What Widows Want You to Know I've asked for feedback from widows I've known about the things that they wish their families and friends knew about becoming a widow. Here is the list compiled from a wonderful community. As a friend or family member close to a widow it is so hard to know what to do and say, read through this guide, and while keeping in mind that everyone deals with grief differently these might be helpful comments from the women who have been there.
PLEASE REMEMBER I am not the same person since my husband passed away. Even though I don’t seem very interactive, I do need you.
I am devastated. I’ve lost half of me and my identity. All my future goals and aspirations are intertwined with him being part of those and I have no idea how to formulate my future without him. He’s dead but don’t treat me like I’m dead too. Look at me. I’m still here under all of this grief. Please remember that grief lasts longer than sympathy does…be patient with me as I try to put my life in some order.
PLEASE DO He was my past, present and future. Please cut me a bit of slack if there is sometimes an edge to my voice. I’m at the end of my rope at any given moment.
Please talk about my husband and don’t worry if I start to cry. Crying is part of the grieving process. I want to hear his name. I want to hear your memories of him. The first couple of years of widowhood are unstable emotionally. Please be there for me through the good times and bad.
I need your support not your judgment. When I talk, please just let me talk without trying to fix me or my predicament. It might help if you ask me if I am talking to talk or if I want you to give me your opinion and how you think I should be handling things.
PLEASE DON’T Please don’t jump on every comment I say during my hazy widow brain. Don’t judge the timeline to my grief.
Don’t tell me I should be “over it” by now. Year one is a complete fog. Year two is even harder because all of the firsts have past and now the reality is set. The third year is the first year I may even have the ability to move forward.
Don’t tell me to “move on”. I will never move on. I’ve love the man I love. Hopefully, I will be able to put one foot in front of the other and slowly be able to move forward but I will never move on.
Please don’t compare my grief with your divorce or the death of your family animal.
The bottom line is that my husband is in a box in the ground or in the urn on my mantle.
Don’t tell me you are going to be there for me and then not return my calls or show up seeing what I need.
Don’t tell me after he dies what I did wrong while he was sick. I was alone and did the best I could.
Don’t tell me “he’s in a better place”. That’s bull—he belongs with me!
You can see why I have such a heart for Widows—this is a situation that most people are unprepared to help support. If you find this information helpful I urge you to consider making time for your widowed friend’s or family member. I will hosting a new program through my employer, Restland Funeral called The Lighthouse Program. I will be hosting monthly meeting and luncheons to help provide support and activities to allow them to meet others that have lost a spouse.