Suddenly: A Widow’s Story of Unexpected Loss and Healing by Danell teNyenhuis Black Honored as a Finalist in International Book Contest

Suddenly: A Widow’s Story of Unexpected Loss and Healing is recognized for its outstanding writing, design and overall market appeal out of thousands of books submitted into the Book Excellence Awards.

Danell teNyenhuis Black is the best-selling, multiple award-winning author of Suddenly: A Widow’s Story of Unexpected Loss and Healing, a powerful memoir that recounts the tragic loss of her husband, Patrick, and her healing journey towards finding hope and happiness once again.

Danell is a former teacher who spent 22 years in the health insurance industry until she was suddenly widowed. While processing her husband’s passing, Danell rediscovered her love of writing through her blog, My Life After Patrick ( Danell returned to school, obtaining her Master’s degree in Professional Clinical Counseling. She is now a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who specializes in grief and trauma and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). Danell’s life experiences uniquely prepared her to help others who are experiencing unexpected loss.

Danell lives in Clovis, California with her new husband, Bruce, and two daughters. 

This one-on-one interview shares Danell’s background and experience writing Suddenly: A Widow’s Story of Unexpected Loss and Healing.

Tell us about Suddenly: A Widow’s Story of Unexpected Loss and Healing.

Imagine losing your soul mate of 30 years. What would help you keep moving forward?

I was living my dream life with my husband, Patrick, and our two daughters, when he left home one morning for a bike ride and never returned. Suddenly, I had become a single parent, faced with learning how to move forward on an unfamiliar path.

To process my grief, I began reading stories of other widows, and used writing to record memories, while they were still fresh. Through introspection, I began to unlock a new purpose for myself, in hopes of honoring the memory of my husband and dedicating myself to moving forward in a positive way.

In the book, I share how I allowed myself to experience happiness and joy after the grieving process, strengthened and built new family traditions, and supported my daughters in finding their own purpose too.

My hope is that my story can also provide hope for someone else.

What inspired you to write Suddenly: A Widow’s Story of Unexpected Loss and Healing?

After I lost Patrick, I was touched by the outpouring of support I received, and wanted to let people know how much that meant.  

To process my own grief, I spent a lot of time reading the stories of other widows, and this gave me hope that I could move forward in a positive way. Later on, I started a blog as a way to process my grief and reignited my passion for writing. I completed my education over the next several years and became a licensed counselor. Now, as a mental health practitioner, I recognize the value of sharing my story to provide hope to others experiencing grief. 

This book is also a tribute to Patrick and the lives he touched as a physical therapist. He was a wonderful man, and I wanted to share him with the world.

How did you feel when you found out you received a Book Excellence Award?

I was very excited when I found out that I was selected as a finalist! Receiving an award from this well-respected organization is validation that my book is a quality, worthwhile read.

What is one message you would like readers to remember?

I feel it’s important to acknowledge the depths of grief and the path through them. If you are experiencing the death of a loved one, I hope my story shows you that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel and a new path for you. 

Grief is like a chameleon. Sometimes it blends into the background, and you never quite expect to see it. Other times it pops into view when you least expect it. Grief is intensely personal, but it is also necessary. Some of my “best” days have been the days when I sobbed uncontrollably or even screamed. Other days, I’m happy, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten. I’m just trying to get through.

There is no right or wrong way to deal with grief. It is a part of life and something we will all experience. Acknowledging grief is important and I would like to help normalize grief to make it easier for people to process and heal.

Purchasing the Book

Suddenly: A Widow’s Story of Unexpected Loss and Healing has received positive reviews from well-known literary organizations, authors, and reviewers around the world. Book Excellence writes, “Through the revelation of candid memories, Black’s narrative acts as a beacon of light for those in stormy seas, inspiring others to find the motivation to seek personal healing in healthy ways.” In addition, Literary Titan writes, “Black’s narrative is a poignant exploration of love, loss, and resilience…[Suddenly] is a testament to the enduring power of love and the strength of the human spirit in overcoming grief.”

The book is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Google Play, and other online bookstores. Readers are encouraged to purchase their copy today:

To connect with Danell and receive updates on upcoming events, interviews and blog posts, visit: You can also find her on social media on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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