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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.
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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