, Newburyport, MA


April 5, 2013

Adjusting to a 'new normal'

With book, Salisbury widow aims to help others face grief


“I was used to writing for others,” Wilder said. “I always felt I had a book in me, but I needed someone to tell me I could write.”

When she received that confirmation at a writers’ workshop two years ago, Wilder set to it. She sought the help of a freelance editor and found it with Newburyport’s Joni Vetne.

“I’m picky about what I edit, and that book means a lot to me,” Vetne said. “I was very happy I had a chance to read it. It was an eye-opener. It’s an awesome love story. I think that they were a rare match.”

Vetne said she’s never experienced a loss as profound as Wilder’s, but she still finds the book useful and thought-provoking.

“She knew she needed to take care of herself,” Vente said. “The way she downsized her home, handled her finances.”

For Wilder, the book is meant to enable those crippled by grief, to give them not only a way to go on, but also the permission to mourn and heal as well.

“The major sentiment I want to convey is that, although you’re lonely, you’re not alone,” Wilder said. “The worse thing you can do is ask ‘Why?.’ That keeps the wound fresh, and you need every ounce of energy to pay attention to what your instincts are telling you to do. They’re buried, but they’re there. You have to give yourself a job.”

Copies of “Above & Beyond Wellfleet” are available at Jabberwocky and Book Rack and in local libraries. For more information visit or contact the author at

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