A bereavement survival guide for widowed fathers

Statistics show that widowers are rare, and widowers with school-aged children make up a unique group (1).

When Dr Doug O'Neill's wife died of cancer, he found himself heartbroken, bewildered, and the single father of six young children. Dan Gilbertson lost his wife to the same disease. He became a single parent to an infant daughter and lost custody of his two step-children of seven years. Twenty years later, the two men teamed up to write "Grief Odyssey" (2012, WinePress Publishing) a bereavement survival manual that targets widowers with children.

Unlike many books on terminal illness, "Grief Odyssey" is written for the surviving spouse rather than the one facing death. O'Neill and Gilbertson share their personal journeys, from the fateful diagnosis of cancer to the long years of emotional recovery, and offer wisdom on preparing for a spouse's death, adjusting to being a single parent, and eventually finding healing.

Dr O'Neill speaks nationally and internationally at conferences on death and dying, and has authored a chapter in the book, Men Coping With Grief [2000, Baywood Publishing]. He teaches sociology at South Dakota University Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and believes that "Death and Dying in Our Society' should be a required course for students.

Dan Gilbertson is a partner, vice-president and financial planner with Summit Wealth Group, in Lakewood, Colorado. He has an extensive background in financial planning, insurance counselling, and fee-based asset management. He consults and advises many widowers, widows, their families, and friends on financial matters. He remains passionate about helping people avoid potential pitfalls of others taking advantage of their inheritance or settlements.

O'Neill and Gilbertson will donate $1 of the proceeds from the sale of each book to the American Cancer Society.

(1) www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p70-80.pdf

Source: Christian Newswire

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