It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.
Schoonover, author of “Dreams of My Eagle,” writes about his experience as a widower and how he coped with his loss in his book, published by Tate Publishing and available at bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at tatepublishing.com/bookstore or online elsewhere at barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. He also includes many of his wife’s writings in his book. Donna Schoonover was a nurse for Hospice in Greenup County.
“I am sure both Donna’s spirit and God gave me the inspiration and wisdom to write this book,” he said.
The retired property claims specialist for Nationwide Insurance Cos. said he and his late wife lived in rural Greenup County since they were married and he never dreamed of writing a book.
“I was not a good communicator and found that I could express my thoughts by writing on the computer during the early morning hours,” he said. “In a way this was therapeutic to me.”
His wife died of cancer in 2011; soon after, he said he became reacquainted with a childhood friend of hers, Connie Leonhart-Dickison.
“Connie had told me that over the years she and Donna exchanged letters. She told me that she thought Donna had saved all of the letters, and asked if she could see them,” he said, noting he never found the letters but did find a manuscript and poems his late wife had written and kept private. He shared those things with Leonhart-Dickison, who urged him to start a book that included his late wife’s work.
“Her manuscript was about death and dying,” he said, adding they revealed some of her ideas about death and her spiritual connection to God. “This manuscript gave me great satisfaction and much comfort understanding her death.”
Schoonover had no intentions of remarrying, but he said believes “God and my deceased wife’s spirit had other intentions.”
He ran into a woman he had dated in the 1970s while at church and they had extensive conversations that included Schoonover’s experiences and the loss of his wife.
“I have heard Mary Beth several times tell people that she wished she could have known Donna,” he said. “Mary Beth is a rare person. She understood my grief and comforted me many times in my journey struggling with Donna’s death and regaining my happiness. Mary Beth has been my most avid fan for my book, and urged me on, giving me the inspiration to complete the book and have it published.”
His goal in writing the book is to help others.
“It is my hope that reading my book that those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one will understand their life does not end,” he said. “Regardless of all the pain, loneliness, grief and despair, happiness and a new life is possible. God answered my prayers and will always love us.”
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.