I’ve lost count how many of my close friends or acquaintances have become widows or widowers this past year. I’ve talked with a few of them throughout the year. I remember being angry when my husband died. Angry at life I think because we all did whatever we could to help him. I assumed it was the attitude of many other widows, but so far I have not met one other widow who has felt that anger.

Now What?

When we first become widows, our house feels so vast and unnecessary and a little haunting in that every turn is a reminder of a great memory. The realization that repairs may need to be done and the decision will fall on you, and maybe you know nothing about a roof or even a leaky faucet. Thank God for YouTube. Some simple repairs can be learned by watching a video. Some repairs you may want to ask a friend or relative about how to go about getting quotes or a lot of people ask for recommendations on Facebook.

Winter can be long, but ever so long when we are alone for the first time. I was fortunate that my son lived with me the first winter I was alone, and I really appreciated his company. However, when I had to pick him up after midnight at a train station when it was blowing snow, and the roads were a blur of white in the night, that was not so fun. I felt so alone driving myself to pick him up from the station. I just kept thinking—this is my life now.

A friend of mine was a Hospice nurse which meant sometimes she had to be out on snowy roads at night and thought to herself that no one since her husband died would be concerned about her if she didn’t get home. No one would look for her or call for help. Another widow said that she didn’t like being responsible for her drive and the neighbors didn’t help her clear snow.

Good News

Most people are very considerate of others in need. Bank personnel are accommodating and patient for those who have not handled finances before. If you belong to a church, the youth group or other members are usually very willing to help. Don’t be afraid to lean on people you trust. Most people want to help, but don’t want to interfere or think family members are available to help not knowing they live too far away.

It can feel like you are utterly alone when the snow starts to fly. Plan ahead. Have food and paper products in stock, so you don’t have to get out or make an extra stop on the way home from work. Planning is taking charge of your life, and you are in charge now. Keep adequate gas in your car, so you don’t have to worry if you need to idle the car for a while. Go to the auto store and get a bottle of “Heet”, an additive to your fuel that will make an older model car start easier all winter and then buy one tank of higher octane gas when you add it. Get some salt to carry in your vehicle and a foldable snow shovel in case you may need it if you slip off the road. My car was horrible on snow because it was rear wheel drive. Putting weight in the trunk and snow tires were essential.

God Cares For Widows

We are never alone, but it does seem God is especially close to widows. I can remember worrying about areas in my life and low and behold; they always seemed to work out. I use to joke with a neighbor of mine how God often took care of her leaves by blowing them over to my yard. We experience God in new ways when He is the One we have to rely on. He is faithful!

Many women have said that they cry every day. I know I did. One friend sold her house immediately because her husband had killed himself in the garage and she just couldn’t stay there and have peace. She was able to sell her house in a month and found land to buy to build a new home and a rental to move into until it is done. Another friend is going to stay right where she is because she lives in a very safe neighborhood with police officers, EMT’s, and other civil servants around her. One friend is an artist, and absolutely loves her apartment with a second-floor studio. Her husband suffered from complications from Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. She misses him, of course, but she says she praises God every time she thinks of him because she knows he is well and whole now.

Hope

There is always HOPE with God. Planning ahead gives you control. God gives you hope. If you do not know God, find a Christian friend or pastor who can explain His Presence. God is a friend to the hurting. Don’t discount Him if you do not know Him.