Add this to the unending list of peeves that plague the widowed: when people refer to our late spouses as exes!

Unless you were permanently split up when they passed, these are not our exes. (And for those who were separated at the time of their death, you are still very much entitled to your grief!)

In the case of the widowed, however, we didn’t break it off with them.

They didn’t dump us – although death can sure feel like they did!

We can’t skulk around their social media seeing what they’ve been up to and with whom. Nor is there any possibility of them showing back up in our lives during a particularly rough Mercury retrograde.

They died.

What’s more frustrating than folks referring to them as such, is when we politely try to explain that this isn’t the case, the person tries to convince us that it’s the same thing!

When I was out in the oh-so-tumultuous dating pool, one of the rules I devised for myself was to take potential contenders out of the running if they held this attitude. (And I’m not talking initially – I’m talking about the ones who persisted in the notion that my LH was my ex once I explained that this isn’t the case.)

An alarming amount of guys found themselves kicked to the curb because of this.

Now, dating in and of itself is oftentimes nightmarish, and widowhood only complicates things more.

Dating a widow can in no way be an easy task, so my hat is off to all the loving souls out there who have taken a chance on finding love with a widowed person. (I’m looking at my own boyfriend, Lee, here!)

But please, friends, family, and potential partners don’t call our late spouses our exes! And if by chance you do, please be open to understanding why we don’t like it.

They may not be our spouses anymore, but we will always be their widows. We can – and often DO – go on to be wives and husbands yet again, but that can never take away the experience of having been widowed.

And respecting that being widowed is not the same as being broken up with goes a long way toward helping your widowed loved one heal and move forward.

Graphic via Vecteezy/Prakasit Khuansuwan

Do you know someone ready to make a meaningful impact this holiday season? Join us in embracing the true spirit of giving by getting involved in the Hope for Widows Foundation’s ‘Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program’ virtual initiative, now in its third year. This program directly supports widows who may be struggling to provide gifts and essentials for their children during the holiday season.

For many widows facing financial challenges, the choice between keeping the lights on, putting food on the table, and buying presents can be heart-wrenching. When you add the responsibilities of solo parenting, the weight of grief, and the toll it takes emotionally and physically, the burden becomes even greater.

To become a sponsor and access more information, and details visit the following link:

For our widows/hope sisters in the community, please stay tuned as we’ll be sending out widow applications for sponsorship this holiday season very soon.

Let’s come together and make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.










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 and her debut novella, 24 Hours in Vegas, is available on Amazon.