifteen widows and adding her own. Well done.
—Todd D Soper, President, Todd D Soper Financial Services Inc.
In reading the short stories about widows by Mary Francis she has brought out the true meaning of “Sisterhood”. Many women of today do not realize their strengths of durability, tenacity and most of all resilience. She is letting the world know the true strength of our gender. I am associated with a very fun “Sisterhood” known as “The Red Hat Society” where I have the privilege of witnessing acts of “Sisterhood” constantly.
—Dianne O’Brien [Red Hat Queen of The Lucky Lady Bugs]
Mary has provided us with a collection of stories that are both moving and inspiring. I recommend this book to those who grieve, who need to know they are not alone in how they feel and think. I also recommend it to Pastors, like myself, who need to be reminded of what it is like to walk through the valley of the shadow of death .
—Pastor Edward Powell, Grand Bay Baptist Church
Some of us can only imagine the many emotions experienced by Mary Francis and the widows who contributed to this amazing book. Each woman’s story is unique yet similar in many ways. Though their pain, anger, fear and loneliness are at times overwhelming to read, always present in the fabric of their stories is a sense of hope and in many cases a strong faith.Embodied in each of these women is the strength that it takes to overcome adversity and without question they teach us all the meaning of resilience and survival and they do so in their own words. No doubt Mary has provided an opportunity for these women to experience healing as they shared their stories and now that same healing can be felt by countless others as they read “The Sisterhood of Widows.”
—Tracy Friars, Lay Worship Leader and Human Resource Consultant