SWFL widow seeks to help other widows with new book

Bonnie Merryfield turned her pain into a project to help women like herself who have lost their husbands.

“My goal was to make it easier for women who have been widowed in dealing with everything that comes up,” Merryfield said.

These are the women who are thankful that she made it her mission to help people in their situation.

“I was only 55 when my husband Nick passed away and I was like, ‘What am I gonna do? I lost my past, present, my future,'” said Kathy Haan-Hall.

“I was married 57 years…my husband was wonderful,” said Jane McCarthy. “I thought I paid all the bills. Well, guess what? I didn’t.”

Merryfield knows that confusion and questions that follow losing your husband.;

“I was widowed in May of 2018,” she said. “There’s so much that you’re suddenly hit with: funeral arrangements, bank accounts that have to be changed and there wasn’t one book that had everything in it.”

So Now You’re A Widow: Tips, Advice and Stories from Widows to Widows by Bonnie Merryfield (Outskirts Press)

So the former English teacher took it upon herself to interview other widowed women to create a collection of their thoughts and tips.

“To put the information that they need in one book where it isn’t one author’s opinion,” Merryfield said.

Because the pages of her book “So Now You’re A Widow” contain 35 different experiences and advice from 35 different widows.

“I did grief counseling which really helped me,” Haan-Hall said. “A lot of people answered questions much differently than I answered them.”

“I try now, after reading the book, to be more sensitive to other people; also to understand people are grieving in a different way,” McCarthy said.

Providing people with information that won’t make the hole in their heart disappear, but hopefully, help loosen grief’s grip on their life.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Briana Harvath
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