Hi! My name is Gwen and I am a friend of a widow. I am in my 30’s, married and have small children. A little over 5 years ago, my best friend Michelle’s husband died unexpectedly while she was pregnant with her 5th child. Obviously, her life changed in the blink of an eye, but as someone trying to be supportive of a widow, my family’s life also changed forever. As I struggled through the questions of, “Am I doing enough,” or “Am I doing too much,” I had trouble determining that fine line. I also had trouble determining how to balance her needs with my family’s needs. Eventually, I consulted a therapist who assisted me in determining how to draw boundaries and in realizing that no one’s grief is more important than my family’s happiness. Also, once I achieved some balance, I realized that I really hadn’t been serving her or my family very well because I was in so much turmoil myself. Now that I have learned these things, I have become a sounding board for many people that are supporting widows and that is why I wanted to assist in creating this blog. I am not a coach or a therapist. I just wish I had known someone during my journey that I could have turned to for guidance in learning what I now know, to shorten the learning curve. If you have a widowed friend that would like to connect with other widows, I am also the Co-Founder with my friend Michelle of Hope For Widows. www.hopeforwidows.org or find us on Facebook - "HopeFor Widows" is the Facebook page and "Hope for Widows 501c3 - CLOSED GROUP for widowed women" is the closed group of over 500 widows that are connecting and healing with one another.
Hi! I’m Violet I am in my 20s, married and I am a friend of a widow. Three years ago my dear friend Rachel’s husband died unexpectedly very shortly after their wedding day. Her life has been forever changed, and she is left trying to pick up the pieces of a life they were just beginning. For the first couple months I was unsure how to serve my friend. Worried I would do or say the wrong thing, I chose to remain silent and just hoped she would be okay. I hated not knowing what to do or how to do it, so I began searching online for answers about how to help. I was frustrated because I could not find any sites for friends and supporters of widows. I ended up just reading the blogs of different widows in a desperate attempt to try to find ways to show my support for my friend. This was successful, but it wasn’t easy due to searching through 100s of blog posts that had nothing to do with what I was searching for before finding any answers to my questions. After apologizing to Rachel for abandoning her for the first 3 months I have been keeping in touch with her to offer support in every way possible. Even though we live in different states, I have been able to find several ways to keep in touch with her and show her she is loved and supported by my family. I am still learning about how to support a widow, especially on her “bad” days. I believe together as widow’s friends and supporters we can support and help one another, enabling us to be better friends to our widowed friends.
* first names and small details changed in order to remain anonymous