OtherSpeak: How to bless a young widow


Guest posts / Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

OtherSpeak is an opportunity for Confessions readers to share approved content of their choice, particularly from outside the range of Shari Zook’s experience.

This post was submitted by Martha Hess, from southern Illinois.


“At the age of twenty-seven, I have been a widow for four months, after living a girl’s prayed-for, hoped-for, dream-come-true type of married life for a brief six years.

“How have I survived? Only by the sustaining grace of God’s everlasting arms under me, and the loving embrace of loyal family and friends lifting me up in so many ways.

“How have I been blessed? In more ways than I can wrap my mind around!

“If other widows are anything like me (a tad proud, slightly independent, and possibly stubborn besides), one of the biggest blessings is when someone calls and says, ‘Hey, I would like to do such n such for you, or with you. Would it suit tomorrow?’ Don’t say, ‘Call me if you ever need a diversion’ …I won’t ever call! Remember we are timid about ruining your normal life schedule by our need for a distraction from the gaping hole in our lives.

“Being young, my husband and I were starting fresh in paying off a farm. God bless the anonymous man who went to the bank and informed them he would like to make my mortgage payment for the next twelve months!

“In four months as a widow, I have only had five days that I haven’t had a gifted fresh flower bouquet, or two or three, on my table!

“Do you have a picture or a memory of our spouse? Share it! You won’t be reminding us of our loss; we remember it all the time. Memories are a healing salve – knowing others remember them too is a comfort.

“Send mail. Emails and snail mail are both a highlight to a widow’s day.

“My girls, two and four years old, have been abundantly blessed along with me in the sunshine box showers we have received. We are still opening gifts… It’s fun to have some specialty things especially for the girls. I am grateful for the practical ones that I can put to use. Laundry detergent and bath soaps, cleaning supplies, baking ingredients, girls’ socks, and of course books are always a delight for filling long evening hours.

“Pray for them. Tell them you’re praying for them. Then pray some more for them. We feel those prayers carrying us much of the time! One brother at church when praying for the widows and widowers said it perfectly when he prayed ‘for those learning to live without loved ones.’ That is just what we are doing, learning to live again…”

– Martha Hess

I will sing unto the Lord for he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:6


Do you have thoughts to add, or words of blessing for Martha?

4 Replies to “OtherSpeak: How to bless a young widow”

  1. In your story, I hear beauty that makes me want to cry: a heart that is filled with gratitude, turned in trust to your community and in faith toward God, even during an intensely difficult time. May the Lord bless you for your eyes to see him. May he pour his goodness on your life, and be to you a Provider and Friend.

  2. I bless your community for loving on you in practical ways. I always like to hear the perspective of those who walk a path I have not walked, giving ideas on how to bless those IN that path. Thank you for being brave enough to let us look in on your space for a moment.

  3. I would recommend praying with her in addition to praying for her. Have her and the children over for a meal. Leaving gift baskets anonymously by her door. If she lives in a rural area where there are raccoons and such don’t include food in the baskets unless you know she’s at home. Offer to do errands, housework etc for her. I’m sure she would love that. Go on walks with her and her children if she has any.
    Those are a few things that come to mind.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss and just…groping for words. Blessings to you as you walk this unchosen path, with the grace evident in your post, in times where progress seems anguished, groping, lurching, at best!

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