Read and Write with Natasha

How writing about her husband's suicide helped this widow heal

November 19, 2023 Natasha Tynes Episode 38
How writing about her husband's suicide helped this widow heal
Read and Write with Natasha
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Read and Write with Natasha
How writing about her husband's suicide helped this widow heal
Nov 19, 2023 Episode 38
Natasha Tynes

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Alexandra Wyman transformed her devastating loss into a beacon of hope for others becoming, a mental health advocate and public speaker.

She penned down her experience of losing her husband to suicide in her memoir - "The Suicide Club: What to Do When Someone You Love Chooses Death." Through her story, she aims to change the narrative around suicide and provide support to those dealing with such a loss.

Alexandra's journey wasn't devoid of challenges. Balancing a full-time job, being a mother, and grappling with grief while writing her book was a rollercoaster ride. And then, there was the added burden of the backlash she faced on social media following her husband's death. 

she navigated through these adversities and used her experience as a catalyst for healing. Alexandra's resilience in the face of adversity is commendable, and her story serves as a ray of hope for those dealing with grief and loss.

She shares invaluable insights on working with a publishing company and strategies for promoting her book. 

Alexandra also aspires to continue her advocacy for suicide prevention and mental health support and possibly even pen down a sequel to her memoir. 

Hear her story to get inspired. 

Support the Show.

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➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Alexandra Wyman transformed her devastating loss into a beacon of hope for others becoming, a mental health advocate and public speaker.

She penned down her experience of losing her husband to suicide in her memoir - "The Suicide Club: What to Do When Someone You Love Chooses Death." Through her story, she aims to change the narrative around suicide and provide support to those dealing with such a loss.

Alexandra's journey wasn't devoid of challenges. Balancing a full-time job, being a mother, and grappling with grief while writing her book was a rollercoaster ride. And then, there was the added burden of the backlash she faced on social media following her husband's death. 

she navigated through these adversities and used her experience as a catalyst for healing. Alexandra's resilience in the face of adversity is commendable, and her story serves as a ray of hope for those dealing with grief and loss.

She shares invaluable insights on working with a publishing company and strategies for promoting her book. 

Alexandra also aspires to continue her advocacy for suicide prevention and mental health support and possibly even pen down a sequel to her memoir. 

Hear her story to get inspired. 

Support the Show.

****************************************************************************

➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


Speaker 1:

There was a lot of blame, a lot of questioning over my marriage, a lot of questioning over my parenting or what. How did I contribute to Sean's death? And social media was used a little bit in this to try and demonstrate that I must have had either had something to do with his death or and I'm pretty open I mean the note is now off of social media, but Sean did post his note on Facebook, which of course started a whole big hustle and bustle of people trying to find me and find him.

Speaker 2:

Hi friends, this is Read and Write with Natasha podcast. My name is Natasha Tynes and I'm an author and a journalist. In this channel, I talk about the writing life, review books and interview authors. Hope you enjoy the journey. Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Read and Write with Natasha. Today with me I have Alexandra Wyman, who's an advocate and public speaker for resources in the aftermath of suicide.

Speaker 2:

So, after she lost her husband to suicide in August of 2020, alexandra found a need to change the language around suicide and decided to write about it. So her memoir, which I have here the suicide club what to do when someone you love chooses death is an Amazon bestseller. So, alexandra, thank you for joining me and I'm really sorry about what you went through. And before I start asking you questions, I just want to read the first page of your book so that the listener or the viewer just can understand what you actually went through.

Speaker 2:

So it starts like this boy meets girl and falls in love at first sight, girl meets boy and, on the second date, falls in love. Five weeks after their second date, they are engaged. Eight months later, they are married. Eight and a half months later, they buy a house. 10 months after falling in love, they find out they're pregnant. 18 months later they give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. 32 months after they first met, boy drives up to the mountains in Colorado with his hand gun and never returns home. So, alexandra, really sorry again about what you went through and the loss of your husband and the love of your life. So if you can just tell us, why did you decide to share your story in a book and what was the journey that led you to that?

Speaker 1:

Well, first, natasha, thank you so much for having me today and I'm just so excited for our conversation and really what I found is I've always enjoyed writing. It's been very cathartic for me and when I started well, I can say when I started my grief process, but that was a little delayed right after Sean passed, I started to recognize that there wasn't anything really available to me to really walk me through the process and the process is going to be different for every person after such a loss but I just found that there wasn't. I was like where's the guide to what to do when someone dies? Where's the where's? The information of grief is awful, or people are going to grieve in different ways, or here's how we handle an estate. I don't even know.

Speaker 1:

I thought estate handling is what you do when you're 90 years old. I didn't know I'd be doing it in my 30s. So I started jotting notes and realized that suicide was impacting way more people than was really known, was really talked about, and I've always been someone that has said if my experience, if my life experience and lessons I learned, can help someone else to not have to feel or deal with what I've had to deal with, then let me do that and support them. So this ended up just coming out of a need of wanting to do exactly that Pay it forward. I had people who did come out and start helping me figure things out and I wanted to pay it forward and say maybe I can be another tool to other people.

Speaker 2:

So what was the writing process for you? How long did it take you to write it? What kind of emotions did it trigger?

Speaker 1:

Oh, so that's such a good question. No one ever asked me about the emotions. That's so good. Um, so it took. Let's see. I think it took about a year for me to fully, a little over a year to fully finish putting everything into a manuscript. And I am not a writer who can sit down. I mean having a full-time job, having my son, managing a home and working through grief is a lot already to manage. So I'm not someone who can sit down every day and dedicate one to two hours and just say right. So I was a very disorganized writer, I would say. And the fact that I had sticky notes and voice memos and I would be in my car and write myself an email when notes, when I get some inspiration, and then I try and find pockets of time, usually when my son was in bed or if I could, you know, convince family to take him overnight, and then I would just sit and use that time to really put everything together and write it all out.

Speaker 2:

Okay, and the?

Speaker 1:

emotions. Well, yeah, I mean it was such a roller coaster. I mean there were times that just writing and going through my process would cause me to have a grief reaction and I would just need to pause or need to like even write through it a little bit more. I'd, you know, go in journal and come back and so it. I mean grief in general is already a roller coaster, but I did find that after I was able to write, that was part of my process to work through those emotions, and I usually felt really aligned and a little bit better after I could actually write.

Speaker 2:

Okay. So did it help you write it? Or did it in a way like, did it help you here? The process of writing it? Or at one point of the journey, you were just like what am I doing to myself? Why am I reliving the nightmare? So, or was it a mix of both? I?

Speaker 1:

would say it was a mix of both. So I think it definitely helped, because in being able to put words on paper so much of the chaos of what was going on in my head in regards to my feelings or thoughts and trying to work through it wasn't just my process but the process of individuals around me that was additionally traumatizing and more stress on me. So, working through all of that and what was happening in the media aftermath, trying to figure out, I mean, we like to say, you know, don't make any big decisions in the first year after such a big loss. But I had to make decisions on day zero and so, you know, all of these conflicting ideas and people had opinions, and so being able to write actually really helped me streamline.

Speaker 1:

How did I feel, how did I like, how was I thinking about situations, how was I combating them? And then being able and I worked with therapists through the whole process but the two together really helped me get really clear on what did I know to be true and to quiet the voices of those around me and, at the same time, there were moments where I'd be reliving it and going, okay, maybe I just need to take some extra time for myself. And just let me, because reliving it just indicated to me that there were parts that I still need to heal and that still happens to me to this day. But it just let me know like, oh, I still need to really work on healing this part of my reaction to his death.

Speaker 2:

Okay, you mentioned the media. Can you please elaborate on the role of the media and what happened?

Speaker 1:

Oh, so I had, it wasn't so much through media, it was that social media was used as a way. So after Sean's death, and especially with death by suicide, it's just you don't have answers right, you don't get a chance to go to your person, and so individuals that I was close to before he died, there was a lot of blame, a lot of questioning over my marriage, a lot of questioning over my parenting or what. How did I contribute to Sean's death? Okay, and social media was used a little bit in this to try and demonstrate that I must have either had something to do with his death or and I'm pretty open I mean the note is now off of social media that Sean did post his note on Facebook, which, of course, started a whole big hustle and bustle of people trying to find me and find him.

Speaker 1:

But so I really had to work through a lot of that, because it wasn't just me trying to work through the death of my husband. And now what do I do as a single parent? And but also, oh, I have people who are potentially hiring lawyers and I have people who are questioning the sale of my house and trying to block that and what you know. So that just complicates things, and being able to write everything down really made it clear for me of you know how was I feeling and how did I want to proceed in interacting with those individuals.

Speaker 2:

So these online comments I'm assuming not all of them were positive towards you how did they affect you and do you still go back and read them? No, no, because the reason I ask? Because you know I've been through that and I've not many people who've been through, like you know hate campaigns or negative feedback, and sometimes it becomes like a scab that you keep itching and you keep going back at it. For some reason, you're still drawn to see what people said about you and you want to track these people or these people or something like that. So I'm just curious how you dealt with the negative social media campaign because unfortunately, what's happening is they become the jurors and the jury and the executioners and you know they're the ones who cast the stone. So how did you deal with that?

Speaker 1:

I'll be honest, it took me a long time to actually even deal with it or set any boundaries.

Speaker 1:

And then I honestly just had to start blocking people. And I'll say, when people couldn't and these were, these were close friends and family when they couldn't get access to me, they started trying to go through my own family and that and that became a thing. And so I just I just started blocking people and I and I understand it's hard because you want to know what people are saying and I would get so sucked into it and start questioning myself and then I thought what good is this doing for me? Like I can recognize and understand that this is going to happen, but what good is it going to do for me to actually read what people are saying or how their, you know, memorials were being set up, that where I wasn't invited, you know, there are all these things that were happening and I just it was so triggering for me that I just couldn't continue with that and I guess I kind of did like the you know ostrich head in the sand kind of thing for a while. I just thought this was going to be better for me.

Speaker 2:

So what was in the note that made in Sean's note that made people question you or question you or motive or blame you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I don't know that there was anything. I think it was just he had been married before he married me, and I think a big part of what people were saying is well, he didn't do this before he met you, but he met you and got married to you and then he did this. So somehow it became that there had to have been something that I did or said that pushed him over the edge, or that something in our marriage is what caused him to start having suicidal ideation, and it took me a long time to work through that. If someone is contemplating and I'll be honest, sean never alluded to having any suicidal ideation we had talked about having those dark moments once early on in our relationship and you told me you would.

Speaker 1:

This was something you would never contemplate, so it was never something I had on the radar, and so when it actually happened, I mean I was just very shocked by the whole thing, and so I think also just the note being public and then people going wait, how do we find him?

Speaker 1:

Like there was this, you know something going on trying to find him at that point in time, because, as you read at the beginning of this, he did, you know, drive up into the mountains here in Colorado, and so I think it just starts this kind of this frenzy of trying to save someone, which is exactly what was happening for me. But then when you don't have any answers from the person and in a life and so tragically I mean the wife tends to be the first person that people are going to look to say what did you do? What did you say to him, what did you do? And it did take me a long time to kind of quiet that a little bit and get really solid and grounded in what I knew about the relationship he and I had.

Speaker 2:

Would you be willing to share what the note said for anyone who's listening or watching?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I don't. I'll be honest. I don't have access to the actual note. I do have it somewhere. Essentially, one of the things that he wrote was just that there was so much division and he was hoping that people would come to a sense of unity and that that was important to him, and that he had his own demons that he just couldn't fight and heal before coming to that decision. And he did have, I do. There was a direct blurb to me that I do keep private, but I'll say, for the most part, the sense in the division that happened after he passed, there were individuals who would quote the sense and idea of unity and they would use that and say, well, you're not here for unity if you're not following what we're asking or what we want from you. And I was like, well, that doesn't, that doesn't make sense either. But so that's kind of where some of that division came up.

Speaker 2:

So he passed away in August 2020. Do you think the pandemic had anything to do with this? I do.

Speaker 1:

I think, you know I really and again, all of this is hypothesis because I'm not in his head, I wasn't in his head, I wasn't there, but thinking and reflecting, I think, the stress of the pandemic. He was a mechanic working on high-end European cars. So because his shop stayed open and he was a supervisor at his shop, he was considered an essential employee so he had to carry one of those papers that said that he could be on the road. I mean, it was so, so crazy to think about and go back to then. There was stress around the pandemic, even just within our own families. There was stress in his family, stress in my family.

Speaker 1:

Our son was just over one and you know having a kid and trying to manage all of that. And there you know, I think essentially what I think happens is that stress just compounds and compounds and compounds and without having really healthy coping skills or ways to work through that stress or work through what my fans us, it can lead someone to think that the only way to end that emotional and mental pain Because I don't think it's just mental, I definitely think there's a large emotional component to this that could get them to a point where they think the only choice they have to end that internal pain is to end their life, and I certainly don't agree with any of that. But I can also understand how I mean we I mean that was a big thing was trying to find what coping or what strategies could Sean use to manage some of his stress.

Speaker 2:

I'm curious about the title of the book the Suicide Club. Why did you use club? In what way? Like you know, people might find this as if you want people to join the club in some sense. Yeah, like it kind of puts a positive spin around it. I mean, that's not my opinion, but I'm just saying some might look at it and say so. Why did you choose the word club, which is kind of a positive connotation?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, immediately. So I'll say, within three weeks after Sean died, I got a phone call asking if I would be able to talk to someone who just lost her husband the suicide the day that he died. I was put in touch with a woman who lost her husband the suicide and I just I there were various titles and this is the one we landed on and the reason being is that more people than we know have had lost by suicide and I do understand. That's why I usually recommend you know, read what comes after the colon, or read, you know, read the back of the book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but the whole idea is that I really want to empower people to start talking in general about the ups and downs we all have and recognize how quickly I I literally was in a lift and the my lift driver just was asking me where I was going and I mentioned I'm going to a conference to give a presentation about the suicide of my husband and he was like oh, my son died by suicide and it just like you just find people so randomly and that's kind of where that club like we're like. I never asked anyone who has a loss like this. You don't ask to be part of this community I think the suicide community would sound a little worse. But they don't ask to be part of this, but you just end up kind of getting getting a ticket to this organization or club now, where now you know what it's like to have someone die that way, I think, anyway, it's more of like the suicide survivors club rather than the suicide club, I think in a sense.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so okay. So let's talk about the feedback. So you published the book. What was the feedback? The positive and the negative, if you got any and, as as all Thursday, always get negative as well as part of the. The dirt is part of the game. Yeah, so let's start with the positive. So how? What was the reaction to the book?

Speaker 1:

you know, I have to say I the book was very well received and it was more than I could have ever imagined. Even publishing a book was more than I could have imagined. I didn't know when I kept Working with my publisher and kept saying to myself like if just one person finds value in this, this is great. And it's been Much bigger than that, which has been just amazing.

Speaker 1:

I think some of the critiques may have surrounded around potentially wanting different information or Wanting something else in addition to what I had in there, or how did I choose what information to include, what information not to? And I'll say, one of the things that comes up is that I don't study suicide, so this had to be a memoir as lived experience, and that was Something where I have done my own research on the side. But because I don't technically have letters after my name that indicate that I am professionally attached to research or to anything around those who do study suicide, it was better to go the route of a memoir and in order to kind of help with individuals who might be questioning some of the information that I included in there. But overall and I'll be honest, I haven't looked at Reviews recently, but overall, it was very well received good, yeah, cuz I was my.

Speaker 2:

My second question, which is, I guess the online hate that you received at the beginning did it. Did some of those people move to like your good read page or amazon page and posted something there? You know cuz that sometimes happen.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I was so curious about this and I haven't seen anything yet. I'll go to the on. Yes, and so I honestly don't know. I think for the individuals who were initially very upset and who are Kind of challenging or making Legal threats, I don't, I'm not sure they even know that the book has published, or if they do know, I think that you know, we've kind of just written each other off and said, you know, hope, hope, your life goes well, which I absolutely hope for these individuals, that everything goes well for them. But I think that's kind of where where it went to okay, so I want to talk about the publishing journey.

Speaker 2:

So this is your first book, correct, if you? And so this was published by. Let me see how to express. So how did you find the publishers and did you have an agent? How did you know? Like I wanna hear a bit about you? Was it self published? How was the the journey, the publishing journey?

Speaker 1:

and it's so complicated or maybe it's not supposed to be that complicated, but I but for me I ended up going with a boutique I guess it's considered a boutique publishing house that essentially helps individual self published okay, and so they help with the editing, they help with Copy art, they help with all of that, and then it can't we're able to help me self publish and that's to scribe media, and I initially wasn't sure how to even start the process.

Speaker 1:

I was looking at Things about finding a literary agent how do you find a publisher, and from what I was finding is that Individuals who went that route. It's great, but to send out your manuscripts, you have to send it out so much. You have to create every, every letter specifically for where you're sending it, and it Just that in itself just overwhelms me and I thought, oh my gosh, I don't even know where I would start with this so I ended up working with scribe media and it works really well for me and I say, when it comes to the publishing process, I mean they were able to really help with that editing process.

Speaker 1:

they really helped push me as a writer, which was good to you and I would say for anyone who's at this point you know, find what system is gonna work for you, cuz what works for me they not work for another person.

Speaker 2:

What's scribe media? I mean, what's the difference between them and the publisher?

Speaker 1:

so basically you contract, you do, you do a contract with them up front and they help you walk through the process, and then they help you publish and then I get the royalties I see okay from publishing. So instead of them taking a cut, then essentially I, you know, contracted with them and paid them up front and then they help me on the backside with the publisher, I see, and so they are the ones that found the publisher for you, or how does that work?

Speaker 1:

They have their in house. They have an in house publisher house is there is a good to know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the reason I get into the weeds is just because a lot of aspiring writers listen to this, so it's good for them to hear that the different options as well.

Speaker 1:

And that's how I found them was through a podcast, yeah okay, so I wanna talk a bit about marketing.

Speaker 2:

I know, I know I many people do not realize who none authors or no authors that writing the book is one thing and marketing is. It is a full time job is a full time job and I just wanna know what have you been doing to market it and what worked and what didn't work?

Speaker 1:

So I outsource a lot of my marketing. It's the one thing I consistently tell people like I don't, I don't know how to market this I. Social media is a great way to promote and market and usually what I tell people is I do really well. Once I get the connection to someone Finding that opportunity is hard, I'm just get me in the door.

Speaker 1:

I can do the right thing about finding the people the hardest part. So scribe media did have an opportunity to help me with marketing so I did take them up on that and so they helped initially for a few months with Marketing the book, finding me with connections either for podcast interviews or for articles and ways to kind of start promoting excuse me, promoting the book a little bit more. And then I did end up switching and I will say this there is so much I want to controversy but a lot of different opinions about how to market or do you use a peer firm or not, and I found that for my lifestyle I ended up going with another peer firm and I don't mind saying it's publicity and I went with them and they've been great because, again, it was that idea of how do I branch and increase my portfolio. Yeah, I've been working on just podcast interviews like this, but trying to get see if we can get more television opportunities are there more print opportunities that are going to have a wider base in order to increase that portfolio, to see if I can get Access to people who have a larger, larger audience and essentially just for the, for the listeners I mean, my goal is is not Obviously there can be like some financial gain from this, but really my point is how can I get my message out, to really start to empower people to have more discussions and feel more vulnerable and open to being able to talk about how life?

Speaker 1:

Everybody has something that life hands them. Everybody does Like there's. I don't know anyone who said like, oh, my life has been perfect, there's never anything that's impacted me. So being able to get more access to bigger audiences is my hope, to start to have more of those difficult conversations.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so when it comes to social media, what did you use and what worked?

Speaker 1:

I'm still learning this. So I'm on LinkedIn, I do Instagram and I honestly connect my Instagram to my Facebook. That's an easy thing and it's really just those three that I would say I use the most. I haven't I've like tried to dabble in TikTok a little bit. I am. I do have my own podcast called the Widows Club, so I'm working on being able to start putting my videos up on my YouTube channel, so that's available, but end mostly. I do have a website, so I try and direct as many people as possible to my website first, because that's just kind of my hub for everything.

Speaker 2:

I see Do you have a newsletter?

Speaker 1:

I do. I just started that one, so I'm trying to, I'm learning that too, yeah, and kind of you and I were kind of talking a little bit before we started recording Natasha, about you know, what do you hire out for? Who do you have to things? And I'm like I just I almost I kind of joke with people like I need a life manager, can someone just do these little nuances of things? I can be really creative and have the ideas. But when it comes to the nitty gritty of like what how to design a newsletter or what to put in it or how often or what social media that's where I tend to get overwhelmed in.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think creators and writers hired virtual assistants, and that's you know, that's something you you can consider as well. So where do you think you got your most success in terms of selling the book? Was it? Podcasts, Was it? And yeah, if you look at your book reports, if you have access to them, where do you think people are finding out about your book?

Speaker 1:

I think it's a combination. I do think the podcasts really help and then, honestly, I didn't think this was going to be a big thing. But on Amazon they can do their own campaign. So I actually did Amazon ads and that just shows how often they're putting a banner with a book or if someone types in. I mean I can, I can lay it out and say here are keywords where, if someone is searching something, this is how often my book will pop up, depending on what those keywords are, and you can change it and cater it. So I did a lot with the Amazon ad. Well, I kind of just I'm much better if I can get something running in the background, okay, but I would say mostly like through podcasts, and then you know podcasts that lead to social media posts, and then and then the Amazon ads.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. Okay, so now in your bio says that now you're an advocate for you know suicide prevention and surviving and being a you know a survivor. So can you tell us a bit about your advocacy work and you know, how is that impacting your life? So you still have that and you're raising your four year old and you have a full time job, correct? Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yes, this work.

Speaker 1:

So you know, Sean and I had our own kind of trajectory of where life was going and there's nothing good that comes out of him passing. And from the beginning I've said maybe there can be something good that comes out of my experience and in this journey, and I didn't, you know, I I told you I didn't ask for this, but I'm going to try and make the most out of it. And so right now, I mean I'll say at the time of this recording, when you and I are chatting, like I'm about to head out to Europe to go to the international association for suicide prevention there 2023 Congress in Slovenia to present, and I'm like, really excited about this. And essentially, a big part of the advocacy is how do we get prevention to start earlier? There are some great things when we know in the moment. For instance, I knew, sean, that this was something that was coming up for Sean in the moment, and then, and then you're just reacting, you're just, you know, it's like grasping at straws. How do I get to you, how to pick up your phone? And it's frenzied, as I had mentioned, and that can be like call 988, call, you know, get you to the hospital. What do we need and, in my opinion, I think prevention can start way earlier.

Speaker 1:

Justin, how do we, how do we become more connected as people?

Speaker 1:

How do we stop feeling so much division?

Speaker 1:

How do we start to relate to people more, knowing that we don't have to have, we don't have to think the same way, we don't have to live the same way, but we can still be connected and having that connection and helping, having, even starting with children, how can they cope with this myriad of emotions we have that it's like oh, feels so overwhelming. So that's part of the advocacy that I am working on in this idea of we need to heal our past, to heal our present and really start to find tools and ways that people can spend more time trying to heal from past experiences and recognize any of those messages we get as kids that impact us as adults that maybe don't serve us. And that's really where a lot of my public speaking and advocacy work is coming in. How do we, you know, still continue with this hope and help when people are in the immediacy? How do we just shift culturally so that we have more connection and feel that we can actually share what is happening for us in our lives?

Speaker 2:

So how did you get the invite to speak at the conference? Did they find out about you on social media, or how did that?

Speaker 1:

work. No, I had to apply for that one. So I'm not yet at the level of invites. I'm hoping that's coming down around the corner, but as of right now, yeah, I've mostly been applying to conferences. I spoke at one for Childhood Grief, I spoke at one for the military behavioral science there conference. That was in Austin, texas. So I'm hoping that again, this is more portfolio building to kind of gain a little bit more cloud in that area so that, as I'm still gaining momentum that I can potentially start to be invited to speak.

Speaker 2:

What were some of the, let's say, testimonials that you got, like success stories or someone who heard you talk and affected them. Or read your book Anything you can share with us.

Speaker 1:

I'd say one of the first ones that came early on that I was surprised was a friend of mine was relaying that her boyfriend had experienced a loss by suicide but just had never talked about it, and by reading my book he felt comfortable even just sharing with his girlfriend how that experience impacted him.

Speaker 1:

That one I've pulled onto so much just because it was one of the first ones, because when you're publishing and I don't know if you went through this it's it is a very insecure time and I don't know how many times I said I'm just I'm not doing this, I'm not doing this, I'm pulling the plug, I'm not doing this.

Speaker 1:

And I had to have people on the way who were like keep going, don't you stop. So to hear that someone had actually found value was really amazing. I have been reached out to by other a few people who have said that my story looks like their story, and being able to hear or read that someone else has gone through something because it can be very isolating and grief in general can be very isolating has really helped. There's three women in particular I'm thinking of who have all found ways to just keep, keep moving forward after finding out that others like me have experienced the same thing, and there's just something about that in itself kind of creates unity of finding that there's someone else who went through what you're going through, and then you don't have to feel so isolated.

Speaker 2:

So what does the future hold for you? What are your future plans when it comes to publishing or advocacy?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So really what I mean my goal would be to make the public speaking or to be to have more opportunities like this or like speaking with you in the future and have that be kind of the main thing and be able to pull back from my current full-time job. As far as writing, I do have some ideas for kind of a almost like the level two or, you know, like the sequel to the original memoir of even more lessons I've learned. After getting through the first couple years after Sean died, I will say, when I decided I was a little bit more open to potentially dating, I started looking up for, you know, single mom, widowed single moms with really small children and dating and there just isn't much out there. So I'm not successfully dating at the moment and just taking some time to really be with my son during this time, but I have gone on dates and seen just kind of dabbled a little bit and I think that that might be something that I include in the next chapter of my life?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. How do men usually react when they find out? You know your backstory, is it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think it's intimidating. It's like very intimidating because not only I mean it's complicated, because not only am I like a widowed, single mom, but then my husband was a veteran and so that just adds a layer. And I have met some gentlemen who are veterans as well and it's just like, you know, you just see the facial expression kind of shift and it's like, oh, there it goes again, you know, so it is a little intimidating.

Speaker 1:

That would be a good book as well to write the dating scene for, but yeah, I'm curious if I should try and just kind of experiment and make it like a funnier book. You know just something? You know just me trying to go on dates?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, you know, or if you don't want to, like you know, open up a door box, maybe turn it into a fiction, just make it a.

Speaker 1:

I have thought of that too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so if anyone criticizes a conscious fiction, you know, I mean, I just made this up.

Speaker 1:

Don't look at my online profiles, but it's pure fiction. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, so Alex has been wonderful and thank you for taking the time to chat with me and tell us about, you know, the tragedy that you went through and sorry again about what you went through. Any any final thoughts and if you can just tell us where we can find your book and how we can reach you?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely so. For any of the listeners who have dealt with loss or grief, I just first of all want to say you can get, you can do it, you can do it, you can get through it, you can keep working. It's a lifelong journey and you absolutely can work through it. And for anyone who is a budding author or who is contemplating writing, just also do it. We need to hear your voice and your story, and your story is different, even if the topic is the same as someone else, you know it's not being told from your perspective and from your voice, and I just encourage you to do that because we need to hear from you. And then my website is forward to joycom all spelled out for tojoycom, and I'm on Instagram at forward to joy, and LinkedIn, I think, is also forward to joy right now. Or you can look me up as alexandra wyman.

Speaker 2:

Great. Thank you very much and, for anyone who's listening or watching, thank you again for spending this half an hour with us and until we meet again, thank you for tuning in to Read and Write with Natasha. I'm your host, natasha Tynes. If today's episode inspired you in any way, please take the time to review the podcast. Remember to subscribe and share this podcast with fellow book lovers. Until next time. Happy reading, happy writing.

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