Few things in life are more stressful than the loss of a spouse. Becoming a widow or widower can lead to depression and chronic stress that shortens lifespans. Loneliness can be particularly strong in bereaved seniors, activating depressive symptoms, according to a recent study. This downward spiral can be hard to stop. Whether she is a neighbor, friend, family member or client, a new widow is going through an emotional upheaval that many of us don’t know how to react to, so we may do nothing at all. I know I have been in that place where I found it difficult to express my sympathy to someone who just lost a loved one, in fear of causing more pain. Over the next several days I will add small tips that that widows say they would find comforting.
Pray for her daily. Pray that she will be comforted and that God will give her peace of mind as she travels this new road without her husband. Pray that you would be sensitive to her needs and fears.
Send a card. Death may leave us without words, as anything we might say seems trivial or inadequate. A card is always appreciated and reminds the widow that she hasn’t been forgotten. If you don’t know what to write, a simple “I’m so sorry” is fine. Share a happy memory, such as “I’ll always remember when …” or “I loved how he …
If you are a widow and have any suggestions on how we can help you or someone who has just lost their spouse....please let us know!