WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN: Finding Your Way Through the Tunnel of Grief is the book I needed but couldn’t find after my husband’s suicide. It’s accessible and emotionally engaging for readers of all ages and backgrounds. It’s the book I would have carried with me everywhere, the kind you dog-ear, make notes in the margins, and even tear out pages to stick in your wallet.
The first half of the book, MY STORY, is a narrative telling of Bill’s last year of life and the first months and years after his death as I navigated the chaotic tunnel of grief my husband left behind.
The second half of the book, YOUR PLAN, combines a self-help tools, cutting-edge research about the grief process and recovery, and personal stories to create the kind of guidebook for grief that I so badly needed and searched for in vain after Bill’s death.
The back of the book draws on hundreds of hours of research, training, and real-life experience I acquired after Bill’s traumatic death, the lessons I learned and techniques I used to cope and transform the grief process that I want to share with others who are walking the difficult journey of grieving.
“Grief is not the bewildering territory you want to navigate alone and Kristi Hugstad is the best kind of traveling companion: candid, open – hearted, organized, and inspiring. What I Wish I'd Known is precisely the kind of field guide anyone who is in the midst of grieving- whether from an untimely, shocking death or from any kind of change in life (even the good kind) that brings a sense of loss- will find invaluable.”
--Cathleen Falsani, journalist and author of The God Factor and Sin Boldly
“Grief is painful. And it’s personal. How does one pick their way through the path of grief to be healed and find joy again? Our instinct is to withdraw as the pain overwhelms us. Kristi Hugstad, confronted with an enormous loss, ultimately emerged from the darkness to compose a memoir that not only illuminates, but also provides a comforting guide to finding one’s way back from the depths of despair.”
--Maurice Possley, Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist and New York Times Best-Selling Author
“This book, like it’s author, is innovative, inspiring, and to the point. Kristi’s story has so many components can all relate, from being the victim, to the enabler. Her fresh ‘don’t think, just do’ approach is what makes this book unique. Love she includes examples of what she did to navigate her way through the tunnel of grief. Kudos, Kristi!”
--Russell Friedman, Executive Director of The Grief Recovery Institute
“I only wish I had “What I Wish I’d Known,” when I was walking through the fog and depression after the death of some of my close friends and family members. Hugstad knows the pain of grief all too well herself, but has used the experience and knowledge to create a truly useful handbook, if you will, for making it through the most devastating aspects of loss. Practical and uplifting, this book also deepens our understanding of why we are grieving and how to give ourselves time to mourn. I feel like pressing this into the hands of everyone I know, because sooner or later, each of us will need to know its wisdom.”
--Samantha Dunn, author of Not By Accident, Faith in Carlos Gomez, and Failing Paris
“Like many of us, I’ve lost friends and family in the last few years and reading, “What I Wish I’d Known,” I discovered new and significant ways to cope with grief. Kristi Hugstad’s advice about sleeping on a lost spouse’s side of the bed so you don’t feel as alone, making sure you have adequate electrolytes such as vitamin D and telling yourself,” I have suffered enough, and now it is time to be free,” are just a few of the hundreds of ideas she offers in her unique book about finding your path to healing. Kristi’s honesty, courage and insight offer truths that can lead all of us to dance in the light.”
--David Whiting, Metro Columnist, The Orange County Register