I won’t call them option A and B. Let’s call them Option 1, be a Vicitim or Option 2 be a Victor. You can wallow or you can win.
I a span of just a few years I Survived Katrina, My Wife’s Death, Being Laid-Off just 3 months short of a 30 year Career and My Mother’s Death. I selected Option 2. I repaired my house, got a better job, fixed up and sold my Mom’s house and got remarried. My Wife’s and my Mom’s ashes were on my headboard until my new Wife asked me to move them. I would guess that survivers groups are good for those that need them as long as they don’t turn into pity parties or excuses for failure.
Regarding “There was nothing directly in it for him; I just needed help.” Generosity is its own reward, if you understand that you did not convey that message. That he would help you out that way really only shows how he felt about you not really a lot about his character. Who knows maybe he was hoping to get some spin into your story. Now you are pumping his wife’s book and promoting his legacy. Seems like a mutual back scratching exercise or maybe a tight little social circle. What goes around comes around.
I hope Sheryl’s efforts do good, no reason to think they won’t and your promotion of the effort is probably genuine. Best of luck.