I’ll never forget the first time I woke up with a nasty cold brewing after Bret’s death.

My daughter and I were living with my parents and while it was nice to have them there, they didn’t exactly do all of the special little things that Bret would do whenever I was under the weather.

Bret certainly had struggles and wasn’t always the easiest soul to be around, but he knew how to take care of someone when they were sick.

The first thing he would do is run out and get some soup. Not just any soup; I was 100% vegetarian back then so none of that chicken noodle soup business, for me.

Asian soups were the ticket.

Vegetarian Tom Kha Gai.

Hot & Sour.

Miso Soup.

Veggie Pho.

Luckily for me, we always lived in places where the vegetarian versions of some of those dishes were readily available. And luckier yet, Bret loved going out and getting them.

I swear to you, as God is my witness, I would almost always start to feel better whenever I would consume these delicious, hot concoctions.

Fast forward to my first head cold following his departure, and there was no Tom Kha waiting for me.

There were a small handful of places I could get some versions of some of those soups, but there was no Door Dash here, then. (Small-town living, am I right?)

No matter how much I whined about wanting some Miso, no one took the bait. I was offered toast.

Sweetly, of course.

But my penchant for eastern cuisine was well, for lack of a better term, quite foreign for the most part, to my family.

I retreated back to bed, feeling grief wash over me once more. I was sick, still raw in my bereavement, and now reminded that no one was going to bring me the magic potions that would surely facilitate my healing.

It turned out to be a learning curve because now dear old ma and pa have no issues going to get Miso* soup when I am unwell – they kindly did so just the other day as I have been rudely sidelined by the dread Covid.

Now we also have several food delivery services as well, for times when my sweet folks or boyfriend are unavailable. Believe me when I say that I know how fortunate I am to have my parents still with me; I know that they won’t be around forever in spite of my continued pleas to the Almighty.

They were down for nearly two months with this nastiness and I was equally happy to bring them their preferred antidote – Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. If that is the soup they wanted, that’s the soup they were going to get.

It’s truly the little things that jump up and stab you in the heart in the early days of widowhood, however.

For the longest time, I had felt like some valuable part of my body had been wrenched away from me and the phantom pains were excruciating and unreal. It can still feel that way even now, all these years later.

If I could give yet another word of advice for those who are curious as to what they can do for a widowed friend or loved one, I would tell them to check in on them extra, when they are ill.

Never be afraid to ask if you can bring them some soup.

This small gesture will go miles toward healing more than just the sniffles.


Image via Select Health


*Researchers have found that consuming one bowl of miso soup per day, as do most residents of Japan, can drastically lower the risks of breast cancer.

Miso has a very alkalizing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant levels of vitamin E, amino acids, saponin and lipofuscin gives it anti-aging properties.





Layla Beth Munk is a blogger & author who was thrust into this widowhood journey abruptly and tragically on February 11, 2018. Her husband of 12 years had ended his pain once and for all. She soon made the decision that she would not let his final decision define the rest of her life or their daughter’s life, so with her sense of humor at the helm, she started writing about her newfound station in life. Grief waves still get to her, and probably always will, but with the help of her fellow widows as well as friends and family, she has been able to realize her dream of becoming a published author! Layla is so grateful to Hope For Widows Foundation for providing this level of support to her, and so many others! Layla has two amazing children, one who is grown and one who is almost grown. She lives in eastern Oregon and has a wellness & beauty background. Layla enjoys writing poetry, watching anime, and homeschooling her daughter.

Her blog can be found at laylabethmunk.medium.com and her debut novella, 24 Hours in Vegas, is available on Amazon.