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Rest for the Widow



I was talking to a former widow recently, and she was just gushing about the benefits of marital bliss. She mentioned that over the last few years of singleness, she had learned how to handle so many daily chores on her own. Then when the Lord brought her new love, she had to relearn how to rest and allow him to step in and handle things she had been doing.

 

Wow. Marriage, in the older years of our lives especially, is really about companionship and being each other’s helpmates. Marriage is about really stepping up and stepping into each other’s daily moments, and standing WITH them as we process our life’s daily woes. When hard moments happen, you have that one person to hold you until you can relax from that day’s stress. I know not everyone has a marriage like this, but I want to speak about the ideal one. I was so happy for my friend, but this also got me thinking about widows and widowers in general.

 

As a widow myself, I never really understood the meaning of survival mode until it was just me and the kids. When my niece lived with us, life was a little bit easier. Then, we felt it was time for us both to have a little more space to spread our wings. And even though it’s been hard, it’s been growth producing. Standing on your own can be a very scary place for some people, but with my personality, it gave me a challenge. I like to see what happens when a challenge arises. I actually thrive in challenge, for as I have written about recently, I don’t freeze. I actually see and do. I am able to observe and then take action. Widowhood has a way of bringing that survival mode back into play. Even now, as I’m walking through this breast cancer journey, they call this season of my life survivorship.

 

When the going gets tough, more daily responsibilities seem to fall on your shoulders. We as widows have to learn how to continue to recalibrate to this new-found weight of responsibilities. This does seem to give a new level of confidence to the widow if they lean into the learning process of becoming all God created them to be. Coming to accept that this is the season we are now walking through with no end in sight can be depressing and very daunting of a concept to accept.

 

This is where I want to speak to you, my menders. I am going to put out another challenge for all those reading this today.

 

If you know a widow, check on them. They are surviving in this season, especially if it’s a new season for them. I read this recently from a book called the Hard Good:

 

“When you lose a parent, it’s the loss of the past. When you lose a spouse, it’s the loss of the present. When you lose a child, it’s the loss of the future.”

 

Our present is so hard to adjust into because every aspect of our lives changes. Those around us feel the loss, but not every aspect of their daily lives changes like it does for the widow or widower. Stepping in and taking on a small task for the widow or widower makes all the difference in their daily lives.

 

I messaged a widower this week, for my leaves were getting out of control. He came one day unexpectedly, and my kids got out there and helped him get my yard back looking pretty again. This was a weight he was willing to carry. Thankfully, it’s seasonal. My father has been handling my yard for the past two summers. Also, a major help. We need the help. I wrote recently, and I think I also blogged about this, that coming to God with a need is not needy, but a sign of our awareness of our need. An empowered person can see their need and call on a friend to meet that need. A powerless person gets overwhelmed by their need and their current circumstances and doesn’t allow for that need to be met. They just sit in those emotions and maybe just handle it themselves while stewing about it. Gratitude matters for our mental health. Community matters. Relationships matters.

 

So, as we are quickly approaching this holiday season, and for so many this time of year is especially hard for them to walk through without their loved ones, make an effort to check on a widow or widower and actually do something on their behalf. Order groceries. Take their kids away for the afternoon so they can get a moment to themselves. Fix a meal. Send a card. Take action on behalf of a widow and/or her kids, for it goes along way for that family and their continued healing.

 

I have heard it said, grief is love with no place to go. So, until a new love finds that widow or widower, your love and support is so critical to living this season of their lives well. They will not feel alone. Even the gift of financial support can be a huge burden lifted off their plate. I am not telling you what to do. I am just giving some examples of how to love on your neighbor and/or friends in need.

 

Let’s not get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget that there are those we love dearly who are surviving and don’t know how to ask for help. So, when you offer and take something off their plate, rest is what they receive.

 

When you step in, rest for the widow or widower begins.

  Until next time,

Keep gliding 🪁

Abiding 🙇🏼‍♀️

& Smiling 😁



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