In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, A Grieving Widower Shares the Greatest Lesson in Gratitude His Late Wife Taught Him…From the Afterlife

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In his new memoir, "JOYride: How My Late Wife Loved Me Back To Life" (DreaMaster Books), I. J. Weinstock claims that his late wife communicated with him from the Afterlife to heal his grief, and that losing the love of his life taught him one of the greatest lessons in gratitude.

He bent his head to the ground and, as he poured his grief into the Well of Tears, a remarkable thing happened. “Suddenly, I heard Joy’s voice saying 'It’s a gift! It’s ALL a gift! The love AND the loss!'”

Throughout our lives we learn about gratitude in many ways. Perhaps the most challenging is when a loved one dies. I. J. Weinstock knows this firsthand and writes about love and loss, grief and gratitude in his new memoir, "JOYride: How My Late Wife Loved Me Back To Life" (DreaMaster Books). http://DreaMasterBooks.com/joyride/

“The miracle of love is a mystery and a grace, “ says the Los Angeles-based author. “ I was blessed by Joy, the woman I loved and lost. We were a ‘match-made-in-heaven’ until she succumbed to cancer and I descended into the hell of grief.”

What makes Weinstock’s memoir so unique is his shocking claim that “my late wife communicated with me from the Afterlife and led me on an incredible journey to heal my grief.” During his "incredible journey" the author learned many profound lessons, perhaps the greatest was about gratitude.

On a cold winter evening, Weinstock participated in a formal grief ritual. While warming himself around a blazing bonfire with a dozen other men and women, the organizer explained that, “grieving isn’t encouraged in modern Western culture. So it’s usually done in private. In contrast, indigenous tribal cultures grieve publicly with specific rituals that support the grief process.”

In this grief ritual, rooted in the African tribal tradition, the participants would leave the bonfire “when the spirit moved them” and go to the Well of Tears. “When I first arrived,” Weinstock explains, “it was still daylight and I walked past a wading pool about six feet across, constructed from boulders, rocks and stones gathered from the nearby field. It was lined with a blue tarp and held about a foot of water. The back wall rose higher than the other sides and served as an altar for photographs and mementos of loved ones who had passed.”

To go to the Well of Tears, Weinstock had to follow a path lined with candles through a field shrouded in darkness. “Illuminated by dozens of candles set among the stones,” Weinstock recalls, “the makeshift wading pool now looked very different. It seemed a truly magical Well of Tears.” Joining several other grievers, he dropped to his knees, and “felt myself carried away by the tide of raw emotion rising up in me. I began to sob. Wails of grief surrounded me like a roiling sea of anguish, rising and falling.”

He bent his head to the ground and, as he poured his grief into the Well of Tears, a remarkable thing happened. “Suddenly, I heard Joy’s voice saying 'It’s a gift! It’s ALL a gift! The love AND the loss!'”

His rational mind found it hard to accept his beloved wife’s death was a gift. “How could I be as grateful for her loss as her love?” he writes. But then, as if to answer his question, he was shown all the gifts he’d received during his year of grieving: the expressions of love from family and friends, which he would have never known; the inner strength he discovered, enduring the worst loss imaginable and having survived; his enhanced appreciation of his mortality and the fleeting preciousness of life.

“I had learned to receive, to trust and to open to unimaginable possibilities,” Weinstock says. “And, of course, Joy’s communication from the Afterlife was a miracle. So, in that moment, on my knees at the Well of Tears, I understood that IT’S ALL A GIFT!”

I. J. Weinstock’s memoir, “JOYride: How My Late Wife Loved Me Back To Life” is available on Amazon.com. An actor, producer and author, he co-wrote a ground-breaking book about women, "BREASTS: Women Speak About Their Breasts & Their Lives" (Simon & Schuster, 1980), which the Washington Post hailed as an “an important contribution” and that was featured on the The Donahue Show. His early 1990’s cable network, The Game Channel, was the precursor to GSN (The Game Show Network). Inspired by the extraordinary experience he describes in “JOYride,” he works with the bereaved and has written several forthcoming books about how to heal from the loss of a loved one. http://DreaMasterBooks.com/

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