Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Michael Corrigan, Author of A Year and a Day
Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on June 4, 2011
Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.
Today we Welcome Michael Corrigan, the author of “A Year and a Day”. Michael’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a widower heal after the loss of a spouse.
Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and the healing process in the comment section below.
“A Year and a Day” is featured on our Helpful Books page under Loss of a Spouse.
And now our interview with Michael Corrigan:
1. What inspired you to write the book “A Year and a Day”?
My therapist knew I was a writer and thought keeping a journal would help put the grief in context. It helps to confront grief and take away its power. I was surprised to find very few men who sought help for grief; in fact, many considered it ‘unmanly.’ It’s the so called strong silent type that often commits suicide.
2. How did losing your wife change your life?
Karen was a lovely person, so deserving of more years, so it’s a devastating experience that darkens one’s world. It starts with a shock but then the reality sets in, and there’s a terrible emptiness and feeling of loss. I felt like I would serve a life sentence of grief. The passage of time meant little, and grief goes in cycles. With time, however, grief can lose its sting.
3. How is the death of a spouse different from divorce?
Divorce is often mutually agreed upon. Divorce indicates something is wrong with the relationship. Death is brutal and often unexpected, and can affect couples who are happy.
4. What are your top three suggestions to help people move forward in the grieving process after the loss of a spouse?
Use one’s friends, get involved in projects, even volunteer work, and always seek professional counseling.
5. Is there any one thing that your family or friends did for you that assisted you through the grieving process?
I had friends take me out to dinner or plays, and one friend came by once a week to play music. It did help. One needs distractions. Eventually, the counselor, Tanya Forsman, suggested I seek a partner and that included websites for dating. That was after a year and a half. Before that, dating would have been impossible. I believe there should be at least a year of facing the grieving process.
6. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your wife?
I felt everyone acted appropriately. I had problems with some friends who pretended it never happened, but I wanted to talk about Karen. It’s a common misconception: don’t mention the lost loved one for fear of hurting someone’s feeling.
7. Our website focuses on providing tips to friends and family members on how to support a loved one through the grieving process. What would be your suggestions on how friends and family can support a loved one that has lost a spouse?
Offer your services and presence, and be willing to discuss the person lost to the bereaved. Some offered me grief books that did help.
8. What is one thing you would like your readers to take away from your book?
Some of the raw emotions in the journal disturb me now, because I have moved beyond that point, but I hope it is a tribute to Karen and it also teaches the reader they are not alone. We will all go through the grief process if we live along enough. Joan Didion discusses that in her book.
9. What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?
The book was written as a way to communicate with and remember Karen and to face the daily grind of grief and loss. I hope my book celebrates Karen Lea Smith Corrigan.
10. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?
I am a writer and I have written and published six books and many articles. I have written two books about the Irish American experience. Four of my books, including the grief journal, are on Kindle. I certainly will continue writing. It is what I do.
You can find me on Amazon and at Author’s Den.