Widows face challenging social life changes in the wake of the loss of her husband. Making the adjustment to life after a spouse dies is filled with many endings and beginnings of relationships. This is a reality that is not talked about enough. Healing comes when widows encounter sensitive social support that continues as long as necessary. It might be several years down the road in widowhood for many widows before they settle into the transition enough to stand securely on their own.

Earlier this month God gave me a very special gift. A man I’ve known for more than 30 years came to visit from Michigan. The last time I saw him in person was a little over four years ago when he came to the Celebration of Life service we had for my late husband in Michigan at my parent’s house. My parents were getting up there in age and didn’t feel like they could travel any more, especially as far as Florida, so we did a special service most of my family attended in Michigan.

My friend lost his wife in a tragic car accident a year ago. He has been in contact with me more than usual this last year because our lives both turned on a road we never expected to travel this early in our lives.

My friend and his first wife were very close friends to my husband and I. Even though they moved away from Florida many years ago, we continued that friendship. They eventually divorced and we kept our friendship going with them individually. Over time those friendships included their new spouses and families.

God blessed me with this visit in ways I never expected. My friend shared memories and stories about my husband I either didn’t know or didn’t remember. It brought so much healing to my broken heart to talk to someone so freely about my husband, Bruce, with someone who knew and loved him. My heart overflows with thanks to God for giving me this gift I didn’t even realize I needed.

My friend met my husband at our church in Kissimmee. He decided to become Catholic because his wife was and took the classes to learn about the church. Bruce wanted to join the Catholic Church and was a student in the class. My friend talked about many things Bruce shared with him about his faith in God and the Bible. He shared many memories from years gone by that warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

Effectively coping with changes in friendships after the death of your husband takes making conscious decisions and accepting a new reality. We go through a process of redefining ourselves as a social person. It’s a paradigm shift in our thinking as we transition from seeing ourselves as a wife in a couple to now being alone and single.

As I think about this visit and its profound impact, I can’t help but wonder why. Why did so many relationships change like they did? Why did I stop talking about my husband with so many?

The thing about a widow’s grief is people outside this kind of grief can’t understand. Sadly, some don’t want to understand. Some people react with emotions and comments designed to put us in our place and silence us. I guess I eventually just quit expecting to find others who were still willing to let me express my feelings or just remember Bruce out loud.

I’m so grateful for my widow friends. They get me. They understand what it means to lose a spouse. It’s not simply a loss of a person at a point in time. He lives on in all the memories that impact every aspect of our life moving forward. Triggers come in holidays, movies, songs, smells, places, rituals, secret jokes, dreams, everyday decisions and so much more. Sometimes we anticipate them… sometimes they appear out of the blue. The loss transcends and weaves through not only our present, but it also lives on in our past and colors our future.

Many relationships we had when our husband was here were built on a foundation that accepted us as a package. Most of us had many friends who were also couples. Of course there were exceptions. We both likely had friendships we brought into that marriage with people who knew us when we were single. Our families usually knew us through many of life’s transitions. So why is it this transition to widowhood stands out as different?

Some kinds of relationships nourish us and others drain and deplete us. We are constantly growing, learning, changing and adapting to life’s challenges. No matter how badly we wish some people in our lives would understand or at least attempt to understand our needs as widows, some just won’t. Sometimes we have to let go of friendships we once had when our path in this life makes a turn that changes that relationship. Sometimes we need to develop new friendships that better line up with where we are in our journey. There may even be times when an old friend’s journey makes a turn that sets them back in alignment with our path and we build a new connection with them.

Navigating the many nuances of changing relationships after Bruce was gone has been a very difficult challenge. So many unexpected breaks in communication with family members and people I thought were very close friends left lasting scars. It is my faith in God and His tender mercies as He embraced me and brought me to new understandings of what grief is, and how to maneuver through the obstacles, that is helping me press forward with renewed hope. His gift of sending this friend is just one more way He is bringing healing. He wants to do that for every one of His daughters who are now widows.

I want to pray for you today. I dabar shalom, decreeing the peace of God over your life: nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing damaged. I pray you will pursue, overtake and recover all the enemy robbed from you. I pray you will give all your heartaches and all the overwhelming challenges you find yourself worrying about over to God right now. He has answers for every question and solutions to every problem. May God lead you to relationships that will support and strengthen you in your journey. May God heal every strained or broken relationship He wants you to continue to have and bless those connections in supernatural ways only He can do. May He reveal any acquaintances you need to let go of and give you the wisdom and courage to detach them from your life.

Father, I lift up each widow who reads this and ask You to help them turn to You, the source of all comfort and peace. Please help them find solace in the cherished memories that remain etched in their heart forever. May Your divine love wrap around each widow like a soothing balm, offering respite from the depths of pain and a safe haven where she can surrender her worries and sorrows. May Your divine guidance be the light to illuminate her steps, casting away the shadows of doubt and fear that threaten to obscure her vision. Let Your love be the compass to steer her through this uncharted territory, providing direction and purpose when she feels lost or overwhelmed. Surround her with Your unwavering presence, a constant reminder she is never alone, for You walk beside her, steadying her resolve and filling her with the fortitude to face whatever obstacles may arise. Amen.


Teri’s dance with grief actually began over five years before she watched her beloved husband of almost 37 years take his last breath and enter Heaven’s door on October 6, 2019. A terminal degenerative neurological disease steadily and increasingly attacked nearly every major system of his body and transformed him from a vibrant, brilliant, strong and caring man to a bedfast invalid at the end. She was devoted to caring for him and doing her best to make the most of every minute they had left, to love him and pray for a miracle.

She thought she knew what her future held, but she had no idea. Losing him was the first time she experienced a close and personal loss. He was the love of her life. The onslaught of the pandemic with its reign of fear-mongering, forced isolation and separation entering the scene and disrupting or destroying whatever sense of “normal” that remained, just added insult to injury.

Her faith in God is the sustaining force keeping her fighting spirit to find and share hope in a bright future. Her heart’s desire is to walk beside her fellow widows toward a path of promise and healing. She wants to offer encouragement and hope so others can find the strength to take that next breath or next step. She recently started her own blog, https://widowwhispers.blogspot.com/, to share with other widows not only the struggles and hardships of widowhood, but the triumphs. Her hope is found in leaning on the Lord Jesus to enjoy a God inspired future anchored in expectation He will bring us to a fulfilling and meaningful life.