My name is Vickie Garcia.  In September of 2009, my husband, George Garcia, passed away. I know I am not the first woman to lose a husband, nor am I the last. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only woman to also lose a son-in-law hours later, though my psychiatrist insists he’s never had another case like mine.

I know that the idea of a self-help book for widows isn’t any sort of novelty, mostly because I’ve read so many of them. You see, I’m the woman who actively went out in search of a way to cope, not just for myself but for my daughter. She had lost her father and her husband committed suicide. We were on shaky ground. I had to keep the two of us from collapsing. I still remember the old widows from my childhood, sitting in the back of church, mourning in black years after the passing of their husbands. That would not be me or my daughter.

Life was moving forward as usual with no mercy. I gathered all my strength just like I did to battle alcoholism years before and kept moving forward, never looking back. I learned to reach out to all my friends; yes, on the way I lost a lot of them, but I value the ones that understood, held my hand and picked up the phone just to tell me “the sun tomorrow is going to shine” and say “ you going to be ok”. Their trust in me helped me to push forward as fast I as could. I remember one friend calling and telling me "I don’t know what to say but I wanted to let know I care and I’m here." That was a very special gift of security and friendship and I so badly needed it.

My daughter and I took trips, talked with people, and read. We read the books of the 9/11 widows, the Jersey girls, even stories of widows in the Bible. As consoling as it was to know that I was not alone, getting lost in the many memories of other women was no way to move forward. Consolation was really all that these books offered. I tried to keep going with the life my husband and I had created but I realized things could never really go back to the way they were. What I needed was a plan. And so that’s what I created; a plan for moving forward. I focused on the future. I made plans. I stayed positive about all the other things going on in my life. Yes, there were still nights I’d come home and just cry and miss him, but that was ok, as long as I remembered that tomorrow would be a new day and there was more to see and do.

That is what I’m here to present you; my survival guide for widows, my plan for moving forward. Death is a serious and heavy topic — and sometimes we need a little reminder that it is alright to focus on happier times and laugh again.

My advice is “travel light and feel good moving forward.”  My daughter and I have triumphed over grief and I know you can do the same.

I thank you for visiting my website and hope that my life experiences can be of some help to you.