The 4th Act: How Do You Say Hello After You Have Said Good-Bye?

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Many of us have faced a life-changing event like divorce, the death of a spouse, the loss of a job or the end of a career. The 4th Act: How Do You Say Hello After You Have Said Good-Bye, is about receiving a precious gift of more time for living, and how to make the most of it.

Part textbook, part storybook and and notebook where you, the reader, can reflect on and journal about your own life, The 4th Act begins with a moving account of a life-changing event in author Jeanne Wiger's life: "Beginnings and endings have always been hard for me, but never as difficult as the night I lay on a bed in the intensive care unit of the hospital watching my oldest son make his way to the door. Both of us were sure that I was not going to live until morning," she says. "I thought - 'I don't know how to say goodbye.' So I didn't! "When the sun rose in the morning, I was still there, but something important had changed. Of that I was sure! I was equally sure that what had changed went beyond my physical being. But what was it?"

With gentle humor and great insight, Wiger uses her experience as a family and marriage therapist to explain the concept of The 4th Act. If you think of human development as being parts of a play we call Life, Act I would be conception through adolescence, Act 2, young adulthood to retirement, Act 3, retirement (or today, often a second career). At the end of this act, for most, the curtain comes down as it does in a play, the stage lights dim and the house light come up. The play is ended.

Except sometimes things don't end there. Sometimes the curtain rises again on a 4th act or epilog. Often unexpected, this act can give new and even greater meaning to the entire performance.

Author Jeanne Wiger holds a BA in theology and comparative religion and sociology, a BS in art education, the fine arts and studio art, an MEd in art education and fine arts, and a PhD in psychology and human development. She has been in practice as a marriage and family therapist and life coach for over 30 years. Her work as a therapist is formulated upon the concept that everyone has within them the knowledge they need to live successfully.