Managing Unexpected Grief When an Ex Dies


The loss of a loved one is always hard, especially when it is someone you are close to.

What we found as a group of ex-wives, was that grieving the death of your ex spouse can be especially hard. Not only are you trying to figure out where you fit in to the process (your place and your space as Robbie so elegantly puts it in our book), you may be left wondering how to help your children cope, or how to deal with probate, or even why you feel the way you do and how to process it all.

We brought together these stories and began talking to other women (and searched for men too!) who were going through the same experiences…an experience that has been hushed for far too long. With a divorce rate of almost 50%, we felt that it was time for light to be shed on this issue, and hope that you find the start of that with this book.

From the back cover:

In Part 1 of Surviving the Death of An Ex, Robyn Hass shares the very personal account of the tragic and unexpected death of her recently divorced ex-husband, and the mountains of grief she had to climb with her young son as they worked through his loss. As a trained and degreed therapist, Robyn was familiar with loss and grief, but nothing prepared her for the plethora of mixed emotions that surfaced after his death–emotions that no one talked about. As she searched for professional literature on the subject, she realized that very little existed and what was published was almost completely unavailable to the general public. She felt this had to change, and along with her co-author Robbie Davis-Floyd, she set out to bring the subject to a larger audience and find ways to help grieving ex-spouses heal. Along the way they found many others in similar situations and invited them to share their stories. All chapter authors share a strong passion for hearing women’s voices and providing a forum for their stories. That shared passion has resulted in this book.

Chapter contributor Kirsten Dehner notes that writing about her ex-husband’s death proved so meaningful that she can say it has “put her back into a writing groove long neglected.” Contributor Karen Miller, who struggled with her relationships with her ex-husband’s daughters, writes, “After the murder of my ex-husband, I searched on-line for information on how to help myself and my daughter but I didn’t find very much material. This book will provide a valuable resource for those who have experienced the death of an ex-spouse. In the 21st century, blended families are common, and resources to help surviving ex-spouses and children are desperately needed.”

Contributor Carol Einhorn Wheeler found it helpful to realize that many women had had similar experiences, in that they found themselves looking at their divorced husbands in a different light later in life, and particularly after the ex- had died. She writes: “The subject seems to evoke a companionable feeling and a recognition among many women, in fact. But until this book was proposed, I don’t think many of us realized how universal a feeling it is.” Contributor Melanie White notes: “I wish I could have accessed something like this LONG before the death of my ex. I would’ve been more enlightened and had a tiny head’s up on the journey.”

If you have lost an ex, you can expect to find shared experiences in this ground-breaking book, useful advice for getting through, and a list of helpful resources.

May it serve you well!