Nearly a million women are widowed each year in the United States. Hardly anyone is prepared for the days, months, and years that follow the loss.
New widows grieve, but they also battle psychological, spiritual, and social upheaval from all directions. From discovering a new identity to finding different ways to relate to old friends, life becomes unfamiliar. Practical changes—both legal and financial—are inevitable. Just as there’s no simple prescription that makes grief disappear, there is no clear way to address all the challenges widows face.
In Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows, Ella Wall Prichard writes the book she needed, but could not find, after her husband died. She recounts her turn to the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, a letter that features joy as a source of comfort and hope—and that shapes Reclaiming Joy.
Prichard offers practical advice on how to achieve joy. Each chapter focuses on a different trait needed to move from grief to joy. The primary narrative arc is spiritual, even though stories of struggle, conflict, and loss are recurrent themes.
Reclaiming Joy is part memoir, part guide, part inspiration. It captures the pain felt in the first years of widowhood in the move from grief to joy. It offers encouragement and advice to women who seek the strength to rebuild their lives and reclaim their joy.
Ella Wall Prichard is the president of Prichard Oil Company and is highly involved in her community and church. A mother and grandmother, she is a frequent speaker on the subject of widowhood and has encouraged and supported widows around the country. Ella blogs at www.ellawallprichard.com, where other resources on widowhood can be found.
In Reclaiming Joy, Ella Wall Prichard invites you into her honest, courageous, and vulnerable journey of rediscovering a life filled with meaning and purpose after the death of her husband. Her profound insights will inspire and encourage you to find joy again regardless of the pain and losses on your own journey.
~Jimmy Dorrell, Co-founder and Executive Director, Mission Waco
’Joy comes with the morning,’ the psalmist says, after the night of mourning. In Reclaiming Joy, Ella Wall Prichard teaches us something else that is only learned in the crucible of grief and loss. Joy that comes with the morning is only possible by seeking joy in the mourning.
~George Mason, Senior Pastor, Wilshire Baptist Church
Open. Honest. Compelling. Ella Wall Prichard’s journey through grief to acceptance to finding joy will give widows everywhere the confidence to believe that life can be good again. By telling her story, she offers hope to those in despair, encouragement to those feeling overwhelmed, and wisdom for those unsure of the next steps. A rich, practical, insightful read that invites every widow to choose life.
~Rev. Dr. Gary W. Klingsporn, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Ella Prichard is a courageous and insightful steward of grief who has produced a profound and uplifting book on joy. Her subtitle calls this book ‘a primer for widows,’ but it imparts wisdom for all who grieve the passing of someone they loved deeply.
~Marv Knox, Field Coordinator, Fellowship Southwest, Coppell, Texas
Ella Prichard has given us a gift in her deeply personal account of widowhood. In her new book, Reclaiming Joy, she lays the framework, through the book of Philippians, to experience God’s presence and provision in times of grief and loss. It is at once practical, honest, hopeful, and encouraging. Reclaiming Joy is a beautiful chronicle of the strength, wisdom, and maturity that comes from enduring times of loss.
~Elizabeth Head Black, author of Hand in Hand: Walking with the Psalms through Loneliness
After forty-six years of marriage, Ella suddenly found herself widowed and thrust into a life she did not choose. Reclaiming Joy is an account of one brave woman's ability to navigate the most difficult journey of her life and help others who are trying to do the same. It is a one-step-at-a-time guide, resource and affirmation of the hope that you can, one day, find your own joy.
~Jackie Baugh Moore, Vice President, Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation
A focused look at widowhood, this book is drenched in honesty and wise insights as [Ella] continues to move through stages of grief while adapting to new realities. These are experiences and discoveries worth sharing with fellow travelers who face such a reality now—or will in the near future.
~John D. Pierce, Nurturing Faith Journal & Bible Studies
In Reclaiming Joy, Prichard untangles the spaghetti on the widow’s plate, compartmentalizes each topic and examines her grief while presenting a touching yet practical guideline offering hope for a positive outcome for any widow navigating her own loss.
~Ted Talley, Her Magazine
An exceptional, deftly written, impressively informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly' practical in organization and presentation, Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows should be brought to the attention of any newly widowed woman and ought to be a part of every community library collection dealing with the sensitive subject of Death & Dying.