Release Date April 2018
Austin Macauley UK Publishers
What Is This About?
Becoming Madam Widow is the real-life story about a woman who suddenly and tragically loses her husband, business partner and best friend. The book is written for women, who, in the prime of their lives lose a partner and find themselves unexpectedly swimming in a sea of fear, angst, and loneliness because of the fate of a circumstance they had no control over.
Who are you now anyway?
Are you this woman?
Weepy Widow? Frightened Princess or Badass Modern Woman? This is a book for the woman who knows she wants to get back to the art of living and do it her own way. Just about everything you want to know about living singly and powerfully in your first years as a widow is covered in this book. All ideas, fresh and indispensable. This is not a sweetly sentimental book about coddling yourself through the various stages of grief. That would be another book, for a different woman, not you, and if you’re looking for tea and sympathy, please look elsewhere, there are tons of books on the market written about that.
This is a book about personal growth, enlightenment, empowerment, and self-sufficiency. It’s also a book about style, design, money, conquering fear, understanding yourself, and how other people impact your life and why. Quite frankly, it’s a book about kicking ass and living life according to your personal creation. It’s about you and who you have the power to be. Pure and simple.
Becoming Madam Widow is a modern book written for modern women by a Badass Widow. Well written. Direct. Powerful
On Style – From Chapter Five – Defining and then Re-defining Your style
I was in my favorite grocery store one Saturday afternoon seven months after Lex died when I noticed a blonde version of myself at the checkout. She was about my age and height and she had the exact same haircut as me. It was a layered cut, just past the shoulder with the bangs swept over to one side. I watched her, and she, noticing that, glanced up and gave me a little smile.
She finished her check out at the same time I did and then pushed her buggy full of groceries out to her car. I slowly meandered out as well and with a sideways gaze watched her pile her bags into the trunk, jump into the driver’s seat and speed away. She wasn’t all that fascinating, you understand, just a woman, like me, doing her weekly shopping. She was certainly an attractive woman, somebody’s wife, possibly somebody’s mother. She was driving a car that was far more expensive than mine and she was wearing some lovely clothes, actually more designer than the ones I had on. She looked as though she made an effort with herself whenever she went anywhere, and I thought that was a good thing.
However, there was something about this very nice-looking woman that bothered me. In fact, I found the entire experience of her to be a little troubling. She was attractive, to be sure, but somehow so average and slightly suburban. Was I like that? Did I look like a very nice, but slightly boring widow? Had I allowed the excitement of who I was go out of my life since marrying? The entire concept was somehow very unsettling, and it took me a little while to actually figure it out.
That night I felt restless and troubled. This little experience was a wakeup call for me. For the first time in years, I saw myself as I really was, not who I thought I was, or who I had been a long time ago. I had fallen into a kind of mediocrity which was alarming to me. I had become everything that I swore I would never be during my single and independent days. In fact, I realized that I may have turned into a little bit of a middle-aged frump. Was I dull? Lacking any interesting style? Unhappily suburban? The first clue was my hair. It was all too common. For some odd reason, I had always thought of myself as an individualist with a unique and highly personal style, unlike any other woman I saw on the street. That included my hair. When I saw the blonde woman with my very same haircut, I knew that I had gone astray. I had lost that individualistic edge that was so important in everything I did. Where was the spirit of joy and playfulness from my old life? In fact, it was me as this other girl, the one I had left behind that had attracted my husband in the first place. Now I had become another kind of woman. A sedate middle-aged relic. What happened to the creative girl I had been a long time long ago?
After that I began noticing women everywhere I went with that same haircut. There were blondes, brunettes even a redhead. It was like a cookie cutter style for the over 40 set. I would like to say that I am not so obsessed with fashion that it dominates my life. I like style and I like lovely clothing and accessories just like any other woman but what I favored more than anything else was a personal expression of who I was. Seeing all these other women wearing the same clothes, the same shoes and the same haircut, was a strong reminder to me that I was no longer the exciting woman that I had always imagined myself to be and I needed to do something about it.
My new widowhood was the perfect opportunity to introduce a new look and style to my life. I knew that people were expecting me to emerge from the cocoon I had created for myself and they wanted to see me victorious. Creating a new image just for me was certainly a step in the right direction. After thinking about for a few days, I decided that it was time to sit down, have a meeting with myself and get down to the business of re-creating my image…
“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”
On Design – From Chapter Five – Making Your Personal Space More Personal
Family, friends, and the so-called experts will always warn not to make too many drastic changes during the first few months to a year after a devastating loss like the death of a spouse. Certainly, you will be experiencing a myriad of feelings as well as a great deal of confusion so deciding what to do and how to live should be something that you allow to evolve as you yourself are going to evolve over the first twelve months, until at least the first anniversary of his death. So, you may not want to move quickly to sell your house, quit your job and run away to join the circus. Instead, you should take the time to heal and begin making some small changes to the domestic space that you and he shared in an effort to style it in a personal way and make is strictly your own.
During the first short period after Lex died, I found it excruciatingly difficult to be in the spaces of the house that were his favorites. All of his personal belongings, all the things that were special to him during his life with me were still here. I was the one left behind that had to deal with them.
I knew that it would not be healthy in any way for me to cling to the past by hanging on to his possessions, so I made a plan to start giving things away or just getting rid of them entirely by recycling or putting them out with the trash. To those of you who have recently suffered the loss of your husband these words may sound cruel and unfeeling, but nothing could be further from the truth. One thing you must avoid as you move on to your own life is to not make your home a shrine. He is gone but you’re still around and that’s just the way it is…
“Sometimes you have to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything – whatever is bringing you down – get rid of it. Because you will find that when you are free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”
– Tina Turner
…Your home is your refuge. You are like a caterpillar that has wound itself into a cocoon and is in the process of evolving into a magnificent butterfly. Your home and the wonderful society of rooms in it are the places where you will discover the new you. It must be harmonious and comforting. Also, it must provide a convenient space where you can begin your work, that is, the job of a lifetime, reinventing yourself and emerging as the new and glorious person you are about to become.
Therefore, one of your tasks will be to turn the place into one that reflects you. After you complete the task of purging everything you don’t now require from your past life, or even before that task is completed it’s important that you begin to take that space and give it a new face, one that is reflective of your own style…
On Money – From Chapter Four – Managing the Left Brain
Face it; you cannot live a fulfilling life without a little money of your own. You also can’t be an excellent woman if you are foolish about managing whatever money you do have at any given time.
For most of my working life, I have always been an entrepreneur. Therefore, I can say with total certainty that money can be your friend and it can also be your foe. But the getting of it and the proper management of it is an art in itself and can certainly make a real woman out of any girl…
…Like everybody else in the world, I like money and plenty of it. The thing is that I never really wanted to spend the time on the mundane duties and study of proper financial management. I did just a little bit between the time I was divorced and the time I married Lex. Years before my marriage I was talked into the idea of creating a diversified portfolio of investments by a clever, albeit conservative, banker. Today I am deeply indebted to him for his astute suggestions because these initial tiny investments, over a period of time, have made quite a tidy sum of money for me over the years. Now, fortunately, I have a little nest egg to fall back on if times get really tough.
One of the first things I had to do if I were to survive was to take stock of exactly what I had and what my costs of living were and keep a tight rein on it. My assets included the equity in the country house, my investments, some cash on hand in various accounts and a few items of value which included a high-performance vintage convertible sports car that I could sell.
These were my lifesavers in the early going. I quickly learned some rudimentary financial management and took control of my situation by examining the details on a daily basis.
Make no mistake, I didn’t obsess over it, that could make anyone a little crazy and fearful and we are trying to avoid fear or at least manage it. The fear of a shortage of money is one of the greatest anyone can experience because it boils down to that old devil lack, and we all want abundance, don’t we?…
“People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured that if you have enough money you can have a key made”
On Fear – From Chapter Two – Conquering the Big Three – Fears, Worry and Hopelessness
…Wouldn’t you like your life to be a treasure? Most people would. But most people are selectively indifferent to commitment and change so their lives continue on in the most mediocre of states. You may have been living in a mediocre state yourself up until now, but suddenly you have been shoved into the most painful of situations. There are choices, of course, a couple of them, sink or swim, as the old saying goes, or as I always said to myself, “I’m going to do this or I’m going to die.” Petrifying thoughts, yes, but if you work at this thing, you’ll come out of the experience with a depth of character so precious that you won’t believe yourself. That’s because treasures like these only come from the worst moments in life.
Most people will spend their entire lives doing whatever they can to avoid painful negative emotions, and fear is absolutely the nastiest and most negative of them all. But if you’re looking to this, (or any other book you may read), to help you eliminate fear permanently from your life than stop looking because you’re not going to find it. Fear cannot be eliminated from any life, not for a widow, not for anybody. It will always be there throughout your lifetime. How you choose to deal with it will determine your ultimate destiny and directly affect the level of happiness you will enjoy as you proceed on your personal life journey. An excellent woman, that is, one who has learned to manage her fear, will feel it every time she faces a new challenge, but she proceeds as if she doesn’t. In other words, just because you feel fear doesn’t mean you have to be afraid. You can make the choice between the emotion of fear and the emotion of courage. If you choose the latter, then you will begin to look over your shoulder, as I did, at your conquests and quickly observe that you will have grown a little bit with every challenge that rears its nasty head. A series of these conquests become the magical link that helps you move forward to your new life…
“I’m not afraid of storms for I’m learning to sail my ship.”
– Louisa May Alcott