New Book, "Stumbling Through the Dark" Offers Perspective after Death of a Spouse

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Former Romance Novelist Says Surviving Widowhood is a Process.

In her new book, “Stumbling Through the Dark” author Thelma Zirkelbach shares the lessons she learned in surviving widowhood.

After decades of shared life, love and happiness with her husband, Ralph, Thelma Zirkelbach says surviving “till death do us part” can be like wandering lost in a foreign wilderness.

“Ralph has been gone for 7½ years now; when I first lost him I had no idea that I’d have to get used to an entirely new lifestyle,” says Zirkelbach, whose memoir is about an interfaith couple facing one of life’s greatest spiritual challenges, including surviving widowhood.

" 'Stumbling Through the Dark’ is a love story of the very truest kind,” writes Ana Maria Spagna, author of “Test Ride on the Sunyland Bus: A Daughter's Civil Rights Journey.” “With unflinching honesty, keen intelligence, compassion, courage and a wide-open heart, Thelma Zirkelbach takes her readers through the wrenching last months of a happy marriage and to show us the meaning of 'til death do us part.' This is a beautiful book.”

The biggest challenge in surviving widowhood is having no one with whom to share your life, Zirkelbach says.

“Family milestones, major news stories and technological changes are just a few things Ralph has not experienced with me,” says Zirkelbach, a grandmother, speech pathologist and Harlequin Romance author.

Amazon reviewer Susan Lieberman gives Zirkelbach’s book five stars and writes:
“The marvel is that despite the sadness and pain of the book, one does not come away with a sense of despair but rather with an appreciation of the value of living a caring life. Half of us will lose a spouse or a partner. Nothing can adequately prepare us, but this book may help.”

About Thelma Zirkelbach

Thelma Zirkelbach received a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from the University of Texas, a master’s in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Houston and an education doctorate in curriculum and instruction with emphasis on reading disorders from the University of Houston. She has been in private practice in speech pathology, specializing in young children with speech, language and learning disabilities, for many years. She began her writing career as a romance novelist, publishing with Harlequin, Silhouette and Kensington. Her husband’s death from leukemia in 2005 propelled her to creative non-fiction.

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