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The Jokes Over

The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now: How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived

Laurie Burrows Grad and Peter Grad were together for forty-seven amazing years. The two were inseparable, spending every moment they could together. Then, on vacation in Vail, Colorado, Peter announced he couldn’t breathe. Minutes later he was gone, and Laurie’s world crashed around her.

In the aftermath of Peter’s death, Laurie discovered she hadn’t just lost a beloved husband—she’d also lost her social status. People simply didn’t know what to do or say about her newfound widowhood.

This is the story of how Laurie recovered from heart-wrenching grief, but it’s more than that. It’s also a manual for grieving widows: a forthright guide to dealing with life alone after years of togetherness.

Many widows want to move forward but lack the knowledge they need to do so. Laurie provides that information, and she offers a bit of realism too. With raw honesty and humor, Laurie tackles such issues as sleeping alone, cooking for one, and dealing with financial matters.

Grief need not be a forbidden topic, nor does the loss of a spouse have to bring your enjoyment of life to an end. Trust Laurie—you can handle this!


Author Laurie Burrows Grad is a grief blogger, cookbook author, television chef, food journalist, and activist/fundraiser.  She continues to be an active food writer and is currently the Editor-in-Chief for one of the top food sites on the web,, where she contributes regular features on travel and food.  On August 1, 2015, Laurie’s husband Peter died suddenly.  Overwhelmed by the loss of her husband she began blogging about grief on the Huffington Post Huffington Post Blog. Laurie’s many blogs have helped her deal with her pain and have also helped others, who have responded positively to her honest and raw emotions.

Twenty-four years ago, she created an annual, star-studded fundraising dinner, A Night at Sardi’s, and has been the event’s chairperson ever since, along with her husband Peter Grad, raising over 30 million dollars. Sardis Website

This site will chronicle Laurie’s journey through grief as well as inform you of other useful lifestyle and cooking tips that are part of her work. 

Recent Blog Posts


“Time does not bring relief; you all have lied.” Edna St. Vincent Millay  I will never get over my grief. When my husband Peter and I used to take long car trips with my son, Nick would always say: “are we there yet? Are we close?  This is taking too long!”  Grief is not a […]


When my husband Peter suddenly died from a heart attack four years ago, the finality of death smacked me in the head.  What happened to the famous line “we lived happily ever after?”  The unexpectedness and shock of the trauma made me reel with so many feelings that I couldn’t find my equilibrium for years.  […]


“Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” – Regina Brett “My grief is worse than your grief” sounds like a kindergarten playground retort.  Is it possible that we have set up a competition about grief?  Can it be that there is a hierarchy that rates pain on […]


A friend told me about a new airport screening service called CLEAR, which is purported to be so easy that it makes PRE-TSA look like lining up for Black Friday.  The cost is $179 per year which includes family members.  All you need to do is sign up on line and then have your fingerprints, […]


The words of W. H. Auden’s Funeral Blues “he was my North, my South, my East and West” both devastate and elevate me merging into one single emotion.  Peter was my world, my globe, my compass, and my GPS all in one.  Since he died, I have learned to find my way hour-by-hour, minute-by minute, […]