Archive for Soul-mates Posts

A Widow’s Awakening – Unpacking the Ultimate Mystery

By Kara Post-Kennedy

“The author understands above all that grief plays tricks with the mind and that as sentient beings we are always seeking meaning; even in tragedy, even in the senseless.”

– Kara Post Kennedy

Here is a detailed and insightful book review of A Widow’s Awakening:

Death is the ultimate mystery; while we can understand the mechanics of biological, physical death, it is hard for any of us to fathom the ongoing journey of the soul without its corporeal suit.  Religions try to explain it in a way our brains can comprehend, people who share “after-life” experiences hope to shed some light for the curious, but no one truly knows, once the body has expired, what this energy and intelligence and love we have accumulated during our lifetime does next.

In “A Widow’s Awakening”, Maryanne Pope grapples with all of this through the transformative lens of profound grief; when her husband and “soul mate” was killed in a freak workplace accident at the age of 32, her life was turned upside down and inside out so catastrophically that she had no choice but to dive into the ocean of pain and confusion to try to make sense of her enormous loss.  Or if not “sense”, at least find meaning.

This fictionalized account of her story is by turns raw and gangly and then elegant and profound.  She leaves her ego at the door and just lays it out bare—she is not precious with herself and gives the reader the whole spectrum of her response, from grandiose delusions to suicidal despair.  The rollercoaster ride of early grief is accounted for with complete candor; her unflinching approach makes for a compelling, although sometimes uncomfortable, tale…

Please click here to read entire review.

To order a copy, please visit BHC Press.

A Widow’s Awakening Novel is Now Available!

 

“I fear acceptance of his death because I know that will lead to apathy. Somehow positive change has to come out of this.”

– Maryanne Pope, A Widow’s Awakening

100% of proceeds from first 1000 copies sold goes to JPMF

On September 29th, 2000, Cst John Petropoulos of the Calgary Police Service fell to his death during the investigation of a break and enter complaint at a warehouse. John was searching the mezzanine level when he stepped through an unmarked false ceiling, fell nine feet into the lunchroom below and died of brain injuries.

There was no safety railing in place to warn him – or anyone else – of the danger. There ended up being no intruder in the building; it was a false alarm.

John was 32. We both were. So began my journey as a young widow.

About the JPMF

Shortly after John’s death, several of his police recruit classmates started the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund (JPMF). 18 years later the JPMF is still going strong. The Fund is a registered Canadian charity that raises public awareness about why and how to ensure workplaces are safe for everyone, including emergency responders.

For further information and/or to view the JPMF’s safety videos and public service announcements, please visit the JPMF website.

Since John’s death in 2000, thousands and thousands of people have died at work or as the result of an occupational-related illness. Thousands more have been seriously impacted by life-altering injuries.

About A Widow’s Awakening

September 29th, 2000 was the worst day of my life…and to be perfectly honest, things got a lot worse before they began to get better. When John died, I lost my husband, best friend, lover, soul mate and my biggest fan. I was beyond devastated; something deep inside me had broken and I didn’t know how to fix it.

A Widow’s Awakening captures the tumultuous first year of my grief. It is a candid story about my search to find meaning in John’s death while learning how to accept the unacceptable and transform loss into positive change – both through the workplace safety educational initiatives of the JPMF as well as through my own life and my writing.

To become a writer was my life long dream. John’s dream had been to become a police officer. Paradoxically, his line of duty death gave me the financial freedom to write…and the kick in the ass I needed to do the work.

A bit of background about the book

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may be aware that A Widow’s Awakening was originally self-published as a creative non-fiction book in 2008. Over the next decade, it sold 2000 copies. In 2017, the publisher BHC Press picked it up for publication and is releasing it on September 13th, 2018 as a fictional novel based on a true story.

The novel is very similar in style and content to the creative non-fiction edition. There have been a few editorial changes plus a new afterword and, of course, a beautiful new cover!

To order the book

A Widow’s Awakening is available in print (softcover) and as an e-book. For a list of on-line retailers where the book is available, please visit the A Widow’s Awakening page at BHC Press.

If you would like to purchase a signed copy of the print book ($19.95 plus $5 shipping), you can order it through the Pink Gazelle store or the JPMF storeAll proceeds from the first 1000 copies sold goes to JPMF.

What readers are saying

Over the years, I am honoured to have heard back from dozens of readers with their thoughts on the book. Please click here to read some of the testimonials.

Here are a few reviews from the advance reading copy of the novel:

“As a safety professional and a Threads of Life volunteer, I recommend reading “A Widow’s Awakening.” It provides a vivid, heartbreaking reality of the consequences of an unsafe workplace and the personal costs of a workplace fatality. It brings home the message that we must ensure our workplaces are safe, not only for the workers, managers and public on a daily basis but also the Emergency First Responders who may be called there to help. One life lost is one too many.” 

– Laura Synyard

“Based on a true story, A Widow’s Awakening, is a hauntingly beautiful story of enduring love, overwhelming heartache and discovering resiliency.  With descriptions that are heartfelt, painful and often humorous, author Maryanne Pope artfully paints a picture of what it is like to have your entire world pulled out from under you.” 

– Sharon Ehlers, Grief Reiki

“A Widow’s Awakening expresses the gripping pain of losing someone you love, tragically and unexpectedly. Yes, it’s a novel….but the candid truth of this widow’s suffering is real. It’s Maryanne’s personal story, but it’s more than her story. It’s for anyone who has suffered a tragic loss…she captures the essence of a grieving soul. In a strange way you may feel relief because you’ve had some of those same feelings as she did that others often judge. You realize you are not alone.”

– Robin Chodak, Grief Coach

For further information

For further details about the book, including a list of niche markets, please visit the A Widow’s Awakening home page on the Pink Gazelle site.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. She is the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here. Maryanne lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

 

Join the Journey – Request an Early Review Copy of A Widow’s Awakening before June 30th

 

“The experience of reading this book is nothing less than a journey. One woman’s journey from the death of her husband, through the search for some meaning, and finally to a level of acceptance. I’m sure there isn’t one among us who hasn’t been on the same search at one point in our lives and can relate to her story. I hesitate to use the term “story”, because it doesn’t do it justice. With this being a true event, it has much more meaning than a work of fiction. I really enjoyed this book and could relate to her struggle.”

– AWA reader, LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program

Request Your Early Review Copy by June 30th, 2018

If you’re interested in reading A Widow’s Awakening by Maryanne Pope before it’s official release by BHC Press on Sept 13th, check out the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.

If you follow that link, on the right hand side of the page is a link to sign up as a LibraryThing member. Then you can request a free copy to read and review. You may not receive a copy, as only 50 books will given away in this June promotion – but it’s worth a shot.

The publisher (BHC Press) did the first round of the Early Reviewers Program in April – and the reviews from that round are starting to come in. And they’re…GREAT! Here’s another one:

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although the title may lead you into thinking it was going to be somewhat depressing this wasn’t the case. The author shared her pain, memories, (sometimes) weird and random thoughts on death and what comes after. Really well written, not boring, sometimes sad enough to bring tears to my eyes but on the whole an enjoyable read.”

– AWA Reader, LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program

For more reader testimonials, please click here.

About A Widow’s Awakening…

Do you believe in soul mates? What if the death of your soul mate meant the birth of your life-long dream?

A Widow’s Awakening is a fictional account based on the true story of a young woman’s struggle to come to terms with the death of her police officer husband who died while investigating a break and enter complaint.

Engaging, powerful, heart-wrenching, and at times humorous, this honest look at the first year of a widow’s grief captures the immense difficulty of learning how to accept the unacceptable while transforming loss into positive change – and is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Pre-Order A Widow’s Awakening

The book will be released on Sept 13th, 2018 and will be available in print & as an e-book wherever books are sold. To place your pre-order, please visit the A Widow’s Awakening page on the BHC Press website for a list of all the on-line retailers taking pre-orders.

History of the book

Please click here to learn a bit of the journey A Widow’s Awakening has already been on!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.