National Widow's Day

Memorials and Remembrance / Memorials and Remembrance : Litsa Williams

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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'll 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 many 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. 

National Widows Day

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?

*You may also wish to read about International Widow's Day, which the United Nations recognizes on June 23rd to recognize "the issues affecting widows around the world and what must be done to safeguard and advance their rights."

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27 Comments on "National Widow's Day"

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  1. Pissed off widow  May 4, 2021 at 12:39 am Reply

    This is the most disgusting happy stupid day. People are grieving some one had to be doing drugs to dishonor people so.

  2. FON BIGTHA NGOH  June 23, 2020 at 11:27 am Reply

    We are Grace Gift Foundation located in CAMEROON. Seeking to improve the lives of widows in this locality. Women are the most affected with the situation happening in CAMEROON. We wish too seek assistance’s for this my mothers. Thank you and we wait on your response.

  3. Tesica Baker  May 4, 2020 at 11:48 pm Reply

    In 5 hours at 430AM it will be one month that the love of my life lost his life in a head on collision with another vehicle where that driver lost his life as well! One month but it seems like just yesterday, so so lost!!! I love you and miss you so much Josh!

  4. Emily  May 3, 2020 at 9:08 pm Reply

    Although a day devoted to the recognition of the struggles widows go through is a wonderful idea, I think the name National Widow’s Day connotes that it’s a celebration. My friend who is a widow was somewhat horrified that there’s a day to celebrate widows. Please consider modifying the name to something like “Widow Recognition Day.” Thank you.

  5. Viki  May 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm Reply

    My husband died August5, 2018 suddenly and unexpectedly. We were married 9 years and have 4 small boys. I love the intention behind this day. It can be lonely and just having someone remember you is wonderful.

  6. Sandra Gleason  May 3, 2020 at 1:23 pm Reply

    May 3rd 2019 was the last full day I spent with my husband. Charlie had such a good day on this day 1 year ago after having such a bad week. He had stopped eating, talking, smiling, responding to anyone. But May 3rd he talked to the nurse and aid from hospice. He ate ice cream that our daughter had when she came to visit. He even cracked a few jokes. Then came the evening and he got quiet again. I knew the time was near. I went to bed, cuddled him, talked to him, sang to him and watched him breathe his last breath. How I wish I had that May 3rd back again.

  7. Diane Shinkle  May 3, 2020 at 10:30 am Reply

    I have been widowed just st five years but it still seems like yesterday. It is difficult to connect to local widow or widower groups. I would like to find support and or social groups with this in common.

  8. Charles R Keterson III  May 3, 2019 at 11:01 pm Reply

    I’m a widower who just loss my wife 9 months ago. We were married for almost 19 years and together for 21 years. I miss her everyday along with our 3 children who miss her too. It’s hard but we take each day on at a time.

  9. Tonya  May 3, 2019 at 9:14 pm Reply

    My husband died July 19, 2015, heart attack. My son had just gotten home and I went to check on the hubby. He was gone!! The worst day of my life!! We were married for almost 34 years!!! The pain will always be there!! It’s a lonely world !!!

  10. Auralay  April 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm Reply

    This is a great idea and I’m glad someone had the calling and initiative to organize this and carry this out. I always thought The Golden Girls were hokey and didn’t relate until I became one at 41. I lived among non supportive relatives that made life worse. One night I had a dream about a house that welcomed widows was run by widows for widows. What a great idea but no idea how to do it or get started. But why should that end with waking from a dream? And why stop at a welcome house for us to rebuild life. I have to say that the LGBT community did it best when the first person took that aspect of their life and became a community of support and acceptance that set a beacon that said “You’re not alone. You’re not invisible and you’re worthy of care so we take care of each other.” Why not apply the same formula to Widowhood because we are isolated as well. I’ve been widowed for 7 years and I’m alone. If something needs done it’s on me to do it. If I’m lost and can’t find solutions it’s on me to find one and if I can’t , I just remain lost. What if there were Widows everywhere that opened their homes and took in other widowed roommates? What if there were businesses that we could depend on that didn’t see a person living alone so they could take advantage or worse, rob or rape? What if we had conventions and networks (some are getting started I’ve seen). Why not Festivals because we need to Find Happy again and while we’re at it ……………………………………… I feel like a parade today. ?

  11. Elvie Look  May 10, 2018 at 2:32 pm Reply

    I didn’t know there was a Widow’s Day. When I googled it, Wikipedia says it is June 23rd

  12. Elvie Look  May 10, 2018 at 2:32 pm Reply

    I didn’t know there was a Widow’s Day. When I googled it, Wikipedia says it is June 23rd

  13. Amee Hooper  May 1, 2018 at 1:44 am Reply

    Thank you so much for putting light on the subject.
    At age of 38, I became a widow with a 6yr & 9yr old boys at home. It still hurts, I cry every day and trying to keep it together for my boys. I don’t want to fail them.

  14. Amee Hooper  May 1, 2018 at 1:44 am Reply

    Thank you so much for putting light on the subject.
    At age of 38, I became a widow with a 6yr & 9yr old boys at home. It still hurts, I cry every day and trying to keep it together for my boys. I don’t want to fail them.

    • Matt Indell  January 31, 2019 at 9:09 am Reply

      I just wanted to say that I find it so crazy that our loss and lives are such a mirror in the fact that I was 39 when I lost my wife and have two daughters that are 6 and 9. Not that any of that matters, it was just such a weird coincidence. Sorry for your loss.

  15. Daniel Alvarez  May 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm Reply

    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.

  16. Karyl  May 14, 2014 at 7:20 am Reply

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

  17. Litsa  May 13, 2014 at 12:50 am Reply

    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.

  18. griever  May 13, 2014 at 12:47 am Reply


    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.

  19. Litsa  May 12, 2014 at 7:50 am Reply

    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: The other is on family conflict after a death, which is (sadly) not uncommon.

    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.

  20. griever  May 12, 2014 at 6:05 am Reply

    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.

  21. griever  May 12, 2014 at 5:39 am Reply

    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.

    • Carol's Daughter  April 30, 2016 at 9:17 pm Reply

      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)))

  22. griever  May 12, 2014 at 5:27 am Reply

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

  23. Mary  May 4, 2014 at 10:35 pm Reply

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

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