A widow may be what we are, but it is not who we are.

FACT: There are more than 100,000 widowed people in Oklahoma; 800,000 people become widowed each year in the U.S.

Many friends and family say, “Let me know if there is anything I can do.” In shock, struggling with deep grief and overpowering waves of loneliness and confusion, leaving us unable to think clearly we don’t know what  we need.

Friends stopped trying to reach us when we didn’t answer the phone, not realizing that I was in the middle of a crying jag and simply could not talk. When I didn’t return calls because I did not feel like talking friends and family assumed  they must be bothering me, so gave up trying to stay in touch. When the cards and the phone calls stop and offers of help become few and far between, I wondered if I said or did something wrong.

Friends who have never lost a loved one may avoid us widows.  It isn’t that they don’t care. They simply may have no idea what to do or say  to someone  who is grieving. They are terrified of making us cry by saying the wrong thing or mentioning our husband. Yet, I want  to hear people mention him; to know that they remember him and that he hasn’t been forgotten.

A chance encounter at the grocery store, we both feel awkward. I force a fake smile, decline offers of help reassuring them that I am doing just fine and keep the pain  inside. Taking me at my word it is assumed that I am doing well  and don’t need help. (THEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM!) 

Believing I must be strong so others aren’t forced to see my pain and sorrow and pity me, I put  on a big act to appear normal. I stay  so busy to fill the void, that people around me are convinced that I am doing well. My smile further convinces everyone that I am ok. However, when I am alone, I am often in a heap on the floor sobbing. Only another widow would know the truth and realize the excruciating pain I am in. I can’t even clean my house or cook.  Every day is a struggle. Yet I don’t want to be a burden or whine or complain or have anyone know that I still continue to grieve. I don’t want to appear weak.


We must be honest and clear about what it is that we need when someone offers to help. Well-meaning family and friends who truly want to help aren’t mind readers. If we insist that we are “fine” they  may feel that we really are ok. This may leave us feeling irritated that “nobody helps”.  If complete strangers or the widowed clerk at the grocery store  seem  more concerned than  your friends and family, it may be that you being less than honest about your needs makes everyone believe that your are alright.

Family and friends want to help. Thrive on the fact that they want to help as they can be good company.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GRIEVING: Many  widows don’t understand the importance of grieving. Grief is a wound that needs attention in order to heal.  Attempting to avoid it only makes it worse. Unexpressed grief lasts indefinitely and will blindside us at moments when we least expect it, taking us on an emotional  roller coaster. After the loss of a beloved family member some who have not allowed themselves to properly grieve suffer ever after. Suppressing emotion can have long term, destructive consequences  manifesting as physical symptoms.

Once we decide to face those  painful feelings openly and honestly, for however long it takes for the wound to heal, the raw, all-consuming shock and intensity of grief will soften.Gradually, at our own pace, we find that we are  slipping back into the routines of daily life. It is important to remember that all the unbearable feelings of pain and fears, of being unable to function any more, are normal.


HOW LONG DOES ONE GRIEVE? While there can be pressure, often from well-meaning family and friends, to attain “closure” by the time a year has passed the truth is that grief doesn’t necessarily conclude at the end of one year.  Dr. Anthony Komaroff, Harvard Medical School responded that even after 51 years the anniversary of his dad’s death is a sad day.

GRIEF, WHICH DIFFERS GREATLY FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER, IS A PERSONAL PROCESS. Everyone grieves differently; coping, adjusting and healing in their own way, on their own timetable. No one should tell you how you should feel or act after your loved one has passed. There is not one “right” way to do it, nor such thing as a timeline.

Give yourself permission to grieve. Don’t push yourself. Take all the time you need, however long it takes for the wound to heal. Listen to your heart. Don’t try to be brave and strong. Don’t be something you’re not ready to be. Cry when and where you need to. Be patient with yourself.

The length of time the loved one has been gone does not make a difference in the grieving process; grief takes it’s own time. Perhaps if people were not made to feel they had to get over it, life might be easier on them. The only people who think there’s a time limit for grief have never lost a piece of their heart.

The more important someone was to your life, the more opportunities there are for both happy and sad reminders. A familiar scent, song or likeness may trigger feelings of grief. Remember this is entirely normal.

Love is stronger than death so you will always have that special place in your heart and never forget about you loved one, even as you begin to enjoy new things that make you happy.

Welcome comfort wherever you find it, but most of all take good care of yourself. And if you need a break from grieving, that’s OK, too.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” ~Washington Irving.

 We grieve with hope  (I Thess 4:13-18)



Don’t worry about it. During a stressful event, such as grief, catecholamines suppress activity in areas at the front of the brain concerned with short-term memory, concentration, inhibition, and rational thought. (Simply put: our brain protects us by affecting our memory when life is overwhelming or too painful. You may find that you don’t have the ability to handle difficult tasks during that time. In great pain and feeling deep loss and sorrow you  cannot comprehend or think as clearly as you normally could, yet, you are  immediately called upon to start making important decisions.)

You might feel that you are in complete control and behaving normally but you might be wandering around in a fog. You are not going crazy. This is very normal.

Left alone to grapple with financial and legal questions you now have the worry of getting rid of all of the things they collected over the years. Where and how does she start to get rid of it all? There is much needing to be handled in a very short period of a time.

Not thinking clearly your decisions can be very flawed and based on just getting past the loss. Making major life decisions or missteps, while in shock, can prove complicated or perhaps impossible to undo years down the road.

You may feel  lost, alone and worn out. Fatigue, anxiety, and stress can affect your health. Physical illness can also affect your memory.


To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. Grief is a process of healing and depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way  While depression feels as though it will last forever it’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness.. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone.

Overcoming Depression: Research has shown us that while exercise is the last thing a depressed person wants to do physical activity is a powerful tool in treating depression.  Getting the body moving helps boost the recovery process because exercise  helps by releasing mood-elevating hormones. These hormones relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being to lift spirits. A simple walk, a bike ride, yoga or a harder workout can ease agitation, anger and depression. 


At first, grief feels like being lost, with no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone and your anger has no limits. Quite often family and close friends become a convenient target. We may turn our rage toward someone we love because they don’t understand the true pain and loneliness or see exactly what we need help with or they don’t behave the way we expect.

 We may come to resent the ones who step up to help during the period of time when we aren’t thinking clearly. Caring family and friends may at times  annoy you. While still in our foggy state of mind we assume they are being pushy and focus our anger on them. The important thing to remember is that they cared enough to help. Hold tightly to them.

The anger can extend past family and friends, to the doctors, inanimate objects, and complete strangers.  We may be angry with ourselves that we could not save him.  Anger, which is tied so closely with grief, may even be directed at our loved one who died, when rationally we know the person is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry.  We may even be angry at God.

Suddenly we have a structure with our anger toward someone else. The anger becomes a bridge; a connection from us to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing. We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. Anger is just another indication of the intensity of our love.



It is impossible for anyone, including a therapist, to understand what we are going through or how to respond unless they personally have experienced the death of a spouse. What is difficult to put into words another widow understands. Someone who has been through it, and known the absolute depth of despair, can provide comfort and hope, by assuring the widow that what she is feeling is normal. No amount of therapy is going to be enough unless a widow has other widows to talk to.

Amazing conversations happen and a lot of healing takes place when widows connect with other widows. We become each others mentors and good friends as we share  advice, confusion, pain, sadness, anger, friendship, hopes,  suggestions, family happiness, love, laughter dreams and a deepening faith.   “Small groups” within a church require minimum time from pastoral leadership.

Whatever we say, in a small group of widows, somebody has experienced something like it and that helps us to feel safe. We can talk honestly about everything, confiding our true feelings and thoughts we won’t share with others. We cry as we share tears when talking of the unrealized hopes, dreams and expectations for the future and now the journey through life after death of a spouse.


We learn from those who have been down a similar path of loss and grief that our feelings are normal and that we are not going “crazy”. Although we all have different stories and a different journey we all have one thing in common. While circumstances may be different, the feelings aren’t and we find that by helping others we are helped with our own healing.

Viktor Frankl, in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”,  says that if you cannot escape suffering, dedicate yourself to a cause, a person, or a goal. Living to help others gives meaning to our suffering. God will provide us with the strength to help others.

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“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” – the Dalai Lama

“Each time I perform an act of kindness, a part of me heals.” – Lupi Ngcayisa

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” – Nelson Mandela

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  1. Alice says:

    CHANGES Life changes on a dime.
    Your life and roles are different now and many of the changes you will experience can be positive ones. There is a new normal that changes everyday.

    Although your relationships and social life changes since it may not be couple-oriented much you can make valuable new friendships with other widowed or single persons.

    You will find that as you make adjustments to your life, you may develop greater independence. Gaining new confidence in your own actions and decisions you may like the feeling of overcoming natural fears that might have kept you from doing things. You will feel pride and pleasure about the new paths you are taking.

    Your routine might change and you might want to move things to your preference for which drawer to keep the silverware or maybe you want to sleep in on Saturday. Living alone allows you the freedom to follow your own preferences. And that’s a gift you can give yourself in the difficult days.

    You move forward not just for yourself but for him too. You go on for both of you, carrying with you lessons in priorities, strength, compassion, and love that you learned from him.

    As you transition from living as part of a couple to one person, living alone, draw from your life together–the gifts and blessings, the strengths and wisdom you received. But even as you treasure the past, take small steps to reshape your life. Try new activities, seek out new challenges, meet new acquaintances and explore deeper relationships with old friends. You will find new joys, new hope, a new sense of purpose.

    Be easy on yourself. All the practical matters that are part of everyday living still need to be done but now instead of the two of you planning and sharing the it is all your responsibility alone. You might not have the energy and you need time to figure out how to do the tasks you shared with your spouse.

    Recovery does not start from the same place for everyone, but our beliefs and actions can shape how quickly we can move through the void.

    Applaud yourself for everything you did accomplish no matter how short the list is. You will find that as you make adjustments to your life, you may develop greater independence. Gaining new confidence in your own actions and decisions you may like the feeling of overcoming natural fears that might have kept you from doing things. You will feel pride and pleasure about the new paths you are taking.

    Cherish the life and the love that you and your spouse shared. Nothing can take that away from you. Realize that now you are a different person, a better person for having known and loved your spouse and for having been known and loved in return. Fill your life with other people. Your family and friends can bring joy and richness to your life if you let them. Invite them to your home to spend time, to sit and relax, talk and share a meal. Being able to spend an extended length of time with loved ones can be a blessing.

    While there will be days when it seems a huge piece of you has been ripped from your life and a gaping hole is left, you will have days of celebrating new beginnings.
    Tell yourself: If I don’t change with it, its my fault. I am the one with the choice. Embracing it I find no small measure of happiness and gratitude.

    I don’t know how my story will end, but nowhere in my text will it ever read….”I gave up”. -unknown

    When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.


    Widows are said to be the most powerful group of women because they are often forced to step outside of their comfort zone to stretch their abilities and to do things that they’ve never tried before; something they would never have imagined possible because they had always been afraid. However, this is actually very important in the healing process to do something they may have felt very apprehensive about in the past. You will be able to look to count the things you never thought you could do, things someone else always took care of…. dealing with mechanics…you see how far they have come.

    Do not choose to sit down and grow old in the shadows.
    Get involved! Putting effort into things makes you love them :

    Learn all you can by doing things yourself. People learn new things every day. Trying something new and different is the best way to add enthusiasm and years to your life. Adult education classes-youtube, college degrees in their 80s. Three to check out on going back to school and some are free:

    Free courses at world class universities and college
    education and schools for-seniors
    Baby boomers going back to school



    “But when he’s gone, me and them lonesome blues collide. The bed’s too big, the frying pan’s too wide.’’- songwriter Joni Mitchell


    Widows often become unmotivated to cook after her husband passes. “The sadness and depression that follow the loss of a loved one can cause apathy and neglect caring for one’s self, including eating well, and then poor nutrition can make you feel worse. It can be a vicious circle. After years of cooking for two, it can be hard to make the effort to prepare regular, nutritious meals for one. Also, when you do make the effort to cook, little things remind you that you’re only cooking for one.

    If you’re not motivated to cook, you may wind up skipping meals or relying on less-healthy convenience foods, like cereal, frozen dinners or canned foods. Some will eat the same thing for every meal. Not bothering with fruits or vegetables many eat poorly and their diet lacks variety which can lead to malnutrition — deficiency in vitamins, fiber, protein or calcium. And malnutrition can lead to poor digestion, weight loss, bone problems and fatigue. We are what we eat. Centenarians exemplify that clearly. They were brought up in an era of no processed food, and most ate out of their gardens.

    You may feel like you don’t have the energy to cook, but once you start to eat right, you may suddenly have the energy to see your friends or family more often, go to the store, pursue a hobby — or even cook a healthy dinner.”

    Dr. K’s advice was to aim for three meals a day, using these general nutrition targets:

    Eat protein (chicken, fish, legumes, eggs or cheese).
    Fill half the plate with vegetables (go for variety and color).
    Add one piece of fruit, yogurt or both.

    Not every meal must have each of these components, just that this is a nice average to shoot for.

    Blend convenience with fresh food. For example, take low-sodium soup stock and add some frozen vegetables. Or buy rotisserie chicken and use it throughout the week in soup, sandwiches or a salad.

    Set aside one or two days per month to make a big batch of something — lasagna, soup, stew or a casserole. Divide each into individual servings and freeze for later use. That way, you have something healthy to just reheat on days when you don’t feel like cooking.

    Dr. Komaroff at



    It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. -Chuck Palahniuk, novelist


    When family and friends offer to help you or want to do something, let them. They may need it more than you! When you accept a blessing from someone, you are giving a blessing in return. It helps them in their own grief.Stoicism will not help but there are many persons who will if you give them an idea of your needs and desires.

    We all need help at times so let people do things for you during this time. There are many persons who will help if you give them an idea of your needs and desires. Even if you hate to be a burden. Reach out to others Ask their advice for referring you to legal and financial matters / professionals you trust. Funeral and burial arrangements, thank you notes, the will, insurance, name changes on bank accounts and credit cards, on house and car titles, cleaning out his closet require attention and energy they might not have right now. We must file insurance claims, pay bills, write thank-yous, decide what to do with our loved one’s possessions, and on and on. (CHECKLIST) Accept their support now and in the future and thank them profusely. Don’t take them for granted. And be sure to show your gratitude. Nobody likes to think their hard work is unappreciated. You can always do something, even if it is just writing a thank you note.

    Gratitude helps us to see what is there, instead of what isn’t.

    Look for the highest good in every situation; without always trying to make people happy.

    People want to help by telling you what to do but you might tell them you need to grieve in your own way and on your own timetable. Tell them you just want them to be with you.


    Sometimes old friends stay away from those suffering from grief because they don’t know what to say, or fear that it would be too difficult for them. This could cause someone to become isolated.

    Many people are afraid to reach out, to touch, to visit, to make the first move, for fear of not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing…mentioning his name and for that reason alone, might avoid you. Try not to take it personal yet, a word of encouragement can make the difference between giving up or going on.
    a touch, a smile or a hug do for you, because it doesn’t seem like much. But at the time, when you really need it, it’s everything. Bill Salwaechter
    Without the physical relationship you and your husband share, you might realize that touch is more important than you would have expected. A massage therapist or getting ones hair done each week helps some.
    Human Contact Can Literally Save Your Life. Here is why… Touch may be the first sense we develop in utero, and it remains important throughout our lives. Studies show that prolonged deprivation in infants (for example, babies in understaffed orphanages or preemies in incubator isolation) can result in stunted growth and poor immune systems right away, plus significantly higher rates of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes in adulthood. (Source: Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind by David J. Linden)
    The simple act of hugging improves health by raising the hemoglobin level in the blood stream. It removes barriers between people; tearing down walls that cause alienation and loneliness, which can cause people to give up.


    Everyone is lonely at times, even married people. Loneliness is the pain of being alone and the word solitude is the glory of being alone.
    When a husband dies, church members attend services and console with casseroles, visits, cards, and promises of prayers. At first widows assume, those who come to them immediately (both family and friends) will always be there. After a few months church members, and even some family members, move on with their own lives and drift off. It is hard to realize but it does happen.
    Ultimately you are not alone. Be aware of God’s presence God is often more accessible in the shadow of loneliness wisdom, solace, can enter your heart through brokenness? Let the Lord be your foundation and your grounding.


    It is ok if the house isn’t as clean as it once was or if the laundry isn’t done. Don’t worry about wasting time. Take care of the necessary and give yourself a pass on the small stuff. All those things you should be doing will still be there tomorrow if you spend today doing something you enjoy, or even throwing a pity party, if you need to. You may feel overwhelmed as you try to adjust to the day-to-day changes the loss of a loved one can bring. For awhile almost nothing may seem to matter.

    Take care of the necessary and don’t agonize over what you didn’t get done as that only adds guilt feelings that depress you more. Don’t worry if you don’t seem to be getting much accomplished for awhile.

    You have to find for yourself that place where no one else can go to with you, where you sort through the sorrow and pain and find some peace and comfort for yourself. No one can give you this.
    Don’t let anyone tell you how long this will take to deal with your anguish. It is different for everyone. You don’t “get over” your husband – you just reach the point of acceptance. How long does one grieve

    We know we don’t just “get over” our heart-breaking loss, but research shows we delay our recovery by blaming ourselves. The fact is, death is inevitable for each and everyone of us. Consider that your loved one is happy–free of pain and hassles–and that you will be together again. Trust that life doesn’t end with death. Trust that loved ones who have died are forever with God and that God is forever with us, too. The pain of separation is still overwhelming even knowing that for your husband “going home” was a release from all the pain and sickness. When he died you loved him more than ever and that’s why you were able to tell him it was okay to go on instead of trying to keep him with you. You loved him enough to release him. He is with others who have gone before and he is bathing in God’s light for eternity. So let’s begin healing by stop blaming ourselves right now.

    You may often feel like you lost him yesterday. You miss him no less and love him no less.

    Grieving is a demanding and profound process and it requires times of quiet and aloneness. It is necessary for the “recovery of one’s deep self”–words that describe well what happens as you grieve. We hear voices in solitude we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts we get under no other condition. observed Amelia E. Barr. Let your self receive the blessings of solitude.

    When a spouse dies suddenly without warning we don’t get to say goodbye. We don’t get to talk about the funeral service, the memorial or the cremation or find out their final wishes.”

    Because most grieving people have some unfinished business with their loved ones, it is common to worry and have regrets. Be gentle with yourself. Your loved one would not judge you harshly.

    If you were the one who died, would you want your loved ones to deeply mourn the rest of their lives. Or would you want them to enjoy life as much a possible. This is what they want for you now. You owe it to your family to keep living- When your family is upset and you don’t have that family unit like you once did you feel very lost and sad.

    Life is short. In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So make the most with those who mean the most. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. Forgive quickly and often, You don’t want to regret doing or not doing something. Love truly with all your heart. You may never know when you may not have that chance again to resolve certain issues or to say goodbye.

    In the midst of our own storms, we should look out for out for someone else who is struggling, perhaps with a different heartache. Comforting others can comfort you. You can’t ignore loss. You have to acknowledge it. It is not only appropriate to talk about uncomfortable things, but necessary. While your loved one will always be a part of you, don’t let your grief define you. It is ok to grieve and keep going. When you fully grieve a loss, it allows you to open your heart for the next dream. – unknown


    Nothing can lessen the hurt yet life is not to end with the death of a loved one. We are to grow and never stop growing…You have new experiences ahead of you, new worlds to explore, new feelings to feel, new relationships to grow, and in the process, a new you can result.”

    Each of us finds our own way out when our grief is understood and accepted for what it is. Problems invariably gets worse for us when issues from past experiences surface at the time of loss that may leave us with a pathological depressed state of mind, unable to rise out of the ashes. Grief, attachment and loss prove to be a complex problem when we don’t look ‘inwards’ for the answer, which is a natural maturing process and a pathway to a healthy body and mind.

    “You are made to feel early on that you shouldn’t cry in front of people, you should cry in private. So you cry in your car, you cry in the shower, you cry yourself to bed at night. Unspoken, intense feelings can have an unhealthy effect over time, so you need a good listener someone you trust. Grief is a very private emotion that can be all consuming, if not shared. A widow only group is a safe place where you see others in your same situation and don’t feel quite so alone.”Sharing feelings, tears and laughter we find it healing and a potent pain reliever. This is why Widow only ‘small groups’ in churches are so important.


    Fear is going to be a player in each of our lives, but we get to decide how much.” Jim Carrey

    See Philippians 4:6-7 is


    Along with sadness you may be hit by a flood of other sometimes conflicting feelings: anger, helplessness, fear, guilt, regret, loneliness, despair. The many stages of grief (shock, numbness, denial. depression, confusion, fear, anger, bitterness, guilt, acceptance, regret hope may come in any order and any number of times. /Don’t try to push down these feelings as it seems they come back with greater fury.

    Like anger the ability to forgive arises our of your heart, not our head. acknowledging the hurt is the first step in forgiving. And forgiving is the path to peace–not for the person you are angry with, but for you.

    Anger is a normal part of grief. The anger arises our of your heart, not our head.Anger that is felt but never expressed, loneliness that never lets up, grief that won’t let go all may be the source of depression. Depression can become a major factor. Depression drains energy. Just getting out of bed can be exhausting.

    Stanford neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky tells us the lashing out in anger over a small irritation results from what happens to us in the moments, hours weeks, months and even years beforehand.
    You will probably be shocked that venomous words that you would normally never say that will come out of your mouth. We look for someone to blame: the doctors, the driver, the loved one who had gone so far beyond your reach. When it happens recognize that it is a human urge to lash out that is causing it. (And if it happens to you by someone who has lost someone, be understanding.)

    The amygdala-the center part of your brain plays a central role in aggression. Your hormone levels in the days before influence how sensitive you are to sensory stimuli. Everything about the brain changes. Having gone through a traumatic situation in the days before, your amygdala are more excitable

    Finding help
    Chronic stress makes us sick, messing with our frontal cortices causing us to make stupid and ridiculous decisions that we may regret for years later. You aren’t going to be at your sharpest cognitively, if you are chronically stressed. Judgment, impulse control and emotional regulation go out the window. We often become more afraid. When we are stressed we become less empathic, less compassionate, less capable of listening to someone else with a better perspective. Stress can cause hypertension and diabetes.

    We tend to feel more stress if we fell that we have no control over what is going on, how bad it is going to be or how long it is going to last. It is worse when we lack outlets for the frustration caused by the stressor and lack social support.

    We need friends–not a lot but those who are there in times of crisis, not those who don’t stick around. We don’t need a lot of friends, just a few very good ones.


    Do You Want To Remarry

    After 47 years of marriage Marjorie Holmes became a widow. Each day she asked God to send her a wonderful man, even writing down the qualities of her ideal man: healthy and devout, successful, intelligent, well-read—a man who liked to talk and to listen, be sexy, ardent and her dream man would love to dance.

    Dr. George Schmieler, 71 alone in his Pittsburgh bedroom, aching with despair over the loss of his wife six months earlier, discovered a book his wife had been reading, I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God by Marjorie Holmes. The author’s comforting words were a balm to his broken heart. Tracing Holmes through relatives, he called her unlisted number. She agreed to meet him. He was a striking six-footer who turned out to be devout, healthy, successful, intelligent, sexy, ardent, nimble in the art of conversation and an apprentice Astaire on the dance floor….and who had a rich and pleasant voice.

    During a quiet dinner he sang to her, and pulled out a collection of family pictures, explaining that he had been a faithful husband for 44 years.

    They married nineteen weeks later

    Epilogue: In March 1984 Guideposts published that story. Elizabeth J. Haile of Fern Park, FL. said following Marjorie’s example wrote a list. Almost within days she had a delightful evening with someone from her church congregation and before the week was out they were discussing marriage.

    SUPPORT – Helping others

    Widows only


    Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward. -Soren Kierkegaard.

    • Lauren says:

      Sandra Laufer Marshall (who wrote The Case of the Missing Radiator Cap in Guideposts magazine) make a list of qualities she wanted in a husband. Love of God was at the top of the list, then sense of humor and a deep laugh; he should be tall and slim, athletic, should care about people, and like plays, music, the outdoors, water sports and travel.
      She prayed over her list, tucked it into a notebook and forgot about it.
      Then one day she dropped by her mother’s office and met a fellow named Dennis, her mother’s boss. He’s tall and slim, loves tennis, scuba diving, hiking, the theater, has a deep laugh, is a devout Christian–and now he’s Sandy’s husband.

  2. Ellie says:

    To be healthy – laugh more and get sleep. Laughter can reduce stress, improve immune system, even relieve pain. (laughter laughter clubs . Laughter is a way of coping and dealing with difficult situations. It has real benefits on a clinical level.

  3. Art says:
    • Widows believe that they are at fault for their losses. We blame ourselves.
    • Even though there is so much that’s gone wrong there are things that are still positive. You have to give yourself permission to notice and appreciate what’s good.
    • You must believe that it won’t feel like this forever. It will subside, even if it feels os overwhelming now that you can’t believe it.
    • Resilience is a muscle that everyone can build. You may find that you have grown. You have closer, deeper relationships and more meaning in your life. Don’t look for happiness, just in the big events-the grandchild, getting a job, getting married. Happiness is found in the small things we do. It is by hanging on to the small moments of joy that we start to add up in our minds.
    • It is never too late to make new friends. Building those bridges and finding the ways to talk about those things really help. And a hugely important lesson is self-compassion treating yourself with the same kindness you would a friend.
    • Journaling is incredibly powerful. Even writing a few minutes for a few times helps us process emotions.
    • Death ushers in all kinds of guilt. But guilt is a thief of joy. You have to find your own voice–and listen to your own voice.
    • Give yourself permission to laugh, permission to feel joy, and permission to date if you want. Because death robs us of so much–our sense of security, our sense of justie, and happiness. whatever we can take back, we should. We need to acknowledge the capacity of the human spirit and persevere.
  4. Casie says:

    The grave is a doorway to heaven and a new beginning.

    Jeremiah promised a hope and future. Philippians offered strength and contentment.

  5. Robyn says:

    In a recent survey of over 10,000 people in the UK, two-thirds reported that volunteering helped them feel less isolated. Similarly, a 2018 study of nearly 6,000 people across the US examined widows who, unsurprisingly, felt lonelier than married adults. After starting to volunteer for two or more hours per week, their average level of loneliness subsided to match that of married adults, even after controlling for demographics, baseline health, personality traits, and other social involvement. These benefits may be especially strong the older you are and the more often you volunteer.

    To learn more about volunteering also see:

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