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on 15 April 2005
This is so helpful to anyone who has lost a partner. At whatever stage you might be in terms of your grief, there is something for you here. From the early days when your brain is like soup and you need practical advice, through to a time when you might contemplate leaving the house for an evening out, there is a chapter for you.
You don't need sugary words or psychological explanations of the grieving process - you need clear, straightforward advice and this is what you get with this book.
I think it is also required reading for anyone who might be trying to help a friend or family member coping with the loss of their partner as this will help you to understand a process that is thankfully outside the experiences of most people until later in life.
I am widowed and this book will end up being as well thumbed as my 'Delia'!
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on 15 September 2017
This is a brilliant book and helped me a great deal when dealing with loss of a loved one. I would highly recommend it.
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on 6 October 2008
I purchased this book purely because of the previous reviews. No-one wants to find themselves in the position of having recently lost their partner - but some of us do. This book is an amazing read with lots of emotional, social and practical advice and solutions. It even has a recipe for those who find themselves having to cook when maybe they haven't done much before. It is also very humerous in places. Above all it leads you to a brilliant website and discussion forum where you can express your feelings and know that someone will respond.
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on 29 June 2005
if a friend has lost their partner and you don't know what to do or say, buy this book for them, make the recipe on page 75 and take it round. So many people say at the funeral 'if there's anything i can do just let me know', This book makes it easy to understand why the person who is grieving never does 'let you know' and helps you to realise just what they might be going through. Buy it for someone else and be a real friend before you need to buy it for your self. This book is refreshing, honest, real and full of helpful information. If you cannot cook, buy a take-away and take it round, take the children out for the day or take away a basket of ironing and return it done; do anything for them that makes that day a tiny bit easier. This book will help you make a difference.
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on 18 May 2014
My dear wife and friend died of cancer at the young age of 45, I was recommended this book by a friend of a friend, but sadly, it may work for some but not for me. The book is heavily weighted to widows and widowers with children so it helps highlight what else you are missing out on in the normal world if you were cut short of having any children yourself. Children are covered throughout the whole book so I really got frustrated by this. Thanks for reminding me I didn't have the chance to have children and having less purpose to carry on with my life.
The book is written by and for the wealthier side in society where dinner parties are the norm and money is not a worry. It dosent reflect the real world most of us live in.
The main advice in the book is, quote: 'sink or swim' - this maybe true, but not the easiest advice to swallow when I am someone who is struggling to even tread water during the earlier stage of grief which is where I am at now.
The section on anger management is appalling just advising one to beat the living day lights out of your sofa with a baseball bat. I'm afraid that's a cop out, a. I can't afford to smash my sofa up, b. there's no signposting or cognitive support offered at all!!!!
Sorry but The book has left me feeling more angry, alone and upset.
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on 26 August 2014
Having lost my husband two years ago I found this very negative! It's full of pointing out how you feel rather than offering any helpful advice. It made me feel much worse. The chapter about Socialising I found very upsetting, made me feel like an outcast. Just pointing out how terribly unpopular I now am. Thanks for that don't need reminding! She comes across as very bitter and twisted. I'd recommend Second Firsts by Christina Rasmussen if you actually want to survive this! If you want your nose rubbing in it then buy this!
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on 21 April 2010
This book was inspirational after the death of my husband. I could relate to everything she said and I soon realised that I was not alone. The title is very fitting. If you are not sure about buying a book or which one to buy I would strongly recommend this one. It has lots of practical information and a website that goes hand in hand with it.

Top marks. Well done and thank you.
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on 11 March 2011
I bought this for a close friend who had recently lost her husband. She said it made her feel normal again and realised that she wasn't alone. She has since been on to the authors website on the chat forums which has also helped and then one Sunday in February, she met up with 22 widow/ers for lunch in London.

I am really pleased that I have been able to help heal my friend by buying her this book. Thanks Sam for the recommendation and thanks to Kate Boydell for taking the time to share your experiences in such a touching way!
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on 15 April 2005
How many guides are there to coping with the death of a partner that deal with both the practicalities and the emotional trauma in such a straightforward, honest and sympathetic way? This book, based on the hugely successful website, is incredibly helpful to people trying to make their way through the dreadful fog of grief while coping with day-to-day life.
My own experience of being widowed relatively young is relevant here, as I referred to Kate's website constantly in the early days. Her advice at each stage of the process is practical, succinct and honest. The book goes further, as it is intended for any poor soul who faces this disaster - male or female. Each chapter deals with a specific stage of the loss, grieving process, and all the mass of paperwork and general 'coping with life' that has to be done. There is advice about coping with the funeral, dealing with the belongings of your partner (basically don't do anything that doesn't feel right or that you're not ready for) and supporting your children.
Perhaps the most helpful aspect of this book is its basic message - an uplifting one, that life can - and will - eventually return. Kate refers to her own experiences and those of people with whom she's corresponded, so you never feel that you are reading any 'psychobabble' but genuine peoples' stories and advice.
And there is humour too. No book on death ought to be depressing - you need help, but you don't need to be made to feel any worse than you do already. Interspersed with her advice are Kate's 'diary entries' which are often likely to make you laugh out loud, and what can be a greater gift than to be able to raise smiles among those who feel that they will never laugh again?
I would urge anyone in my situation to get this book. It's really 'from the horse's mouth' and as the blurb says, it's unique as it is genuinely practical.
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on 14 August 2011
Three months after my father passed away, I bought this book for my mother hoping that it would help her in some way. I have been blown away at how how much this book has helped her through this horrible time. Nothing can prepare you for the death of a partner but this book has helped her come to terms with what has happened as well as giving an understanding of the grieving process. The change in my mother has been huge in a very short space of time. The despair in her voice has been replaced with an acceptance of the situation she now finds herself in. Upcoming events such as Dad's birthday and Christmas don't seem so impossible any more. Whilst nothing can take away what has happened this book can at least help in understanding the thoughts, feelings and emotions of grief.
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