How One Man Moved Through Grief and Adversity to Find Happiness

Danell teNyenhuis Black
Widowed Words
Published in
2 min readMar 17, 2024


A review of Shake Yourself Free: Take Control of Your Life to Move Through the Pain by Bob Milsap

Photo courtesy of Bob Millsap on

I began following Bob Millsap’s blog, Ten Thousand Days, in 2018, and he started following me around the same time. I don’t remember how or when we discovered each other, but I have enjoyed reading his stories.

Recently, I contacted Bob to invite him to my Widowed Words reading club on Facebook, and he responded quickly. We both shared that we had published our stories and agreed to exchange books.

Shake Yourself Free begins in 1990 in Bakersfield, California. Bob was a recent college graduate who had just purchased his first home. He was looking forward to proposing to his long-time girlfriend, Dana when she was killed in a collision.

While grieving the loss of Dana and all of their future plans, Bob found that his grief was invisible to many people since he did not have the title of fiance or husband. This is known as disenfranchised grief, which is not generally recognized by society.

Bob struggled to process his grief, so he threw himself into work and became very successful in the natural foods grocery sector. Bob married and started a family.