Oct 25, 2016

Inspiring Stories: Abel Keogh

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m the proud father of 7 kids and husband to Julie (aka Marathon Girl), the most amazing woman in the world. During the day I work in marketing for a financial institution. At night after the kids have gone to bed, I write books. When I’m not working or writing, the rest of my time is spent playing with my kids and coaching their basketball, soccer, or football teams and going on a weekly date with my wife. There’s not time for anything else.

What inspired you to start writing about dating for widowers?

When I was widowed, I started blogging anonymously about my day-to-day experiences of being a young widower. Many of these stories included the ups and downs of dating again. My stories must have resonated with people because they began emailing me and asking me questions about the widowers they were dating. I never intended to write books about dating a widower but the emails piled up along with requests to write a book about dating widowers. I finally wrote a series of books. I’m glad I did because countless women and widowers have told me how much these books have helped them with their relationships.

What topics/themes are of particular interest to you?

When it comes to relationships, I’m very interested in how men think and act. A lot of my dating guides spend time talking about this because in order to know if a widower is actually ready for a serious relationship one has to understand how men behave when they’re in love and when they’re just stringing women along. Most relationship guides don’t pay enough attention to this.

Tell us more about your memoir, ‘Room For Two’.

It’s the year of my life after my late wife’s suicide. It’s how I put the pieces of my life back together and fell in love with Marathon Girl. It’s about how I found peace and that love and hope and endure despite the tragedies that shape our lives.

Your novel, ‘The Third’, has recently been published; any there any more novels in the pipeline?

Yes, I’m currently working on two other novels. One is a mystery novel and the other is a science fiction book. I hope to have them completed by the end of the year.

Can you share with us the ‘Five Things’ have helped you through bereavement?

 

- What one book?

I never found a book that helped me with the grief or bereavement. Those I tried to read were mostly full of empty platitudes. I think there’s a great opportunity for someone to write one that actually helps people.

- What one activity?

Running. I don’t know where I’d be if hadn’t run four or five miles every morning after I became widowed. It cleared my mind and prepped me for another day.

- What one quote?

‘There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.’ C.S. Lewis

- What one piece of advice?

Having a friend tell me it was okay to ‘cowboy up’ and move-on. I did and never looked back.

- What one song/piece of music?

The only music I could listen to after my late wife’s suicide was the Counting Crows album August and Everything After. There was something real about the lyrics and imagery that resonated with me during that time and all these years later. It’s the only music that seems to fit life not matter what I’m experiencing.

You can read more about Abel Keogh at his website: www.abelkeogh.com


Oct 4, 2016

A Widow’s Guide to Finding Happiness This Fall

With summer ending and the prospect of winter edging into the frame, it’s easy to hit a low spot. However, in between summer and winter comes The Fall.

As the autumn can bring with it feelings of nostalgia, and the foreboding of winter, it is also a time to enjoy the bounty of the most fruitful time of the year. With a veritable feast of good things to eat, and a dazzling display of nature at its’ very best, there is much to enjoy before the winter sets in.

October can still bring sunny and warm days and it’s hard to imagine the chilly evenings and long cold nights, which could soon be upon us. Use this time to prepare for any harsh winter elements and look forward to enjoying the next few weeks while there is still much to offer.

If you’re feeling lonely and missing your late partner this could be a good time to ask yourself if you’re ready to think about dating again.

Should you feel dating again would be preferable to winter nights home alone, consider your options and think about what you can do to find a certain someone you might want to connect with.

If there is someone you know who is also widowed and with whom you have only ever shared a platonic friendship, perhaps they would be pleased if you invited them to go on a walk, or invited them to share a meal. You could keep it fairly loose and see what happens.

If all goes well you could plan a thanksgiving dinner together. It doesn’t have to be exactly on Thanksgiving Day, but around that time. Planning supper could be part of the event with each of you choosing your favourite foods. There is nothing like pumpkin pie, and at this time of year it should be enjoyed with family and friends – new or otherwise.

Going for walks and enjoying the transient changes to the foliage, catching the scent of pine nuts and vine fruits, and kicking up the fallen leaves, are all elements that contribute to the joys of this wonderful season. The autumnal sound of a forest is nature’s own orchestra, and the best place to spend an afternoon, especially if you are with someone you care about.

If making new friends seems an illusive concept, especially if you have enjoyed many happy years with your partner, don’t give up.  Holding the idea in your mind that you would like to meet someone new, the greater the chance that it will happen. Self-belief and keeping an open mind are very important!

If you’re comfortable being single at this time, that is also fine. Lasting memories of a happy relationship with your partner are a valuable commodity and for some, all that is needed to keep you content.

However you’re feeling, make the most of the fall and treasure all that this rich and colourful season has to offer.


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