Alone and Alive

a practical guide for dealing with the death of your husband


Boyanton, Janet. Alone and Alive: A Practical Guide for Dealing with the Death of Your Husband. Shafer. May 2011. c.154p. index. ISBN 9780974772028. pap. $19.95. SELF-HELP
Using her experience as a widow and probate/estate planning attorney, Boyanton compassionately answers the new widow’s question: “What do I do now?” She covers a number of issues including accepting help from friends and family, moving to a retirement home or getting a roommate, assessing new financial realities, and helping one’s children (of all ages) deal with the death. She discusses grief and guilt, from the first few weeks to the following years. Work sheets for decision making, documenting assets, and emergency information are included. Boyanton is direct and cuts to the point as only a skilled professional and survivor can do.

Deborah Bigelow
Library Journal
May 15, 2011

Alone and Alive: A Practical Guide for Dealing with the Death of Your Husband by Janet Boyanton. Shafer Publishing, P.O. Box 134, Lyons, NJ 07939.

Alone and Alive: Janet Boyanton had me at the title. You've lost your mate, but you are still here. You have a life to live and, hopefully, to make the most of. In the early days the struggle may seem insurmountable, but this little book will help you through. It's the most practical book I've read on making it through widowhood, and believe me, I've read just about all of them.

Janet Boyanton knows whereof she speaks. Her husband died suddenly while on an outing with their nine-year-old son. She intersperses her own story throughout the book as she touches on everything the new widow has to cope with--probate, insurance, social security, mortgage payments. She talks about decisions. Should the widow continue living in the family home? Can she afford it? Is living alone a good idea or not? What about managing all the "stuff" of your husband's--clothes, papers, junk? She touches on managing home repairs, even yard work. Dealing with children's grief, taking care of one's health--everything you can think of is here.

The author is a probate attorney so she has dealt with widowhood professionally as well as personally, and her chapter is probate is one of the most useful.

If you know someone who is recently widowed, this would be a wonderful gift. And if that someone is you, make it a gift to yourself.

Available on Amazon.

June 16, 2011

Alone and Alive: A practical guide for dealing with the death of your husband by Janet Boyanton is one of the most useful and down to earth self-help books that I have read in quite a while. Boyanton is a practicing probate attorney in Texas and writes about how her life was changed in an instance when her husband died suddenly.

In Alone and Alive, Boyanton addresses such issues as finances, children’s grief, probate, living arrangement, legal documents and even dating. She not only gives her personal insights on these issues but also concrete advice on how to deal with the loss. Throughout the book, Boyanton repeats one particular piece of advice that she says she gives all of her clients and that is: Wait a year before making life-changing decisions. Another one of the fabulous facets of this book is that in the appendix of the book, Boyanton has provided many different worksheets and forms to assist in getting all of your affairs in order.

I know this book was written to help widows who have lost their husbands. However, mine is still very much alive and let me tell you….I feel this book is not only for the widows, but for all women who want to make sure they know what needs to be done in this situation. Reading Alone and Alive really got me to thinking. It is time for my husband and I too take a look at all of the legal issues….such as wills, probates in our state, etc.

I was provided with this book by Janet Boyanton through the Goodreads ‘First Reads’ program. I was not required to write a review, much less a favorable review. The views I have expressed here are my own.

Dee Bibbs
June 17,2011

This book was practical, frank, real and down to earth. The chapters related to the new widow's support of children was particularly insightful. I have seen many children in my juvenile courts as a result of self destructive behavior stemming from the death of a parent. This book examines how to let your children grieve and grow with you. This book is a must read for new widows, especially those with small children.

Dana D. Huffman
Municipal Court Judge and Prosecutor

This book is very successful in its focus, setting out a course of action for newly widowed women. It is a valuable resource as well for people who endure grief and paralysis in lives changed drastically by unforeseen events. The balance of advice with autobiographical stories keeps the book from becoming heavy, hard reading. While the book speaks to us all, the Appendices assist us in getting our lives on track, from bill payment to retirement and funeral planning. The last section, a booklet the author offers to her clients, should be in everyone’s Will folder, completed, so that family and friends have guidance in end-of-life planning. This is a book to keep on the shelf, and to give to friends for guidance.

Nancy F. Tiegreen
Retired Presbyterian Minister

Alone and Alive is Janet Boyanton, Esq.'s "practical guide for dealing with the death of your husband".The common refrain that you will read begins, "Wait at least a year before [insert next piece of advice].

I have seen the wisdom and outcome of implementing these things in her life and the life of her son. Perhaps the best thing about the book is that nine years later, she is alone, alive and succeeding, as is her son. The cliche might be "the proof is in the pudding".

The book is simple, straightforward and easy-to-understand. She heightens the awareness of the friends and acquaintances who will make the process harder than it should be.

The "Decision Making Worksheets" at the end of the book cause you to focus on things that you may not have considered. If you have experienced the recent death of a parent, then this book may provide the impetus to get your own affairs in order.

Janet Boyanton has waited nine years to write this guide. What she has lived and learned is valuable for all of us.

Ralph J. Turner, MD FACOG
Assistant Professor of Surgery
University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
Tyler, TX 75708

Being a new (less than a year) widow, I found the book to be very helpful. It was straightforward and easy to follow and understand. The experiences that she faced at the beginning were very familiar to me. For a woman who finds themselves alone (not having family near-by or easily available) the information in the book would be a wonderful guide as to what to expect and how to handle it.

Tracy Huffman, Recent Widow

A book that certainly speaks from the heart and provides an insightful perspective for continuing life after the loss of a loved one. We get to view this process through the author’s own personal experiences. What’s surprising is that this book is so easy to read, yet we still find great advice about how to solve legal and financial problems

Fred Hepner
Attorney at Law & Certified Public Accountant

It is an honor to review this poignant and personal guide for dealing with the death of a husband. As Ms. Boyanton’s personal Physician for many years I have been privileged to participate in many of her life’s joys and sorrows, including the planning and delivery of her son and the death of her husband. I have watched her face and emerge from all these experiences a stronger and more determined person. She is well qualified to author this compelling guide based on her own life-changing experiences. The book provides a candid and reassuring emotional guide for this trying time. It also addresses the practical aspects and offers guidelines for preparing for these events. Altogether a must read!

Stacy R. Stephens, M.D.

Janet Boyanton, Esq. Has written an excellent analysis of the psyhco-social, financial and legal matters related to widowhood. She generously portrays her own loss with the death of her husband. It describes the wrong advice of others, the mistakes in decisions as well as the eventual lessons learned. The legal worksheets are a true benefit and put most issues into perspective. This fast read and thoughtful analysis reflects the grief and reconciliation process on the road to a "new Normal".

Charlotte M. Maxim, LMSW
Home Health Social Worker

Alone and Alive delivers critical information for the widow at the most vulnerable time of her life. As a recent widow, I encourage every widow to read this book. It contains concise information throughout and helpful worksheets in the appendix which will guide them through a mound of necessary decisions.

Sarah Lack
Associate Director of Transfer Students
Northwood University-Texas Campus
2003 Best Southwest Leadership Class

Every woman, married, single or widowed should read this book, and most men should, too. It tells you how to prepare for and deal with the many decisions encountered following a death.

Pat Carpenter
Widowed Twice

The book reads fast and is very clear. The practical nature of what I call "adjustment psychology" is outstanding - as good as any self-help book I have reviewed.

Howard A. Starr, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Austin College, Sherman Texas

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Contact Info
Texas Law Office of
Janet Shafer Boyanton, P.C.

211 Executive Way
De Soto, Texas 75115-2336
Phone: (972) 298-6111
Fax: (972) 298-6301