BW 032: Juggling Motherhood, Widowhood, and Going back to school with Donna Kendrick

industry interview May 23, 2023
 

Watch the video here or on YouTube; listen anywhere podcasts are played (Apple, Spotify, Google…)

The Transcript is below.

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In episode 32 of the Brave Widow Show, I get to talk with Donna Kendrick (@widowandwisdom).

Donna is someone who lost her husband nearly 10 years ago, and she's done a lot of work to give back to the widow and the grief communities, and I think you'll agree after watching this episode that she's just a lovely person, so I think you'll really enjoy the episode today.

Donna's husband, Greg passed away suddenly in November, 2013, and during that time of grieving, she had to take control of her family's finances and learn how to navigate this new season of life. Donna has made it her life's work to help other widows and widowers navigate their own financial decisions in the first days, weeks and months of widowhood and the years to follow. She is the author of a Guide to Widowhood, navigating the first three years, which is here to help the first days, weeks, and months of widowhood and the years to follow. She is also the host of Widow Wisdom and Wealth Podcast, which aims to remove the intimidation out of financial planning so that families can handle any transitions that come their way.

 

We talk about:

~ Year one compared to year two.

~ It's okay to change the plan

~ Learn to expect more from your kids

~ How to handle "mommy guilt".

 

Quotes:

~ "I think what I also did was expect a lot out of my kids. I sat down with them and was like, okay, I need help. I need help in this house. You can help me by, keeping your room clean. Making your own lunches, things like that, which is stuff as a mom I used to do on my own."

 

You can find Donna on:

Facebook | Widow and Wisdom

Instagram | @widowandwisdom

Website | widow-wisdom.com

[email protected]

 

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The Brave Widow Community is a place where you can connect with other widows, find hope and healing, and begin to dream again for the future.  Learn more at bravewidow.com. 

 

Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones

I was widowed at age 37, one month shy of our 20 year wedding anniversary.  Nathan and I have four beautiful children together.  My world was turned completely upside down when I lost him.  With faith, community, and wisdom from others, I’ve been able to find hope, joy, and dream again for the future.  I want to help others do the same, too!

 

FOLLOW me on SOCIAL:

Twitter @brave_widow

Instagram @brave_widow

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bravewidow

YouTube@bravewidow

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Transcription:

Emily Jones: [00:00:00] hey. Welcome to episode number 32 of the Brave Widow Show. Today I get to talk with Donna Kendrick. Donna is someone who lost her husband nearly 10 years ago, and she's done a lot of work to give back to the widow and the grief communities, and I think you'll agree after watching this episode that she's just a lovely person, so I think you'll really enjoy the episode today.

Let me introduce Donna. Donna's husband, Greg passed away suddenly in November, 2013, and during that time of grieving, she had to take control of her family's finances and learn how to navigate this new season of life. Donna has made it her life's work to help other widows and widowers navigate their own financial decisions in the first days, weeks and months of widowhood and the years to follow. She is the author of a Guide to Widowhood, navigating the first three years, which is here to help the first days, [00:01:00] weeks, and months of widowhood and the years to follow. She is also the host of Widow Wisdom and Wealth Podcast, which aims to remove the intimidation out of financial planning so that families can handle any transitions that come their way.

Donna is an avid long distance runner who turns her passion into an ability to raise funds for local causes, such as Safe Harbor, a grief counseling program. In 2022, Donna married her husband Jim, and between them they have six children together with their Newfoundland and English bulldog. They enjoy living in the community of Springfield Township, Winmore, Pennsylvania.

All right, let's dive in.

All right, everybody, welcome back to another episode of The Brave Widow Show. Today we have Donna Kendrick with us, and I'm so excited to have Donna here. She's done a lot in the widow and grief community, and I'm excited for her to share part of her story[00:02:00] and for some of the things that we have to talk about today.

So Donna, thank you so much for coming. I'm excited to have you here.

Donna Kendrick: So Emily, thank you and thank you for all you do to bring this topic of widowhood, how it affects us as women and widowers and as parents and our roles moving forward from it. I love your message, so I am honored to be on this podcast.

Thank you.

Emily Jones: Oh, thank you. Well, why don't you share with the audience about your background and what you're doing. I know you're quite a bit further out than some of the folks that we historically get to hear from. So I'm sure people would love to learn more about you and what you do.

Donna Kendrick: Definitely yes. Come November of this year, 2023 will be the 10 year anniversary from the loss of my husband. So like so many of the listeners I was, now I'm almost 50. I was a young widow at the time. I had just turned 40, before my husband actually passed from my 40th birthday, he ran the third leg of a Mad Hatter, which is like a 5k, a 10 k and a half marathon, with me.

And that was my 40th birthday gift. And two weeks [00:03:00] later we lost him. So I'll back up a little bit. Born and raised in Philadelphia and educated. Had my own career, so did my husband. We were the definition of yuppies back in the early two thousands. Wound up having two kids gave up my career to follow my husband abroad.

He worked for the government and we were blessed with the ability to travel and live in Rome, Italy. It was very much like a military life. Every two years my kids switched schools. And that was lovely. I'm not a person that travels all that much, but I'm very thankful for the experience. Came back home stateside.

And in 2013 came back to the Philadelphia area where we both were. So all of a sudden we were full circle. We were back at home, we were close to family and friends after being gone for over eight years. And I was thrilled. And two months later, he took his life and we lost him. And I was like, oh my goodness.

An eight year old, 11 year old, a 12 year old, they're finally speaking English in schools and we just moved to a new neighborhood two months before. Wow. Big deep [00:04:00] breath. And I remember the swirling, I remember the numbness, and then I remember being like, no. I've got grit. We're gonna go. Right? And so I did the whole year of being like the Academy Award-winning best widow ever, right?

Like I wanted no one to say, if they asked, people outside like, oh, how's Donna doing? I wanted them to be like, she's doing great. Like she really just ran with those kids and they're doing great too. Like I was making those scenarios in my head, that's what I wanted people to say.

And then year two came and well, that's when the bottom dropped out. I was like, All of the year first was done. I thought victory was mine. I nailed this widowhood thing, that new reality. With that came many blessings because I had given up my career. I was doing financial forecasting for the pharmaceutical industry before my husband and I went abroad and we were neck and neck with our income.

It was a big family discussion whether I was giving up my career or he was going to abandon his ideas of traveling abroad and advancing his career that way. And because I was also balancing motherhood, I was happy to step [00:05:00] away. Right. But here I am making like $17,000 a year working part-time.

When we lost Greg, there was my income. Wow. There went my ability to save for retirement. And so at that two year mark, when it was all thinking, I need to make a career choice, I had to go back to work. There just wasn't enough coming in to make things work. Now we had life insurance, which was awesome. So those big goals, I was blessed and didn't have to worry about them.

I could keep my house, I could educate my kids. Big goals. Now how do I feed them? Big goal too, that was where I was headed. That's a big one. And I really thought like, if I'm going to do this, I knew I had one shot, so I'll back up. I worked with a financial planner, right after Greg passed. Greg and I had a financial planner when we were younger, which is what got me squared away, understanding my finances and the life insurance needed.

But I switched financial planners. After Greg passed, to have someone that could really work directly with me for someone who wanted to raise their kids and not pay attention to the big picture. Just make the decisions I had to in the moment. Someone I trusted, [00:06:00] someone who could hold my hand, someone who didn't mind me crying at their conference room. He did, made him very uncomfortable, but he had a great admin who gave hugs. We were little hazel coffee and we were good, but I did know that like I had x amount of time before I start, needed to start to run an income, and I also knew I had x amount of funds saved to support either going back to school or a new career.

And so during that second year of major soul searching, right, of what do I want out of this life? What do I want for my kids? Do we stay in Philadelphia? Do we go back to Lehigh Valley? Do we just pack it up and move somewhere else. Stay in this house. Moving into this house, all those decisions were coming at year two, I decided that what I wanted to do was what my financial advisor did for me and to become a financial planner and to help hold the hands of widows and families in transition because I feel like there needed to be a little bit more love in that financial planning process cuz it can be so intimidating and it can be so overwhelming.

And that's what I [00:07:00] decided to do. Flipped my career upside down at Ted. Went back to school. Took me about 10 months to study to be a certified financial planner because I wanted to make sure if I did this, that it was the right thing to do. Like, I could have gone into the industry and mentored under somebody, but I was like, no, I wanna make sure this is gonna get sticky, right?

I can go back to bartending, like I got myself through college. If I had to. I had a masters, it's all good. I was like, eh, maybe I should do something else. Still think that's a backup plan. I'm still game with that. That could be early retirement at some point in time. But that was really it. And the decision was, one, I wanna do something of value.

I wanna do something that can change. The direction of other people's lives, right? Let's make some lemonade out of these lemons. That was really one of my drives, as well as modeling for my kids to have intention for the career they pick moving forward. And I wanted to model that for them. Cuz by that time they were 15, 14, and 10.

Right. And so I knew they were watching. They were watching the entire time. Yeah. And that's the story of me.

Emily Jones: Wow, That's amazing. [00:08:00] A few things I wanna unpack there. So you definitely must have a care for people because whether you're bartending or helping someone financially plan, you really, I think, have to be a good listener and someone that almost wants to be a positive influence, as silly as that may sound for someone else. You brought up year two, and I know a lot of people have questions about it. They dread it. I'm coming up to the end of year two, so July, it'll be right at two years. Did you feel that? The first year and what I heard was almost a similar approach to me, where you're like, checklist you're a checklist of like, gotta get this done, gotta do this, gotta be the shining picture of the brave widow out there, just getting things done and then year two hits. Now for me it was more of reality set in of, oh, this isn't a bad dream, this is permanent. But for you it might have been very different. And obviously there was that urgency to go back to work, but how would you say you would compare year one and [00:09:00] year two and maybe how it was different for you?

Donna Kendrick: I think it's, that's a very good look back on it. So I think with year one it was almost like a bull charging, like the curtain that the guy's shaking that's red. Like, here comes his birthday. Let's get through this right. Here comes Father's Day. Alright, kids, grab hold, let's get through this.

Right. And so I took each of those days, those milestones themselves. On with a little bit of bravado, right? I'm gonna I'll control this day, even though I didn't know what it felt like, right. Year two was a lot of looking back, right? Retrospection like, did I do that right? Was that the best choice?

No, we don't know. We don't know what choice number one could have been. Right? We made our choice and we moved forward. So I think a lot of year two for me was, is that really how I wanted it to feel for me? Is that how I really wanted it to feel for my kids? Did I do that or make that decision because I had to, or because I wanted to?

Sometimes I was going so fast in year one. Just trying to be brave. I love the title. Brave Widow. Just trying to be [00:10:00] brave. I went so fast that I. I didn't really digest it or experience it. So year two was, what do I want it to feel like? Didn't know what it felt like in year one. Didn't know what a summer without Greg felt like, and how should I go on vacation with my kids?

Right? Year two was, what do I want it to feel like? I'd already experienced it as a reaction, so let's be a little prepared. Moving into year two. That came with a ton of question marks, and that for my personality is hard, right? It's really like a checklist person doesn't like what ifs. I like concrete things.

So year two for me, was that really what comes next? And let's create it with some hesitancy because I didn't wanna create a future without Greg. There's no way I had my future created. It's all new. Look back on that at the 10 year mark verse, the two year mark, and wow. How amazing, like how amazing that I got to do it, that I got to do it again, and that I did.

So that's, that was a lot of the [00:11:00] year two mark. I think year two, mark two is a lot of the attention, the support. The network that was there in year one, checking in on you and bringing some meals and offering supportive services and leaving a book on your front doorstep and quarterly coming and checking in on you.

You know the friends that put it on their calendar called on to see how she's doing. Like that starts to fade away because in year one I modeled, I'm so brave, I don't need anybody. I got this. Well, here comes year two. They respected that. They did. Yeah, that's when I actually bumped into the grief recovery method, which we had talked a little bit about before the recording.

Did the traditional therapy. It worked, encouraged it to everybody, right? But for me, I needed a different system. Just a different system, not sitting on a couch. And I bumped into the grief recovery method and that resonated with me. So it was like a group setting of really, how do you understand how you grieve with that, I started to make different decisions after year two, right? Knowing that maybe some of these decisions are because of my experience with grief throughout my life,[00:12:00] and how am I gonna let that impact further decisions? That was really one of those things that kind of unhooked me when I was starting to make my career change.

Emily Jones: Yeah, I think that's beautifully said. And I actually did a podcast episode on the Grief Recovery Method book after I read it because I felt it was so impactful. And as you mentioned, it's evidence-based. It's very structured and those were things that I really liked about the concept of the program and how it could help people.

And I know we'll share how people can find you and go through that if that's something they're interested in. For me it was understanding we're not culturally taught to process loss. There's not a lot of sympathy or we say, well just shake it off, tough it out. Go cry in your room. Go do this or that.

Yeah. Get over it. We don't really honor any grief or loss throughout life, and so when it's something small like that, it's just exponentially harder when it is something big like the loss of a spouse. But I have to ask you, so you [00:13:00] mentioned. Being a widow, having kids at home, having to realize you're gonna have to go back to work or find a different career path, or what you had in place wasn't gonna sustain you long enough.

And there are a lot of widows out there that they're in a similar situation. Maybe their husband was a breadwinner and they're having to go back to work for the first time. Or maybe they're having to change career paths because what they're doing just isn't really resonating with them anymore. But how in the world do you juggle all of those things, grieving, helping your kids grieve and raising them, and figuring out your career, and that has to feel just very overwhelming.

Donna Kendrick: Yes and yes. So a lot of it too is like, so not only that, in year two, my kids went through a program called Safe Harbor, which is it's a free program here in the Philadelphia area through one of the local hospitals, modeled on the Dougie Center out west. And it's free counseling for kids that have lost a parent or a caregiver. [00:14:00] While the kids are out there learning, the parents sit in a group. And learn tools to implement what the kids are learning over the next two weeks before they have a system. The beautiful program, big supporter and big fan of it. That program gave my kids the voice they needed to sit me down at year two and say, mom, dad took his life in this house.

We had only lived there for two months. It makes us feel uncomfortable. We don't like being that house. When people drive past, people know the story. Can we go. And I was like, duh. Like I had just put in new windows. I had made it nice and safe and I was like, Grit and grounded in that I'm gonna make this work.

Right. Do you know how fast the sale sign comes up when your kids tell you that? And I call to my financial planner like, woo, I know we're trying to keep me home for one more year, but do I have enough for a down payment on a new house? Right. And then you go when you buy a fixer upper because it's the only thing you can afford in the district.

Yeah. Like that happened too. All while this was progressing, but I was okay with it because by [00:15:00] my kids telling me that, I was like, good, let's reset this now before I hit the go button on a new career. I am a planner, right? It's in the title of my new job, but I've always been one, right? And I'm a person that makes lists and does the pros and the cons.

So that kept me grounded. I did have to learn it's okay to throw a list out. It is okay to reprioritize and it is okay to change the plan. Moving to a new house was not part of my plan. But it was something that when the kids approached me, I knew was good. So yeah. So we moved to this new house. We have to fix it. We're living in like two of all of the rooms because like, yeah, we really need to flip the house or fix it up. But you find people who love you. You find people that are talented, right? You find people that are willing to help you paint walls at two in the morning to get your kids in. Like that's that sense of community that came back in year two cuz they knew the why they could figure it out.

We didn't move far. We moved five minutes away. Stayed in district balancing with the kids. I was so prideful in the I've got it [00:16:00] right. I wouldn't ask for too much help from extended family because I was afraid. Then the gig would be up, they'd be in and maybe when my kids would cry and they'd be like, oh, her kids aren't over it like, Be over it.

They're 21 now. I want them over it. You live with it. Right? That's different. So I was really protective of them. I did find a few trusted babysitters that were like older sisters of, and one older brother of my kids' friends, right. That were in college. That welcomed the income and so on a budget I was able to have some of these people come in.

From three o'clock to seven o'clock and these teenagers or young adults had cars so they could take my kids to baseball while I was starting that career, right? That way I would come pick the kids up from baseball. I would've cooked dinner at 4:00 AM I would cook from four to seven and leave it there so the kids would have a home cooked meal that they could reheat.

So a lot of that was scheduling, A lot of it was finding something that was affordable and people I trusted to take care of the kids, but making sure I still played a role as their mom. [00:17:00] That I wasn't missing all of those events, right? Like she might have taken on the baseball, but I'm the one bringing them home, right?

And I'm the one who saw the final score and it was given a take on that. I think what I also did was expect a lot out of my kids. I sat down with them and was like, okay, I need help. I need help in this house. You can help me by, keeping your room clean, right. Making your own lunches, things like that, which is stuff as a mom I used to do on my own, right.

Which now I look back, I'm like pretty nice. Like they're gonna be good husbands and wives moving forward because they help, like they're handy. They know how to vacuum, they know how to do their own laundry. And there's my little 10 year old, we call him squish. I remember carrying down his laundry and knowing how to sort the colors.

I'm like, awesome. Perfect. Yeah. That was a big part of it. And I think a lot of it too was having grace and forgiveness for myself. I was used to being a full-time mom, right. And I wasn't going to be that anymore. I had to reprogram what being a full-time mom and a career woman was right. And it was truly my love and [00:18:00] my desire for my clients and to help this community that made that feel equal, if that helps. So my kids knew. They knew exactly who I was helping, why I was recreating my career, and they like to eat, my kids do. So they knew if I didn't go back to work, the feeding frenzy might go downhill. So that was a good motivator to be like, all right mom, we'll see you at seven.

Emily Jones: That's really helpful. And I know there's a lot of mom guilt out there and people that feel they have to be at every practice, at every game, at every event. And if they're not available, every evening, every weekend, and spending every free second with their kids, they feel guilty or bad about that.

What are your thoughts on how you best prioritize and say maybe you can't be at every event, but you still make some of those important moments matter and maybe make it more of a quality of time rather than a quantity of time.

Donna Kendrick: Bring your tribe around you. The baseball moms, if you guys are listening to this, thank you.

They would record when my son was [00:19:00] at that, right. They would text me the score along the way. They would tell me if he was benched, but when they knew I was getting off of work that. They talked to the coach. The coach said, oh yeah, he might get in on the next inning. Same with football. So they were so helpful.

So I knew the play-by-play. I had visually seen them. Right? I might not have been seeing that in the moment. Having an open dialogue with my kids. I can't make away games, but I can definitely make home and games. Right. Having a sense of humor. I don't think I've mentioned that yet. Having a sense of humor through all of this.

We are from Philadelphia. We are a sarcastic family. We will make jokes about my husband not being here. We'll be making jokes crudely sometimes about the fact he took his life. Right. Sometimes it's just letting that pressure out of the conversation. Sometimes that's also letting other people know, standing on the side of football field with us, that it's okay to talk about it, like we're digesting it.

That's a big part, but being actually honest with the kids, like of what the expectations are is, was really helpful. I can [00:20:00] tell you that when I often will ask my kids like, so what do you think about this? We are 10 years out, they are almost adults on their own. Like when I did this, My youngest, which was the one that was the most athletic, was like, mom, if you think I wanted you at every game, you are mistaken.

Sometimes it's really fun to get a ride home with Tommy's family. They're hysterical, and so he got to experience it from a whole different way. Like, no, I'm not going home with my mom. I'm going home with Tommy and his brothers like, this is awesome. Those are the things that it was my ideal. That I shared that I felt like I was disappointing.

My kids had no framework for it. They were living life day by day. So I think that was a big shift. I started doing E F T, like tapping, to really shift the messages that I would send in my head, like the scenarios I would play and where I would feel like I was disappointing myself as a mom, as a career person, as a balance.

And that was awesome. So you sometimes you would just start to practice like, who's saying that? I am deep in my head, right? The kids aren't [00:21:00] saying it, the other moms aren't saying it. They're so happy to be able to support and love. The other thing I will give as a great resource out there for people who have mommy guilt is called Google Forms or Google Sheets.

Create one. Like I have, here's a football schedule. I can be at these games. I trust all of you who can help me. My 16 year old is learning to drive and him and I don't cooperate very well. I have a magic break. He would like someone else to help him with this, who can sign up for Saturdays at two.

And that is truly another way that I helped manage the mommy guilt. And then my kids were a part of it. They would look at the spreadsheet and be like, uncle Jimmy's coming. I know we're going to McDonald's. Like these things were all part of balancing it together.

Emily Jones: Oh, those are great ideas and I think it'll be really encouraging to people to hear that you're, you've been able now to ask your kids almost 10 years later, what did you think about this?

Or did I handle something a certain way? And, they're able to give you that feedback and just reassurance [00:22:00] that, well, we don't expect you to be available 24 7, like there for everything. But you were there for the moments that really mattered. I'm curious because we have some folks that have had spouses that died due to suicide or drug overdose or things where sometimes you might get less sympathy.

Sometimes you might get a lot of rude comments. I'm just curious in your experience if you felt like you were in a different situation than other widows or if you were treated any differently because of that or if really that wasn't an impact for you.

Donna Kendrick: No, it definitely was. And even for my kids, I can say when they were in that Safe Harbor program, they started off in a program that was specifically designed for kids who lost a family member to suicide because they almost had to have a different approach to it.

For them it was just a fact. Right? And they didn't realize that if we move into another group where kids have lost their parents due to maybe a car accident, or cancer, that there could [00:23:00] be a different viewpoint. Like, my parent tried so hard to stay alive and your parent didn't. So they had to have that right wording and they had to be ready for it.

So they stayed in that program for about a year and a half before they integrated into the average loss group. So it was so specific, even for my children, that the way they received their therapy got changed. For myself hard one to navigate. One because of religious values for the people that just seem to want to share them with me.

Hard within, the Catholic church. My husband was Catholic. Our kids were going through all of the coursework that they needed to be Catholic. I was not Catholic. And some of the messages from old-fashioned values within the religion that were shared and my role as a parent to try to understand, sort through, dissect and communicate.

With the other adults in the room became a huge challenge early on as well as trying to respect my husband's values when he wasn't there. Like, whew.[00:24:00] That's a hard one to some of the insincere comments that get made because people will often give comments when you didn't ask, because of these topics.

Emily Jones: Very often. Judgment fault. Yeah. What maybe word of advice would you give to someone who was in a similar situation or finds themself just really discouraged because they are trying to figure out how to navigate some of those more tricky waters. Is there anything that you feel like was particularly helpful for you or that you would've done differently?

Donna Kendrick: What was helpful was watching my kids and listening to them about how they were kind of being trained through Safe Harbor. So I felt like I had a list of comebacks, very polite, very classy in my back pocket. So if someone said something to me in the line at the food store, I'd be like, oh. Right. Like there's an, a very famous story between my family where me and my two older kids were sitting on the bleachers at one of my younger son's games, and the family in front of us [00:25:00] was talking about this horrible suicide loss and how it happened and the impact on the family for good half hour. It was us. They were talking about us. We were that family and the details were so screwy, like the kids and I were like, that didn't happen. Right. And like I remember that like the, all three of us just kind of put our hands together like, like let's just listen. Like we're gonna learn so much about life from this conversation.

Right. And it was very polite at the end of the conversation to put my hand on their shoulder and be like, that family you were talking about was us. If you have any questions or if you really wanna know how it felt, I'm happy to talk to you. Here's my cell phone.. So you taken as an opportunity to teach, right?

You also had taken as an opportunity to maybe redirect some, redirect, some social miscues that we all fall into. Right. Things like that. But I would say listening to my kids understanding I need to have some comebacks in my back pocket big time. And sometimes addressing it politely and classy, like, just keep your class [00:26:00] there whether you disagree or not.

I always say a wise man once said nothing. It's okay to say nothing. At times it is. Yeah, right. But if you need to redirect it or if you think your comment will have value to change that person's life, then feel free. But keep it kind.

Emily Jones: Yeah. That's beautifully said, and I'm sure you are maybe sitting there in that moment thinking, wow, I'm learning a lot about my situation that I never even knew happened.

Donna Kendrick: It was so creative. I was like, oh, I should record this. Let's make a movie and we could like be rich because that is not what happened. But I'm like, oh yeah, you got, did I actually, yeah, a few years ago, I actually 2022, I had written a book and it was called like a Guide to Widowhood, navigating the first three years. To really take my experience and I share my story. The night I lost Greg, the days, the weeks, the months afterwards, one, so I didn't have to tell it again. That was really good for me. Two, to put it out there for even family members who never wanted to ask me the details. If you wanna read it, it's here. And [00:27:00] they're not sensational details, I mean, the details of what did you do the next day? Right? And why did you have the funeral within two days? Those questions that they're not gonna ask me. Well, the answers are there, right? So read it if you want. Don't read it if you don't wanna know. But more than that, it was that, look back, like I say, the kids asked me, well, how do you feel about this?

It was those three years of what I really wish somebody would've told me. Right? Or at least I had a roadmap to help follow along the way. And that book was created almost to that whole topic of, what's really behind here? What's really going on? Yeah.

Emily Jones: Yeah. That's great. Well, do you wanna share about how people can find you and what you have a lot going on besides your book.

I know you do obviously financial planning, but you shared some other things that you do too. So I'm sure people would love, to learn a little bit more about how they can find you and what all you have going on.

Donna Kendrick: Yeah. Definitely. Any information on the book and there's a ton of free downloads, like, if anything it is the. Website, www.widowwisdom.com. And there you can get [00:28:00] excerpts of the books. There's a PDF code so you can get free downloads. One of my favorite is called the personal document locator. So it's that thing of like, where all of my passwords here's the key to the safe deposit box.

Which bank is it at? Right? There's many banks with the same name within a five mile region, right? Which actual bank is it? But to put that in with your state documents, right? Because as sole parents, many of us don't have anyone else to speak for us should we pass. And we're nervous of what's going to happen to our kids, what's going, who's going to know all the information when we do pass?

And this personal document locator is a good one. And you can share it with that executor of your will to give them that roadmap of too, Yeah, this is where I hide the blank. Like this is where it is. So I love that one. So I encourage everyone to download that. I'm also have my own podcast called The Widow Wisdom and Wealth, where we kind of talk about a lot of these topics, very educational in general, about making decisions in grief, about, here's the definitions for the words.

A financial planner might just run past you and like the acronyms and not give you a definition to it, [00:29:00] except expecting you to know it. We don't, we are busy launching our careers, right? Licking our wounds and taking care of our kids. Don't ask me to understand that jargon. That's what that, that podcast is there.

And then, yes, I am a certified grief recovery method specialist. And so I offer in-person in my community for anyone who's here in the Philadelphia area, Free grief recovery groups up to about eight people, two or three times a year. And we also offer some zoom like on online, but services too.

That's one of my give backs. That just makes me feel so good. In 2020 when everything shut down and I couldn't do in-person grief recovery, I felt a big hole in my heart. And so when that institute actually started the online programs, I was like, ah. Now we can do it right. And I've shied away from it for a little bit, thinking I wouldn't get that personal connection that the clients needed, but oof to have people from all over the US in a room together sharing how in society the grief has looked differently from all different types of loss.

That's been beautiful. So I offer that out there to my [00:30:00] widow and wisdom community.

Emily Jones: Awesome. Well, thank you so much and everybody go check out the resources that Donna has and, sign up for one of the grief recovery classes if you're interested. It can be above and beyond having lost your spouse.

You can have grief with a lot of different relationships and so you may not wanna tackle your spouse first. You may wanna think about other people you have re relationships with, but it's really a great evidence-based program that works and really helps people. So thank you, Donna for sharing that and for sharing your story today and just being open and vulnerable in hopes of helping to encourage and inspire other widows that are out there.

Donna Kendrick: Thanks so much. I appreciate the opportunity.

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Emily Jones: Hey guys. Thank you so much for listening to the Brave Widow Podcast. I would love to help you take your next step, whether that's healing your [00:31:00] heart, finding hope, or achieving your dreams for the future.

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Inside you'll find courses to help guide you, a community of other widows to connect with, live coaching and q and a calls, and small group coaching where you can work on what matters most to you. Learn how to heal your heart, find hope, reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.