Beyond Shattered Dreams
Gaylene Guillemin / 12 June 2019

Beyond Shattered Dreams: A Journey Through Grief to Self-Empowermentby Gaylene GuilleminPublished by Gaylene Guillemin Reviewed by Ben Charles$16.99 ISBN 9781775220404 Beyond Shattered Dreams: A Journey Through Grief to Self-Empowerment, written and published by Gaylene Guillemin can be best described as a powerful and tender guide through the inescapable sorrows of the human condition that are grief and loss. Guillemin has a wide variety of expertise in the field of loss as a motivational speaker, an angel card reader and from formal education with a certificate in Death and Grief Studies. However, it is not from her studies or her energy work that Guillemin draws from to speak on her experiences with loss but from the tragic loss of her late husband in 2014, Mervin Guillemin, whom she affectionately refers to as “Merv”. The book begins as Gaylene discusses her relationship with Merv. She had been married to him for twenty-two years and from her descriptions of their family and life together the reader can easily see the deep level of love that she still has for him. Gaylene goes on to discuss Merv’s declining health, and the challenges that losing mobility, being in and out of hospitals constantly, and the…

Dear Me: The Widow Letters
DriverWorks Ink / 13 June 2018

Dear Me: The Widow Letters Compiled by Dianne Young Published by DriverWorks Ink Review by Keith Foster $14.95            ISBN 978-1-927570-43-2 Only those who’ve experienced the loss of a spouse can know the intense emotional feelings of that bereavement. In Dear Me: The Widow Letters, Dianne Young compiles the feelings of twenty widows, including herself, in a series of letters written several years after the death of their spouse. Each widow writes a letter addressed to herself as she was in the immediate aftermath of her loss. It’s as if each is going back in time to give the advice and consolation she wishes she’d had. These widows of varying ages live across Canada and one in the United States; thirteen are from Saskatchewan. Some marriages were long-term – sixty-four years for one couple – others short, barely beyond the honeymoon stage for another couple. Each widow explores her feelings as she goes through the various phases of the grieving process. Everyone experiences grief differently, yet all share some of the same traits. Feelings of guilt and anger are normal. So is crying, even at the most unexpected times, like at a checkout line or going through the car wash. Others…

Vidh, a Book of Mourning
Hagios Press / 15 June 2011

Vidh, A Book Of Mourning by Phyliss Nakonechny Published by Hagios Press Review by Sharon Adam $18.95 978-1-926710-06-8 Following the death of her husband, Phyliss Nakonechny devoted much of her time to the pursuit of understanding grief and grieving. She asked the question “what does it mean to be a widow?” and came away empty-handed. What she learned is the stark, utterly personal nature of such a quest. However, she discovered a few signposts along the way which she now shares in hope of helping others through their own journey. The first thing Phyllis found was a simple word: Vidh. Vidh is known as the ancient Sanskrit word for widow and widowhood. However, Vidh has a second meaning stemming from ancient India that few know: it also expresses notions of “apart, lacking, and empty.” Not a misery memoir, but a voice for every woman who will become a widow, Nakonechny’s book also provides an insight for men who are left behind. Death and dying are two entirely different things. When your spouse is dying, there are still moments of tenderness, intimacy and the sense of the person being there. In death there is nothing but memory. Everything that was physical…