Late bloomers

Thinking you’ve left it too late to do what you really want to do? Think again.   Vera Wang – designer After a childhood as a championship figure skater, Vera studied art history and worked as a fashion journalist until she was 38. Only then did she go to work for fashion designer Ralph Lauren….

What to say

In A Widow’s Story, Joyce Carol Oates shows how she was driven slightly demented by “the sympathy siege”. Most of us experience a version of this so here are a few ideas on how to push back.   In the days after her husband’s death, Joyce Carol Oates describes how her house fills with gifts…

From our confessions section archive

Each issue of the magazine has a confessions section where our contributors say the things they wouldn’t normally admit to in public. We’ve looked through our back issues to bring you these.   “Without having to say a word, my postman understands that right now I don’t want to answer the door. My best friend,…

Open all hours

For many people this is the last working day before the Christmas holidays. If Christmas is painful, having to endure it without the distraction of work is a daunting prospect. Each winter issue we publish a list of helplines and online forums that are open for all or most of the holidays. Here is this…

A different tree

I was still at primary school when I decided that I didn’t much care for Christmas. This year I see it a bit differently.

How do you get through the holidays?

We asked the excellent writers featured in our last issue, if they had any advice on getting through the holidays.   Mark Liebenow “We aren’t obligated to be happy during the holidays, and can say “No” to all invitations. Do what nourishes you and ignore the rest.”     Elaine Mansfield “My family and I…

A word to the not widowed: Sometimes I don’t want to talk about it because…

…because I’m bored of talking about it   …because I’m having a day of it and I might cry and I don’t want to cry   …because I don’t expect you to understand unless you’ve been through it yourself but you’ll want to try to understand and I’ll want to try to appreciate that and…

Our interview with Amy Biancolli

There is so much warmth in Amy’s book, Figuring Shit Out, about the first weeks and months after her husband’s suicide. And if you live in a part of the world where there are not neighbourhood bands and neighbours don’t respond to grief with an extensive rota of hot meals then you might want to…

Our interview with Mark Liebenow

If Mark’s writings don’t have you packing a rucksack or at least taking a stroll through the park then he’ll undoubtedly have you wandering around Yosemite in your imagination. Grief is a natural process and by turning to nature when his wife died, Mark shows us how it can help us soothe the pain and…

Our interview with Kristin Meekhof

Kristin’s A Widow’s Guide to Healing is the manual for getting through the first five years. Along with emotional support and lots of practical advice, there are quotes from dozens of different widows on how they experienced each aspect of widowhood. I love a checklist because it implies someone has properly thought through their advice….

Our interview with Elaine Mansfield

Elaine’s blog is a great place to read about spiritual dimensions of grief and the comments section is always busy with people sharing their stories. Her book, Leaning Into Love, focuses on taking grief as something through which we can learn many lessons and derive a lot of strength if we allow ourselves to see…

Need a hangout?

Imagine being able to tap into a network of people, talking in real time, about the same experiences you’re going through. People who let you unload your feelings and try to answer your questions at any time of the day or night. Online forums for widowed people are out there and growing in number.