Memorial Day Weekend Difficult Holiday for Our U.S. Iraq War Widows Author of a New Book, From Sorrow to Dancing, Outlines the Key Action Steps to Move Through Loss

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More than 4,000 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war. With Memorial Day approaching, I understand how difficult it is for our young Iraq war widows this time of year, says Marcy Kelly, the author of the new book, From Sorrow To Dancing: The Recent Widow's Handbook. What I will tell them is that it gets easier as time goes by, concludes Kelly.

More than 4,000 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count from late last month. Since the majority of those serving in our U.S. military are men, this country has seen a huge increase in the number of military widows in the last five years. Since our soldiers are young, many of these women are also young widows.

Marcy Kelly, the author of a new book, From Sorrow to Dancing: The Recent Widows Handbook (http://www.fromsorrowtodancing.com), was only in early 30's when her first husband, Neal, was diagnosed with lung cancer right before Memorial Day weekend in 1984.

"With Memorial Day approaching, I understand how difficult it is for our young Iraq war widows this time of year. Even though it has been years, I still remember it as 'being the longest holiday I have ever experienced,'" said Kelly. "What I will tell them is that it gets easier as time goes by."

Kelly says there are four key action steps to help move through loss:

1. Do a personal check concerning your attitude. Are you bitter? If so, learn to forgive. Bitterness feeds on itself and puts you into a spiral leading to a lonely, unhappy life. Forgiveness and thankfulness are the antidotes to bitterness.

2. Give yourself and others grace to make mistakes. Women can be very hard on themselves and others. They feel like they should always be in control and never make mistakes. Going through loss puts your mind into a state where you aren't thinking clearly. Over time, your mind will clear and you will again make good decisions.

3. Put off making big decisions for at least a year. Big decisions like selling your house, giving all your money to charity, etc. should not be made until your mind has a chance to grasp a new situation. Although a year seems like a long time, it truly will go by very quickly.

4. Be around caring people and allow them to help you. Women often want to be the ones to help someone else. Allowing others to help you can be difficult because you may feel vulnerable. If you have always been the giver, being the recipient of help allows you to grow personally.

From Sorrow to Dancing is Kelly's own story of overcoming being widowed twice, and includes practical suggestions, sound advice and words of profound wisdom that only someone who has lived through widowhood can give.

"I hope readers come away with a better understanding of loss, grief, their faith, and the myriad of choices that can and perhaps should be made in the aftermath of loss," said Kelly.

As well as authoring her first book, Marcy Kelly is a Life Coach, (http://www.marcythecoach.com) certified by Lifeforming Leadership Coaching. She has been mentoring women for over 15 years and coaching since 2002. Marcy's coaching clients include women entrepreneurs, presidents of companies, realtors, lawyers, corporate executives, and volunteers. Kelly has a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology and a certificate in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is also a certified trainer using Personality Puzzle, a personality inventory.

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JENNIFER HEINLY

Jennifer Heinly
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