Author: Lori Apon
It has been one week since the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s death. A dad and daughter, parents, and family members all moving to eternal life because of unexpected death. Alongside of this, another woman received the title of widow even though her husband’s death was anticipated after a long season of sickness. We follow these stories with heavy hearts and sorrow, holding our loved ones a little tighter.
Quickly we evaluate her situation—it’s only natural to do so! Comments are made, or at least flash through our minds, that she won’t walk a road like the other “common” or average widows. She has money, she has friends, she’s capable, or she’s young. There is a myth that widowhood is different for those with celebrity status or wealth; however, a widow is a widow no matter her status, age, personality, or even faith. A widow is a woman who has been left alone. Widowhood is no respecter of persons.
Here are some basic realities and needs for a widow:
- There is a transition from wife to widow. With all new seasons, change is not easy. There will be a learning curve for moving from doing life as a couple to that as an individual. She needs patience, support, and encouragement.
- Loss is loss and is felt by those who loved deeply. Even the strongest, wealthiest, or most popular women will walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Grief is unavoidable and the process takes time. She needs understanding and compassion.
- Loneliness is a reality with the temptation to fill the void. She will lay her head on her pillow each night with the truth that her new status is not financial or celebrity or even commoner, but widow. Embracing this season of solitude hurts. She must be careful to let God fill the empty places instead of other options. She needs a listening ear, physical help, and prayer.
- She may be fueled with new passion and carried by a mission to right a wrong or find purpose in her pain, but she fulfills these as a widow. She needs wisdom and grace for God’s timing of her new calling.
- Her children no longer have a dad. She needs to know that God is Father and will care for her children. She needs mentors God can use to help with this process.
- She may not be a widow forever but only for a season. In fact, young widows are encouraged in Scripture to remarry. But it is not encouraging to tell her at the funeral she deserves better or she will probably find another man! Taking the flowers from the funeral to the next wedding altar is not always the best option. She needs time to grieve this loss while receiving the gifts that come with grief.
- Center stage is healing for a while but doesn’t last forever. Widows end up in a fishbowl of sorts with all eyes on her. Yet, death will make another wife a widow leaving her to feel forsaken by those who were once by her side. She must accept her new normal. She needs to know that God is there. He never leaves or forsakes her.
- God deeply cares for the widows and demonstrates His love and compassion for her throughout scripture. He teaches that pure religion is caring for the widow with the promise of blessing for those who visit her. She needs to put her trust in God.