Building a Life You Love AFTER Losing the Love of Your Life
There are so many of us that have lost people close to us. From a spouse, partner, best friend, and family, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. I had the pleasure of speaking with Myra McElhaney who many of you have read her articles in Born To Ride magazine. Well, we are turning the tables and interviewing her about her successful book, “Losing the Love of your Life.”
Why did she decide to write this book? “It’s been 10 years since I lost my husband. At this stage in life, I’m meeting more and more women who have lost their spouse. In fact, in the past four months, two of my very close friends just lost their husbands. It seems never-ending.”
For many years, Myra had been a corporate trainer, public speaker, and writer. “The articles that I wrote were specific to the groups I worked for. I also participated in compilation books where groups of people write specific chapters for the book. I had participated in these compilation books but had not written a “real” book of my own. After my husband died in 2009, I had been thinking about writing a book about women in business. Once he died, I couldn’t face looking at that book again. It brought up too many memories. Because of my business networking, I knew of someone that connects professionals to other professionals – in my case, obtaining an agent to help me with my book.” Myra got very active in social media with her networking, speaking engagements, and upcoming book project. “I didn’t want to be that depressed, moping widow. Folks were reaching out to me telling me stories about friends who had recently lost a loved one, sharing their stories with me. These folks wanted me to reach out and personally speak with those grieving individuals. I found out that I was giving them the same kinds of advice, saying the same, comforting things to them, recommendations to read specific articles, etc. Because writing and speaking was something that I already did, it was an easy jump for me to write a book about my experience.”
With Myra’s corporate background, it was always teaching leadership skills or how to create connections – that sort of thing. “I wanted to make sure that my book was a memoir – telling MY story. I believe that we learn from other people’s stories. When a story resonates with us, it doesn’t have to tell us how to use this information. It’s more of an ‘Oh, she did that! Maybe I can do that, too!’ I also believe that when you’re widowed, you don’t totally lose your sense of humor. It’s ok to laugh through the tears. I wanted this book to be a test of my humor, warm and uplifting, and just one woman possibly telling a story that resonates with the reader. I tell the story with love and humor.”
After the book was written, Myra started speaking at women’s groups around the country trying to help rebuild these women’s personal and social lives. “As you personally know, Susan, once you’ve lost your spouse, your social life changes. You’re no longer a couple with your friends. In fact, there is a chapter in the book called, ‘Was My Invitation Lost in the Mail?”’
Some of her Chapter Titles are excellent! In bed with Jose Cuervo, You Talking To Me?, My God, My God! Why Has Thou Forsaken Me?, Shock, Denial, and Prozac, Don’t Cry in the Liquor Store, I Have Strange Bedfellows, Layers of Lost, Condolences and Sympathies, Without This Ring, and other great titles.
As Myra was writing her book, she found that she was definitely healing within. “Six years after my husband died, I started writing the book. I thought I was pretty healed. But writing about those things brought up a lot of feelings and emotions that had not really healed. So writing and organizing the book was cathartic.” Myra found, from talking with so many people over the years, that the first year after a loved one dies, the wife/ husband wants to memorialize the late spouse. They want to build the house they planned on building together, build a monument, start a foundation – do something. That need to immortalize them tends to go away after the first couple of years.
“After Phil had been gone for a while, many people thought I would get back into my corporate work. But what worked for ME was getting involved in non-profit work, fundraising, and my own writing projects.” In addition to a few other nonprofits Myra is involved with, she recently became involved on the board of a nonprofit called, Dress for Success. It was interesting to see how much Myra and I had in common; the loss of our husbands, published authors, public speakers, and motorcyclists. We spent a great deal of time sharing our pains and losses and how we were able to find that perfect spot where we heal and move forward. Interspersing humor in our conversation was an added plus!
Myra’s book was self-published in 2016. She sells on Amazon and on Facebook Marketplace. If you are interested in reading a great book or giving this book to a friend, I highly recommend you purchase this great book!
Thank you, Myra, for a wonderful afternoon discussing “Losing the Love of Your Life.” All of us in your Born To Ride Family love you and thank you for sharing your book with us – and the readership of the magazine!
By Susan Hurst
Read Myra’s Inspiring Book “Losing the Love of Your Life” at www.MyraMcElhaney.com