How can the church minister to widows?

The panel of women talked with Louella and Martha about the things that were most special and important for them in their grieving process. Perhaps the widows in your life are wanting you to simply remember their husbands. Talk about them. You might think, “But I wouldn’t want to make the widow cry.” A widow’s response to that is, “GO AHEAD! That is their reality, what makes them feel real.”

Louella – “It is so healing to have somebody acknowledge that loss.”

Naomi – “I have found that a good question for widows is, ‘When do you miss your husband the most?'”

Louella – “It is helpful sometimes when someone offers to stop by and pick me up. It is such a wonderful thing. I don’t want to be carried around, but that feels good.”

Martha – “Valentine’s Day is hard. The whole month of April is hard. That is when Wesley died, there were three tragic deaths in the church, Mother’s Day is close, and my birthday is in April. I would rather skip April.”

Louella – “And I would rather skip December. My husband died the 21st of December. The funeral was the day before Christmas.”

Martha – “Give us time to grieve.”

Louella – “Yeah, it’s not over in a year.”

Martha – “It’s embarrassing to watch someone walk through their grief.”

Phyllis – “Why is it? Why?”

Sabrina – “You can’t fix it.”

Naomi – “We hate to see you in pain.”

Martha – “So give us time.”

Louella – “We all grieve differently.”

The deepest grief is at different times for everyone. For Louella it was 7 months after her husband’s death, but for a friend it was 6 years after.

Sabrina – “What about the practical things? Do we assume that the family will take care of things? Groceries, snow removal, etc.”

Martha – “It depends on the situation. If the widow is alone, then for sure take care of those things.”

Louella – “I don’t like to feel like people need to take care of things.”

Martha – “Do you want to go out and shovel all of that snow by yourself?”

Louella – “I do. I sometimes want to do things myself because I feel like others already have enough to do.”

Louella: "I sometimes want to do things myself because I feel like others already have enough to do."

At that comment, Rosie, Martha’s daughter piped up that it is hard on the children of widows when they want to help but the help is not wanted.

Rosie S. – “I Timothy instructs me to care for my widowed mother. It is helpful and healing for me to help when I can. I cannot do the healing process for a widow, but it is healing to help.”

Carla – “My siblings and I try to make sure my mom gets invited to our homes for holidays so she spent a lot of time with my family.”

Louella – “That’s good.”

Lynette – “The church is across bloodlines. I have to think, what about people that don’t have relatives? I am thankful for people who get it in terms of welcoming people in. People take my mother to doctor’s appointments. It is humbling but helpful for them to care for my mother when her kids are out of the area. I want to be part of the church like that. Being the body, hands and feet.”

Mim – “We should make sure to seek out the widows and sit with them. We can minister through noticing them.”

Lynette – “At gatherings Mom loves to hear comments like, ‘Wouldn’t Dad like to see that!’”

Martha – “One of the song-leaders said the other night, ‘I remember Wesley preaching on that.’ Little comments like that.”

Remember the widow, the husband, and the special days.

Notice the person and the needs.

Remember and notice. You can do it. I can do it.

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