National Widow’s Day

Today is the first annual National Widow’s Day.  This day was declared by the folks over at Widow Wednesday.  Haven’t heard of Widow Wednesday?  I will let them explain it:

Widow Wednesday was created to connect and build relationships with widows in our community. Sometimes that looks like helping widows and widowers with small tasks they may no longer be able to manage or just spending some quality time with them. It all began when Jimmy became an insurance agent dedicated to working with retirees. It quickly became apparent that National Widows Daymany of his clients were widows and widowers and how so many of them had needs. Some needs were desperate because of financial lack. Others had plenty of funds for different projects, but were unable to trust a stranger to come into their home for fear of being a victim of elder abuse.

Widow Wednesday is a 501c3 non-profit officially founded by Jimmy Chouteau in May of ’12. Unofficially The Chouteaus, along with their three children and a few friends have spent their Wednesdays for the last five years assisting Widows and Widowers in the greater Kansas City area. Jimmy felt led to take time away from his prospering insurance business on Wednesdays and to invest time serving these widows and widowers with different handy man or household projects. That is where the name Widow Wednesday came from. 

We think this whole ‘Widow Wednesday’ thing is a pretty darn good idea.  As daughters of widows and professionals who work with grieving families, Eleanor and I have both seen the countless little things that become difficult to handle after a death.  It is not uncommon that spouses fall into a pattern of each handling specific tasks – one handles the finances, one does the cooking, one handles home repairs, and on and on.  When a spouse dies the grief is unbearable, and you simultaneously have to learn to navigate tasks you were never responsible for.  Widows are often surrounded by people who truly want to help, but just don’t know what to do.  This is where National Widow’s Day and Widow Wednesday comes in.

National Widow’s Day is a day to find a widow in your life and help them with anything they might need.  Then, continue by doing something to help a widow you know and care about every Wednesday.  Give a widow you know a call today and see if there is any way you can help them out.  If there isn’t, plan to grab dinner or coffee or a drink or whatever.

Here at WYG we strongly believe that one way to help our society collectively cope with grief is to all become more comfortable talking about loss and supporting one another.  National Widow’s Day and Widow Wednesdays are just a small way we can connect with other grievers and be there for each other.  What are you waiting for?

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March 28, 2017

12 responses on "National Widow's Day"

  1. Well done Jimmy.
    Your contribution seems more of an appointment, or rather a God given anointment.

    I have a bit of a men’s ministry where I meet for lunch, breakfast, golf, Bible study, & a meeting as a mediator five days a week, mostly encouraging retired executives. I am far more blessed in receiving than I am in taking the time to encourage now going on for ten years of retirement.

  2. Karyl, its hard to go through. I’m still stuck but making tiny steps out of the hole. I know it hurts you. Hang in there. I found some poems and letters on this site, and they helped a little. http://griefhealing.com/comfort-grieving-hearts.htm

  3. Grieving is such a long process…I’m praying I get relief soon.

  4. Profile photo of Litsa Williams

    No need to ever hold back on commenting! There are a lot of posts here- it is hard to know which might be helpful and which may not! We are always happy to point people in the direction of something that may help.

  5. Litsa,

    Thanks for the kind words. I need to read all your posts before “speaking” as those two referred hit the nail on the head.

    In fact, if possible, go ahead and move my second and third replies to either post so that this one can remain on topic.

    Thank y’all again for your hard work and dedication.

  6. Profile photo of Litsa Williams

    I am so sorry for your loss and all the family conflict that followed. It is a tragedy that in our country a piece of paper can have such a huge impact. There are two posts on our site that may be helpful. This post is about disenfranchised grief, which is common when one isn’t a legal spouse or a blood family member: https://whatsyourgrief.com/disenfranchised-grief/. The other is on family conflict after a death, which is (sadly) not uncommon. https://whatsyourgrief.com/family-fighting-after-a-death/

    I am so sorry that on top of your grief you have had so much to deal with from his family. Please take care and I hope you find some helpful information and support here.

  7. And the blood kin (headed by sister-in-law with her church biddies) took everything except the few knickknacks I could fit into my car and the stuff they didn’t want. Rent house — they canceled phone, internet, mail, utilities, lease, sold his car after the son promised it to me (he is a little more understanding but still tied to mommy’s apron strings even though married again), slandered me to his coworkers and friends by calling me “just” a caregiver and accusing me of stealing money and gold coins, accused me of having a fake name similar to someone in the past, accused me of falsifying my employment background ???!!!???!!!!, have not returned my and a friends’ photos that were scanned by the funeral home for the presentation, and took the memory book signed by the funeral guests (some were my personal friends supporting ME).

    Slammed the phone in my ear after screeching that she couldn’t find documents like Soc Security/ tax stuff. Well look in the file cabinet you took when you showed up with the moving truck without so much as a courtesy phone call (two weeks in a row, a couple days after the funeral). They would have come in even though I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled (canceled when they drove up) had I not changed the locks.

    After all that, I still offered a Christmas present a few months later and had the phone slammed in my ear again.

    Sorry for the rant. But this is what happened.

    God bless you for your work.

  8. I had his diamond ring and another significant gold jewelry item signifying his commitment. He chose me to spend the rest of his life with. We lived together for the last 3 1/2 years after dating off and on for 25. We always came back to one another. We were both stubborn and hardheaded and firm in our convictions but so what — we shared so much together. We loved God and country, one of the things he stressed was to vote in every election no matter what. He would have crawled to the poll if he had to.

    He did special things for me at the most unexpected times. He made me feel so loved and cherished and I could only try to reciprocate. If I could have chewed his food for him and breathed for him toward the end I would have.

    I don’t care if there was no piece of paper issued by a government agency like getting a title for your car. In my heart, HE WAS MY HUSBAND.

    • I’m sorry for your loss. It’s obvious you shared a very deep love and are suffering greatly. Your pain is very real. My mother just passed away last June, but she and her companion, whom I call my stepfather, shared over 32 years together. It hurts to see him in such pain because ha was my Dad and I love him. I see you. (((Hugs)))

  9. Please include the unwed widowed (gender-neutral term). They are often unrecognized and hurt deeply.

  10. What a wonderful idea. I’m a widow, and I can attest to how difficult it can be.

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