coming in late 2023...
about the book
Would you know how to save yourself and your children if you were shipwrecked in the modern age?
When you are widowed with young children, you quickly find yourself the survivors of a familial shipwreck. Tossed into the dark waters, snatched away from the life you had planned, you surface and grab a hold onto whatever is floating by. While the enormous questions of What Now? and What Next? swirl all around, you find moments of connection to pull you from one wave to the next until you eventually reach shore. Bereft and heartbroken, you must rebuild your life using only what you find and eventually, you are faced with the choice of hunkering down on the shore or setting sail again.
Each year, the death of a parent affects 1 in 9 families with children under 18, yet few resources exist for these families. Jeanette's life was shipwrecked on October 30, 2014 when her husband, Dr. Mark Koncikowski, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. Mark was only 36 years old and Jeanette was left to solo parent two bereaved young children. She could find no manual, guidebook, or even memoir to help her find my way out of the vast ocean of grief she and her children were swimming in. At a local support group, she met widowed people who were 25, 30, even 40 years her senior. While they worried, understandably, about who would care for them as they aged, Jeanette agonized over daycare bills, student loans, and had to cope with Daddy and Donuts day at school with a grief-stricken 5-year-old. Needs like these–and families like theirs–have only multiplied during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SHIPWRECKED: A MEMOIR OF WIDOWED PARENTING AND LIFE AFTER LOSS offers readers a life preserver. Presented as a teaching memoir, it weaves personal stories from one family's experience with practical tips and strategies for surviving and then thriving. It is a book on how to parent your children through the loss of their other parent and how to care for yourself as you do so. The book explores common decisions facing widowed parents,including how to talk with children about the loss of their parent, how to involve children in memorials and meaning-making, getting closure in your marriage, coping with secondary losses and milestones, grappling with the impact of solo parenting on body, mind, and spirit, dealing with children’s grief over time and across their development, how to build a life you love and honor your beloved's legacy.
Jeanette hopes to release the book via self-publication in late 2023.
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about the companion workbook
Jeanette is also working on self-publishing a companion workbook to SHIPWRECKED. Entitled, IN SEARCH OF SUNKEN TREASURE, the workbook will provide a deeper understanding of modern grief theory, include stories from a dozen other widowed parents, and most importantly, provide worksheets, assessments, and tip sheets for the reader to think through their own loss experience, needs, and desires for their "after" life. The goal of the workbook is to help the reader learn from their personal shipwreck and dig deep for the gold that is assuredly at the bottom of the wreckage.