Author: Lori Apon
Widowhood provides opportunities to experience all things new, for better or worse, one of these things is a new community. One of the unfortunate realities for the widow is that old things pass away, often including your world of familiar faces and sometimes surprisingly your long trusted friends. This loss along with the loss of your husband is very difficult.
As a young widow, interacting with other widows may not be easy in the beginning. It’s normal to feel that this season wasn’t supposed to knock on your door until decades from now—not until the rocking chair, nursing home days! However, you will find great benefit in getting to know other women who “get it” and are where you are or have been in the past.
Here are just a few benefits to joining a community of other widows:
- Understanding – it’s just there! They know the struggle, pain, and loneliness. Having someone who just gets it is a great gift. Finding someone who has suffered a similar loss may bring the necessary encouragement you need for the days ahead. Friends and family want to be there for you, but only those who have walked in similar shoes can relate to your experience with suicide, extended illness, or the sudden death of your husband.
- Support – knowing you aren’t the only one struggling in a certain area of life keeps you from feeling even more alone than you already are. Other widows will partner with you to knock out a project or conquer a task you feel incapable of doing alone.
- Fellowship – scripture reminds us that “two are better than one.” Instead of bemoaning that you are just one, find a friend! Take initiative to meet someone for lunch, attend a show, or make plans for a day trip or vacation. Changing your perspective and stretching your view of two is a positive way to move forward.
- Mentoring – no one wants to be in this “club of widows” we didn’t sign up for, but there is so much to learn as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death with others. Knowing there are others who have successfully made it to the other side is helpful. Take time to learn from them. You may discover helpful tips, gain wisdom, and meet someone who will comfort you as she has been comforted. And hey, you may just find yourself doing that for a widow one day down the road too!
- Prayer – everyone needs prayer. Ask another widow to join you in praying together for each other’s families, as well as for widows in your community and in the world. God may be calling you to give your time away as an intercessor.