Ok, you’re a widow. I’m sorry to hear it. My heartfelt condolences to you and those you love.

Early in my widowhood, a friend came over to the house and said with honest anguish, “I don’t know what to do as your friend. How can I best help you?” I didn’t know what to tell her. I had no idea and truthfully I did not know what I needed, what would help me at the time. There’s no road map. But having experienced some things a young(ish) widow goes through, I thought perhaps if I could share my own story and observations, they might help other people who are experiencing the loss of their partner and/or friend.

The Incomparable RLEE called me “the hottest WILF I know”. At the funeral, no less. After we finished laughing, he followed it up with “That’s probably one of the Top Ten Things Not To Say To A New Widow.” Hence, the inspiration for this site.

You might start on the What To Do Now page, whether you’re the widow or a friend wanting to know what to do (or maybe not to do!). What follows are my experiences on becoming a widow, on the inevitable outcome of being—and staying—in love. It’s not a guidebook. I only know how I feel about being a widow and how I’ve been dealing with it. You’ll need to find your own path. It’s meant to share suggestions about what  might (or might not) help. We’re all lost in this particular world. The only ones who do know are dead and they ain’t talking.

This what I did. This is what I am doing. This how I am coping with loss and finding a new life. These are some of the astounding and loving ways everyone around me makes that new life possible. And perhaps some ideas for what you can do when death happens around you. Which it will. These are the things that helped me—along with the things that didn’t. Look around and see if there’s a topic that resonates with where you are now.

Everything here is solely from my point of view so don’t get your tail in a bunch if it’s not in line with your philosophy. It’s for sure not going to be in line with your experience. Comments are welcome and encouraged. It genuinely helps to know there are others out there sharing your journey and to know you are not alone. However, please know that all comments are vetted and approved by me (it’s my site dagnabbit). Therefore, absolutely no trolling, name calling, angry rants or for that matter, anything at all that might make somebody else feel bad in any way whatsoever. If you wouldn’t say it to your grieving mother, you’re not going to be able to say it here. The internet is a big place, this site is a small safe place.

Each of us ultimately walks this path alone. But there is a lot of love out there for you to gather strength from in order to make that walk less lonely.

—The Practical Widow

Born in 1961. Married in 1990. Widowed in 2007. Blogging in 2009.

4 comments On So… you’re a widow

  • I still have a husband. He is 75 and I am 68. We have been together since I was 19. I went from my parents house to living with him.
    I can count on my one hand how many time we have been seperated. I am writing this post because I have been thinking to much lately about who sill die first. Being he is older I assume it wil be him. But things like this we never know, and I realize I am wasting time thinking because I may be the one that goes first. I have always been the type of person that like to be prepared. I know I can never really be prepared if I become a widow, but reading some of your posts help me to understand some of the feeling women have to go through.

  • My husband of 38 1/2 years died in August. I believe knowledge is power. Feeling powerless I searched for blogs about new widows. I read all of this blog along with the few others available within a few weeks of my sweet heart dying. They help in so many ways. I feel peaceful about the many situations that are thrown at me. I don’t worry about my “ambush” tears. I do not worry about things people say I just feel their love. I do not worry that I still feel such a loss 9 months later. I am planning on the 1-3 years to become whole again. Thank you for helping all who come to your site. Time does not heal all wounds but it does soften them. You have helped me feel normal. So I am free to take the healing as it comes.

  • I just lost my husband of 10 years on Monday. He was only 33. Thank you for this.

  • My husband died suddenly within two weeks of being hospitalized (Feb 9, 2016), and even though he was 79 and I 66, it is still incredibly hard for it to sink in that he is not going to walk through that door. We were married 48 years; one week before my 18th birthday. A far as the ‘ring issue’, with all the shocking life changes/adjustments for me, I not only have so much comfort in wearing my wedding band and engagement rings, but also placed my husband’s gold wedding band on same left ring finger; and it has made me feel very peaceful and comforted. The thought of NOT wearing the rings actually never even crossed my mind until the other night. I was watching an interview with Celine Dion, when the camera showed her left hand with no rings at all. Her husband Rene had passed away 4 months before that interview. Believe it or not, when I saw that bare hand, it was the very first time it occurred to me that it might be expected of me to not wear my rings. God had given me a great deal of peace that particular week, but when I saw that interview I became almost panicked thinking I might have to experience yet another loss. My husband new the Lord and I do have the Peace of knowing he is with his Savior, but I miss him more than I would ever have imagined. Maybe some day I may decide to move the rings, but right now they bring a smile to my face, and as yet, no one has commented on me wearing them. I pray for God’s Peace for all you who are suffering the loss of your dear husband or wife. God Bless you!

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One more thing…

How else do I know what hurts and what helps? Because not only were they done to me… I learned through this process that I am certain to have done the very same "Don't" things to others at some point along the way. If you're one of them, I am genuinely sorry. I'm trying to learn.