Monday, February 13, 2012

Advice for the Early Days of Widowhood

Often, another widow is the only person who can really speak to an issue, so I've compiled some "gems" of advice that other widows would give a new widow. Grief is different for each individual, so hearing from a variety of people and situations is bound to be helpful. Please chime in with your comments, too. Your help is invaluable to others!

I think I would tell them to find a Grief Share group ASAP, spend the money to see a Christian counselor for at least 6-8 weeks after your husband's death, and make sure to be in the Word on a daily basis. Those things have really held me up during these first four months. -Joannah

Pray, read God's Word, journal, and rest before you think you feel like you need to. Your true friends will stick by you. Use them and your family in any way you need to. -Denise

Find other people who have been through the same thing. Seek counseling, and allow yourself the time to grieve. Cry. –Carol

Do not feel guilty when you find a moment of happiness and joy! Sometimes I think widows don't think they can laugh or have a good time because they don't want people to think they don't care about their husband's death. And I agree with the counseling - if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, find a good Christian counselor. A non-Christian may not be able to connect with your spiritual journey and may want you to push it aside. Christian praise and worship music is EXTREMELY helpful when you can't be reading the Word. It sinks into you and you find yourself listening to the songs in your head, and it is very comforting. -Kelly C.
I would tell a new widow as painful as it is, face your grief. Embrace it because if you try to run from it, it will come back and bite you. There is no certain length of time for a widow to grieve. Each of us have different personalities and different circumstances surrounding our lives and the deaths of our husbands.  -Candy
My advice is do not let anyone expect more of you than you can expect of yourself. People will tell you what they think you should be doing and in what time frame. Allow yourself to grieve and adjust in God's perfect timing. I have been given some well intentioned, but very hurtful, advice. I point out that they should imagine their own daughter in this situation and then give the advice they would want someone else to give her.  -Kelly L.

Well, there are six different perspectives, and each will connect and provide help to someone. What would you tell a new widow?
And then there are times when any advice is wrong. Those are the times to silently enter the room, remain quiet, and just be there. Without any words.  



  1. Ferree, I feel as though I have done this widow thing all wrong. It has been almost 14 months, I have had No counseling, No support groups, Very Few tears, and I can't seem to even open the Word. I think I'm a lost cause! I believe in trying to be strong for everybody else and meet the expectations of people around me I sort of forgot to 'face' the grief! Whew...hope I don't need to start over!!!!!

  2. Dear Cindy, There's no one right way to grieve--we're all so different; peoples' circumstances and relationships are so varied that there's a great many ways to deal with grief. I never had counseling,and the first time I went to a group was at 14 months. I really didn't like it, but I did find it was good for me. But don't feel like a lost cause--generations of women have gone through grief before us without all this support. Not everyone needs it. God has all sorts of healing ways. Please feel free to email me if you want to sort this out a little more, OK? You sure don't need to start over because you've really come a long ways already, and God is faithful even when He seems pretty far away.

  3. I have been encouraged by the comments on this link. I lost my husband one year ago. I have gone through emotional upheavals especially when my in-laws seemed not to want to relate with me any more. However, my brothers, sister and cousins have been of much support and I thank God for this favor. Currently I am in USA where I am staying with a cousin enjoying the care and love from them. My advise to other widows is to hold on unto God who is the Husband of the widow and the Father of the fatherless.


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