Saturday, February 2, 2008

the widows plight

Any Way Saturday
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Most of us have friends, neighbors, relatives who are widowed. I sometimes have to stop and ask myself about how I relate to them - or ignore them. I need to do better. The below article gives some advice.
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Please Do, and Please Don't
Suggestions for encouraging widows.
Miriam Neff | posted 1/18/2008 08:24AM in ChristianityToday e-zine.
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1. Please do stay connected.
Do not assume we need "space" to grieve. There is already a huge hole in our universe.

2. Please do say you are sorry for our loss. Do not tell us you understand, unless you do from personally experiencing the loss of a spouse. We would rather you tell us you do not know what to say than tell us the story of losing your friend or even close relative. We may be able to listen to your story later, but not now.

3. Please call and ask specific questions, such as "Can we go for a walk together? May I run errands for you? Meet you for coffee?" Do not say, "Call me if you need anything."

4. Please refer to our husband's acts and words, both serious and humorous. We are so comforted by knowing our husband has not been forgotten.

5. Please invite us to anything. We may decline but will appreciate being asked. Do not assume we no longer want to participate in couples events.

6. Please accept that we are where we are. Marriages are brief, long, healthy, dysfunctional, intense, remote. Death comes suddenly or in tiny increments over years. Again, our experiences are so different, as are we. So are our journeys through grief. Do not assume we go through the grief process "by the book."

7. Do say, "I've been thinking of you" rather than make a conversation-only offer, such as "We'll call you, and we'll go out to dinner"—unless you can follow up. We'd love that, too.
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2 comments:

Elaine Williams said...

As a widow of four years I can attest to the fact that friends and relationships change when you're are a widow and no longer part of a couple. Reach out to a widow/widower, just to say you're thinking of them and want to really know how they are. You can't imagine how much that will be appreciated. Elaine Williams
http://www.ajourneywelltaken.com

Anonymous said...

One of my best friends was widowed about 5 years ago this month. She was in her mid thirties. She gave everyone who was close to her and supported her an article similiar to this. I know one of the things she appreciated most was her friends checking on her and visiting (with a phone call first)but giving her space when she needed it.

MJ