Although it began in 2014, I’d never heard of National Widows Day until a year after I had become one, and last year’s blog (through the link above) was my very small attempt to bring awareness to it.
It had already been in existence a few weeks after my husband’s passing when it would have occurred, but I was in no mental or emotional condition to have noticed. I was heavy into my widows fog at that point and barely able to function. Thankfully, that part of grieving seems to be mostly behind me now, although there are definitely remnants of faulty cognitive function and memory storage.
In any case, it seems we are here again, with May 3rd marking National Widows Day 2018, and I find myself once again compelled to remind you all to remember the widows and widowers in your lives. I’m giving you a couple day’s notice this time so you can plan and prepare.
Reach out to those in your life who have lost their significant others (whether they were married to someone, partnered for life, or “only” engaged, I’ve learned not to place my restrictions on the term “widow” – some long-time married couples do not have the bond that I’ve seen exist between individuals who were married in all aspects except legally).
Pick up the phone and say “hello”, drop a card or letter in the mail, or have some flowers delivered. Drop by for a visit, or to deliver some homemade cookies, or to see if they need their lawn mowed or dog walked. Buy a book you think they might like, take them out for lunch, or simply allow them to talk about their spouses. Find some way to let them know you are thinking of them.
One thing that most people simply cannot comprehend until they’re put in this situation, is how becoming a widow permeates one’s entire existence. The loss is crippling in the beginning, to be sure, but it never really goes away. It becomes less the sharp pain of a wound and more the dull ache of an old injury that makes itself known on emotionally rainy days – sort of like a high school football injury that causes one’s knee to act up when the weather turns bad.
So whether it has been 2 months, 2 years, or 2 decades, and even if they have continued living to the point where you no longer see their pain (or if they seem to have never moved forward at all)… no matter what you think their situation may be, remember them on May 3rd. Remind them they did not become invisible simply because they are only one half of a couple. Let them know you appreciate them as individuals and do what you can to show you care.
For some, you may just be exactly what they need to keep going.
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