Lambertville woman writes book on loss and grievingWritten by Mary Petrides | | firstname.lastname@example.org
When Jan Hudson of Lambertville, lost her husband four and a half years ago, she didn’t have what she needed to heal.
“I was looking everywhere,” she said. “[I thought] I must be the only person that feels this way.”
So Hudson wrote a book and founded a group to help others.
She recently self-published her book “Cry when you cry, and that’s okay … A Mourning Journal.” The spiral-bound book contains about 20 pages with photographs — Hudson is a professional photographer — and inspirational words. Most of the pages, however, are blank, with lines for journaling.
“It just basically takes you through the first six to eight months of the mourning process,” she said.
“As it goes on, it gets progressively ‘I did better today,’” she said.
“You’re crying, but all of a sudden as you’re going through it you say, ‘Oh, I’m getting better,’” said Donna Vaughn, Hudson’s friend.
Bookstores and libraries carry books on grieving, but not books like this, said Vaughn, who lost her husband about six years ago.
“The book is something that’s totally different than anything I’ve ever tried to find,” Hudson said. “Even … being this many years away from it, it’s one of those things that you pick it up and you open it up and you read the beginning, and all of a sudden you find yourself crying.”
Hudson also began Widow Strength, an informal group for people who have lost spouses, children, parents or friends.
The group is mostly women older than 40, Hudson said, but there’s no rule. The group meets about once a month, usually at Hudson’s house, and the members talk.
“We need somebody who’s gone through it,” Vaughn said.
No one in the group is a professional grief counselor or psychologist, Vaughn said. Rather, members comfort each other, keep tabs on each other and support each other through their mourning.
Vaughn said even when the journal’s pages are full, it is a good keepsake to have.
“[It shows] even yourself that you made it, you made it through,” she said. “Even though you never get over it, you made it through.
“There’s a light at the end of the journey, so just keep walking,” Hudson said.
Hudson’s book sells for $24.95 at www.widowstrength.net.
She has sold more than 500 copies.