WidowLife Wisdom: 12 Practical Ways to Care for the Widow this Fall

Summer busyness is over, and a new, slower-paced season is approaching. Although the turning of the leaves and cooler temperatures are a nice change from the summer heat, fall and winter can be some of the loneliest seasons for the widow. The many holidays ahead shine a bright spotlight on the fact that her husband is no longer here and force her to change many of the traditions she had become accustomed to – it’s a scary thought. Even though the widow might not verbalize her needs this fall, she will need the warmth of her community and a reminder of the closeness of Christ. As the warm weather begins to fade, consider the following ways to warm the widow’s heart and home this fall:

  1. ASK. Ask her what she needs, tell her what you are good at, and offer help in those areas.
  2. Provide warm clothes. Help a widowed mom sort through the children’s clothing, making a list of needs to purchase.
  3. Provide a warm home and car by helping to winterize these things – change filters, maintain her heating system, or supply firewood. **While at it, check fire detectors and alarms and replace any batteries. **
  4. Help her yard to be cold weather ready by pruning bushes, raking leaves, and adding a new layer of mulch or pine straw.
  5. Don’t forget her on the holidays; fall is a time of family celebrations, and this can leave the widow feeling lonelier than ever. Invite her and her kids to your fall family fun days, or invite her to come around your Thanksgiving table. She may say no, but the invitation means she hasn’t been forgotten.
  6. Sit with her. Start a pot of coffee or tea and talk with her about how she feels about the transitioning of seasons and the potential changing of traditions without her husband. Be intentional about helping them think through potentially difficult days and weeks ahead.
  7. Send her gift cards: food and gas are always needed.
  8. Set up a time to help her Christmas shop, run errands, or babysit so that she can prepare for the holidays.
  9. Fill her pantry with love: tea, hot chocolate, and coffee are always a safe bet. Stock her freezer with casseroles and soups.
  10. Care for her fatherless children. Babysit her kids or come with an activity to share with her and her children.
  11. Call and write! Leave a thinking of you note her mailbox or call to check in with her.
  12. Pray: Dear God, I know that the changing of seasons can be hard on the widow and her fatherless children. Will you please be their warmth this fall? Would you continue to show them that you are the defender of the widow and the father to the fatherless, and please use me to bring the Gospel into her home? As she faces the season ahead, remind her that your plans are good, you are with her, and you will help her. Amen.