"Q&A With Melissa Gould"

Book: Widowish

Author: Melissa Gould

Author Bio:

“When her beloved husband died unexpectedly of Multiple Sclerosis and West Nile Virus, writer Melissa Gould started chronicling her grief journey through her personal essays and speaking engagements. Telling her story has been a crucial part of her healing and she has found meaningful connection in sharing it with others - especially those who are facing grief, loss, and unexpected life changes.
 
Early on Melissa realized she did not fit the idea of widowhood. She didn't look like a widow (too young), or act like a widow (she found love again) but she felt like a widow... which is how she came up with widow...ish. 
 
Her essays on love, grief, and healing can be found in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times,The Washington Post, AARP, Buzzfeed, Kveller,The Huffington Post, and more.  
 
Melissa has shared her widow experience at various workshops and seminars including Soaring Spirits International/Camp Widow, The Ed Asner Family Center, and has been the keynote speaker at Forest Lawn's Holiday Memorial Service, "Lights Of Remembrance."
 
She is an award-winning screenwriter who wrote on such acclaimed TV series as Bill Nye the Science Guy, Party of Five, Beverly Hills 90210, and Lizzie McGuire.​​ She has also written several TV movies for networks such as NBC and Disney Channel.  
 
Her life as a parenting expert / "mompreneur" resulted in several branded columns on major industry websites including WebMD and DisneyFamily. In this capacity she appeared in front of the camera on such shows as Rachel Ray, Access Hollywood, KTLA’s Morning Show and many other "info-tainment" programs. 
Melissa lives in Los Angeles, CA. Widowish, a memoir, is her first book.”
 

 

1.  Well first off congratulations on the release and success of “Widowish”! What made you want to write this book and where did the inspiration come from?

Thanks so much~ I decided to write Widowish, A Memoir as a way to keep my late husband’s memory alive. Also as a record of our life and love together, his unexpected death, and how our daughter and I coped in that first year after losing him.

I didn’t realize it at first, but writing about this traumatic event is really the most healing thing I have done for myself. The fact that people find my story resonant and find Widowish to be helpful to them in some way has been the greatest gift. 

 

2.  What is one piece of advice you would give someone that is currently going through a loss of a loved one? 

My advice to anyone who is grieving is to be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can and there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief hits at unexpected times and in unpredictable ways. Acknowledge it and feel it, there’s no getting around it, you just have to go through it -  as hard as that is, and however long it takes - to get to the other side. 

I have also found time to be a miraculous healer. That’s hard to imagine in the early days, when your loss is new, but really, time helps tremendously.

 

3.  The world has experienced much loss this past year due to COVID-19. Even though the virus is still present, how can the world begin to collectively grief?

I think that with COVID, grief has become more ubiquitous and not quite as mysterious as it was before. It’s affected so many people that we’re seeing what grief looks like from every angle, unfortunately. The order of loss is messed up - we see parents losing their children, siblings losing a sibling, husband’s losing their wives - it’s tragic!

Grief has certainly been part of a larger conversation which is probably healthy. Grief is something that everyone experiences and for better or worse, because of COVID, it has perhaps been a bit more normalized. 

 

4.  What do you hope readers take away from this book?

In Widowish, I hope that readers get to know my husband and see that we shared a life together that was full of love and hope, even when he was so sick. Widowish is ultimately a love story and the more people who read it, get to know my husband. That keeps him close… which is everything!

I also want readers, specifically those affected by loss, to know that grief is survivable. It’s painful, excruciating at times, but somehow we all miraculously get through it. You don’t know that in the beginning but it’s true.

 

5.  What’s an adventure that you took with your husband, that you look back on fondly today? 

In Widiowish, I write about our family trip to Europe - Spain, Italy, France and England. I’m so glad we did that! It created memories for all of us, but especially for our daughter. It was a wonderful adventure from start to finish, even if my husband wasn’t always feeling his best everyday.

 

6.  What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block? 

For me, the best way to get over writer’s block is to just keep writing. Or start writing. Even if it’s bad and makes no sense or you can’t even find the story! Just write, or keep writing. I think it’s easier to edit than to start from scratch. Once something is on the page, you at least have something to work with.

 

7.  What’s the best book you have read this year so far?

I love everything written by Curtis Sittenfeld and her latest book, “Rodham” was one of my faves from last year. She seamlessly weaved together what we knew about the protagonist and what might have been. It was a flawless read, as is everything she writes!

 

8.  Do you plan on writing more books in the future?  

I will absolutely keep writing! I’m not sure what’s next but I have ideas for a novel, and a YA book, maybe even another memoir. Right now I’m enjoying the success of Widowish and I’m thankful I have a chance to breathe before deciding on my next project. Stay tuned!

 

Places To Find More From This Author:

Instagram: @melissagould_author

Facebook: Melissa Gould

Website: www.widowish.com

 

Widowish Cover

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