Living Forward After Loss

Rebuilding Your Life After Losing Your Life Partner

Non-Fiction - Self Help
126 Pages
Reviewed on 05/08/2020
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christina Hamlett for Readers' Favorite

Recently widowed author Kathleen Ho holds no tears back in Living Forward After Loss, a bittersweet tribute to her late husband. Felled by an unexpected stroke after 10 years of marriage, he left behind a wife who found herself darkly contemplating whether her own life without him was even worth living. While there is never a one-size-fits-all formula for the grieving process, Ho approaches the subject with candor, sensitivity, and a healthy dose of realism to not only address her own sorrow but to offer gentle advice as well to readers who may one day find themselves on the same sad journey. Along with stories by other survivors of tragedy, her text is intermixed with quotes from prominent experts. The underlying message of gratitude for everything that was rather than despair over that which will never be is as inspirational as it is a well-grounded education in grief management.

There are so many valuable takeaways in Living Forward After Loss that I found myself excited to write this review and attempt to cover all of them. The one which resonated most deeply with me was the blunt reality that while it’s okay to feel vulnerable, this is not an excuse to be stupid. Too often a devastating loss opens the door to radical changes as a perceived salve for unspeakable pain; i.e. substance abuse, impetuous relationships and even reinventing personal appearance. Further, there is a natural tendency to play out a multitude of “what ifs” or fervently wish for do-overs. Coupled with emotional triggers such as holidays, photographs and the well-intended reminiscences of family and friends can make it feel as if the loss is something which will never, ever end. Ho further emphasizes that giving up should never be considered part of the recovery equation. A loved one may be gone, she says, but even in the afterlife, they would be hurt to see a sadness so profound as to result in suicide. If we truly want to honor a deceased spouse, child, parent, or friend, she recommends that the best way is by living a full and authentic existence and daily visualizing our best possible selves. How we react determines how we ultimately survive and thrive.

I likewise warmed to the portions of Ho’s book in which she advises how we can best comfort someone who has endured a loss. In recent times I have found myself in this unsettling role, and her observations were spot-on. Specifically, either supporters don’t know what to say and so they err on the side of saying nothing, or they blunder ahead and say all the wrong things such as, “I know exactly how you feel,” “S/he is in a better place,” and “You’ll meet someone new.” Thanks to Ho’s warm, conversational style of communicating advice based on her own experiences, I feel that I can now be better in the inevitability of friends needing a shoulder to cry on.