Grieving? New author, Shelby Wagner, shares the story of her grief journey to help others know what they are feeling is normal and necessary, while encouraging activity to help themselves to get better, return to living again, and to be careful and stay safe.

Although the phrase, “Learning to Dance in the Rain,” is not original, it is an appropriate metaphor summarizing my activities during the two years which followed the sudden death of my husband in 2016.¬† This tragic event catapulted me into a period of extreme sadness and emotional pain, and changed my life forever.

My husband and I had been planning a party to celebrate  our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Instead I was thrust into planning a funeral for him. In the blink of an eye, I was no longer part of a couple, I had become a single lady of 75 and a grieving widow faced with innumerable decisions which had to be made immediately, and more to come in the days and weeks ahead.

The death of a spouse is one of the top five most difficult periods in one’s life and to me it was devastating. I had never lived alone having left my parents’ home at the age of twenty-four and moved into my husband’s, and I soon discovered at the age of seventy-five, that living alone was not something I enjoyed. It was extremely difficult and several times in the months that followed I asked God why I had not been taken too. Over the years I had heard of several surviving spouses who had died within a few weeks of the first, and I now understood. Researching the subject brought the news that this is so common it has been given a title, the Widowhood Effect. Statistics show that a surviving spouse has a 66% increased risk of dying within 3 months of the first, because typically they focus on their partner’s health at the expense of their own, and according to www.verywellmind.com, it usually takes 18 months to regain their physical and psychological health afterwards.

People need to know that grieving is not a disease, but it is a time of extreme stress, sadness, grief and pain, a time of survival.

My period of grieving was not free from mistakes. Forewarned about scammers on dating websites, I thought I was smart enough to avoid them, but I wasn’t. One of the men (I think it was a man, it’s hard to know who is on the other side of a written conversation), I was chatting with on the website found my weak spot and conned me into sending him some money to help him when a terrible tragedy occurred. He promised to return the money, but the State Police Officer who handled my case said I would never see it again and I haven’t. Anyway, I was inspired to tell my story so that others could avoid being scammed. Naively, I thought that if no one sent money to a scammer, then the business would not be profitable and that would end this criminal activity. In theory, it sounds good, but I need all of you who read this to share the information with friends and relatives, I need your help in getting the word out.

You will not want to miss reading this story first if you are considering going online to meet a new partner. Please buy a copy for yourself or your friend and please write a review of the book, if you think it is worthy.




or order it from your favorite bookstore.

This page was last updated on June 29, 2020