That Day and What Came After

Rebecca Daniels


Finding and Losing the Love of My Life in Six Short Years What if you came home one day and found your husband dead in his favorite chair? This grief memoir...

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Finding and Losing the Love of My Life in Six Short Years

What if you came home one day and found your husband dead in his favorite chair? This grief memoir explores the author’s experience of the unexpected death of her husband from sudden cardiac arrest a mere three months after his doctors had pronounced him hale and healthy. The author shares her experiences in the immediate aftermath of the abrupt shock of discovery, reminisces about the details of the couple’s late-in-life courtship and marriage, and imparts other experiences she has had along the grieving road in the years since becoming a widow. 

In our society, we often don’t want to talk or even think about death, so stereotypes about widows exist. However, each person’s grief journey is unique, and sharing tales of those experiences can be helpful and useful for those who find themselves in a similar situation. Though not a self-help book, this memoir is the story of a widow who defied the stereotype that widows are expected to “get over it” and move on with their quiet lives. Instead, this widow “got through it” and is now sharing her journey in hopes of helping others in comparable circumstances.

by Rebecca Daniels
Page Count: 182
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: June 4, 2024
Imprint: Sunbury Press
Genre: Memoir


FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Life Stages / Later Years



Author Rebecca Daniels and I have a lot in common, We both found and married our husbands a bit later in life. We both had our marriage stories cut short in an instant by death, and we were both widowed by cardiac arrest. That Day, and What Came After is the book I wanted and desperately needed to read back in July 2011, when my husband, Don, left for work one ordinary Wednesday and never came home. 


Back when my world collapsed and I felt completely alone and terrified, I needed the soothing and validating words that Daniels provides as she gently and lovingly walks us through what it's like to be suddenly widowed. I needed to know, by reading this book, that I would get through this, and that I was normal in feeling changed forever by the experience. 


In addition to her grief story, Rebecca gives us a beautiful glimpse into the love story between her and Skip, and as readers, we almost feel as if we are losing him too. As a writer, Rebecca has a way of making the words flow so that reading them feels less like an effort and more like floating or being guided along. 


As both a fellow widow and, most recently, a grief counselor, I will be recommending this book to future clients and those I meet in the widowed community. Nothing can bring back those we love who have died, but as Rebecca demonstrates in this memoir, the love lives on forever, as we each find beautiful ways to create purpose and meaning out of that which makes little sense. The message is clear and certain: Love is the only thing that matters. 

- Kelley Lynn, Certified Grief Counselor, viral TED talk speaker, and author of My Husband Is Not a Rainbow: the brutally awful, hilarious truth about Life, Love, Grief, and Loss. 


Rebecca Daniels’ That Day, And What Came After: Finding and Losing the Love of My Life in Six Short Years lovingly guides us through her experience of the unexpected death of her husband from sudden cardiac arrest. This memoir, rich with details and imagery from her marriage with Skip, comes together to craft a work of genuine love that delights in their relationship and extends that joy to its readers. As a culture we tend to discuss death so infrequently that Rebecca Daniels’ unflinching and brave decision to wade headlong into that subject is like a balm for those of us looking for catharsis and to make sense of the unimaginable. 


A beautiful portrait of love, loss, and grief; a roadmap for travelers who find themselves on this unfortunate path, and a practical guide for helping them walk through this experience, That Day, And What Came After is an indispensable read for anyone looking to not just “get over” the death of a loved one, but transmute the experience into something more meaningful . . . something more human. I will be recommending That Day, And What Came After to my clients who are struggling to come to grips with, and ultimately integrate, an experience as jarring and unmooring as losing a loved one.

- Jay Sefton, Licensed Mental Health Counselor


That Day, and What Came After is a beautiful love story from beginning to end. Rebecca Daniels invites us into her story of falling in love later in life, her husband’s sudden death, and ten years of evolving grief. 


Daniels’ memoir is a helpful companion for people who are grieving, especially for women who have lost their husbands suddenly. While each person’s love and loss is different, this memoir serves as a reminder that they are not alone.  It is helpful for people in the beginning stages of grief when it is hard to concentrate, and they may feel numb and brain dead. It is also a good read for people who need a counter voice to those who expect them to be “over their grief,” as a reminder that mourning continues in different manners with ever evolving forms of grief as well as new rhythms and patterns of resilience.


This memoir is a helpful grief companion, especially for persons who are spiritual but may not be a part of a formal religion.  She wrestles honestly with her own questions about life after death.  Daniels does not provide answers but creates a place for honest and raw questions that the reader may contemplate or discuss with a pastoral or spiritual leader, or a counselor.


This is not a self-help book, or a compendium of answers, but an honest and compelling story of ongoing grief, which is not afraid to ask tough questions.  Daniels describes some practical things she experienced that helped her through the agony of grief, which range from having a professional grief counselor to a timer on the light switches, so she didn’t come home to a dark empty house.


In addition to being a companion narrative for people who are grieving, I recommend Daniels’ memoir to people who want to be a better friend or family member to someone who has lost a beloved spouse.  It gives the reader an understanding of what someone might be experiencing in their grief.


Since the memoir was written looking back, it takes us through the grief experience from the initial shock of the trauma through the years of loss and the resilience and hope of going on through new stages of grief.

- Rev. Dr. Theresa Mason, retired United Methodist Minister, former pastor of churches in California and Nebraska, and former chaplain at Hamline University in Minnesota. 


That Day, And What Came After is a moving story of a love found later in life and lost too soon. In this memoir, Rebecca contemplates deeper questions and chronicles navigating the minutiae of day-to-day life after losing her beloved partner. Heartbreak and loneliness are tempered by found family and precious memories. By turns sorrowful, hopeful, and reflective.

- Natalie Pinter, author of The Fragile Keepers

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Nyla McCarthy
Honest, Affecting Read

The author takes up deep inside her journey of loss with levels of honesty rare in such a story. Never maudlin, she examines her grief and sense of loss with such insight than anyone who has experienced profound loss will feel immediate kinship and recognition.