We all look forward to Holidays and National observance days, because for most of us it means a day or two off work with pay. Most people take these days to relax, rest, or spending time traveling with family. Today is a National Widow’s Day. Even after three years it still hurts to say the word Widow. I remember that I was folding clothes, and watching television with my daughter on a Thursday night; the house was quite, my husband was in the bed, I asked him a question, he responded to me, he rolled over in bed, removed the covers, coughed, and in a matter of minutes he was taking his last breaths.
On January 10, 2019, my Kenneth left me a Widow, so this day, and Hope For Widows Foundation has become near and dear to my heart. I really wish that family, friends, co workers, and church members can get a road map to help a widow. Over the last three years I have had people say words, and phrases to me that I did not particularly care to hear. I have gone through the most excruciating pain in my life during the past three years. I am a Widow and I did not think that a Mental Breakdown truly existed. In January 2020, after taking all that my mind and body could handle I faced the reality that I was no longer Jamie the wife Rev. Kenneth Foster; but that I was truly indeed his widow. I started working at the age of 16 years old and now at forty- four years old I had to leave the workforce, I had to leave a job in my field of study, I had to leave the job that I was aiming for when I stayed up so many nights writing papers to complete to get my Master’s Degree, I had to leave my dream job of teaching Human Resource Management as on Adjunct online Professor. I had to leave all that existed in my life because of my new title A Widow.
Being a widow is not an easy journey people outside of your home will never understand how hard it is to make the bed by yourself for the first time without your spouse. How hard it is to drag that garbage can to the curb, when it was his job. How hard it is to go to the gas station and pump gas when you spent the last three years not doing. How hard it is to get work completed around the house, when that was his job. How it feels when you pick up the phone and dial their phone just to realize that cannot answer this time. How hard it is to cover up all the bags under your eyes from all of the tears that you have had to wipe away.
Remember a Widow not just today but every day; share a kind word, offer a hug, offer a smile, a lunch, a flower, a text message, or just whisper a prayer. Remember that a widow suffers in silence most times because she is trying to be strong for her children, her family, and for herself.
Remember to talk about things, let your feelings out, they are better out than in. We all deal with our struggles, and process grief differently just do not reach your breaking point as I did before I truly realized I needed professional help and it was the best thing for me, and my sanity.
Reflect on a favorite memory of your loved one today no matter how small. My daughter baked two chocolate chip cookies for dinner, one for her and one for Kenneth. It may seem weird to some, but it helps us to get through our moments. Say their name and remember this journey is not easy but we must fight and stay in the race.
**Have you heard about Hope for Widows Foundation’s annual Restoring Hope & Peace Grant program? It was established by the organization in 2019 to help widowed women offset financial challenges as they navigate their healing journey. You can find out details, timeline and the history of this grant here: https://hopeforwidows.org/grant/ All widows based in U.S. and Canada are encouraged to apply. Applications open on National Widows Day, May 3, 2022. For additional questions feel free to email email@example.com **
Thank you! It helps to hear someone else confirm that it’s the small details, like making a bed, that cause sharp, unexpected pain.
Oh my gosh, thank you! Your third paragraph I’ve written so many times in my heart since my beloved died in July of 2020. He used to trade me as we made the bed about how I wanted it just so—just like I’d been taught. What I hadn’t been taught was how to be a widow much too early or how to continue to live after he no longer did. I’m so grateful to you andcc C all the widows who share here.
Thank you so much for your National Widow’s Day piece! It truly hit home! I wish you had more years together as my husband and I did. We were married for 41 years; dated for 4 years before that. Things aren’t always in our hands. Take care of yourself and your daughter. Thanks again!