The Not Just a Widow Guidebook on The Doyenne of Death Podcast

May 6, 2024 | 0 comments

Not Just a Widow!

In this episode of the Doyenne of Death Podcast, host Gail Rubin talks with Patty Desiderio and Doug Robinson, co-authors of The Not Just a Widow Guidebook – a widow’s guide to surviving her new reality and transforming into her new self.

Not Just a Widow Guidebook artPatty and her husband Basil were married for decades before he died from cancer and heart issues. When he died in the middle of the night on February 21, 2011, she knew, as so many widows learn, her world changed forever. Doug was Patty and Basil’s financial planner for many years. Since women tend to outlive their husbands, he has quite a bit of experience helping widows deal with the aftermath of these devastating deaths.

When they decided to write The Not Just a Widow Guidebook, they had several goals in mind:

  • To assure widows that they are not alone. Your “widow sisters” are here for you.
  • To inform about the important things that need to be done, what questions need to be asked, and where to go for answers.
  • To introduce the aspects of widowhood that women (and men) experience.
  • To prepare for the transformation that widows will go through in the coming years after a spouse’s death.

In the interview, Patty shares several points from her “10 Secrets to Widowhood.” She provides upbeat tips for those who have become members of the club no one wants to join. You can download a PDF of her ten tips here.

Listen to and download the podcast here. Or watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Doyenne of Death Podcast: The Not Just a Widow Guidebook

About Gail Rubin

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist, widow, and the Doyenne of Death

Gail Rubin, CT, pioneering death educator and podcast host.

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death, was recognized by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) with their prestigious Community Educator Award at the organization’s annual conference in Houston on April 11, 2024. ADEC’s Community Educator Award honors an individual in a non-academic setting with expertise in the field of thanatology, the study of death, dying and bereavement. The award recognizes excellence in developing community focused teaching materials and events that are innovative and cutting edge.

She has created and facilitated numerous community death education events and materials. She coordinates Before I Die Festivals, offers books and games for end-of-life planning, produces and hosts The Doyenne of Death Podcast, and makes presentations illustrated with film clips. Learn more about Gail Rubin and her work at and

A Good Goodbye