A HEART

FOR

THE WIDOWED

A Heart for the Widowed Inspired by Veterans

A Heart for the Widowed is a grass roots project whose mission was inspired by a military veteran’s request that surviving spouses be remembered. 

Honoring our Vets, to ensure the widowed are not forgotten, we drafted the state proclamation, signed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin,  recognizing February as 'A Heart for the Widowed Day'.   

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Anniversaries, birthdays and holidays can be among the toughest days of the year for one who is widowed.    


  Life does not end with the passing of those we love. Our loved ones are immortalized if they are not forgotten; dying only when they are no longer remembered, their name no longer spoken. They live on when those who love them do something in their honor, to impact the lives of even those they never knew. ....allowing them to continue to be a part of changing the world.   


Annual celebrations keep their memory alive as friends and family realize it is ok to talk openly, and often, about our beloved. Fond memories, as seen from the eyes of others and shared, are treasures that warm the heart. Celebrating the life of a loved one can create new traditions to honor their memory and continue their legacy

 

As we emulate the positive traits of our loved one we realize that they are a part of who we have become and their spirit is with us wherever we are. We find comfort, healing and hope which strengthens us to move forward. 

 

A grateful heart, now more deeply aware of what is truly important
in life reaches out to others who are hurting. Beautifully and simply,
we honor our beloved by continuing their legacy. 

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  For it is in giving that we receive... - St Francis of Assisi

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Women live longer on average than men, which means they have a higher chance of someday being the spouse left behind. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the median age of widowhood, for a first marriage, is 59.4 and half of all women who will become widowed, become so by age 65. 

Our widowed are a large segment of society often forgotten, because no one can really understand until they go through it. 

Several widows have shared that if they'd had an idea how hard it is they would have helped widows before they became one. 

Unable to afford the expense of a death notice in the newspaper, countless friends are unaware of her loss. Studies show that when her spouse passes a widow will lose 75 percent of the friends she had as a couple. 

For many, the spiral of povery begins at her husband's death. While she still needs 80% of the income the two had, Social Security benefits are cut up to one-half, with his passing and if he had a pension, oftentimes, it ceases. Yet, utilities, food, medicine, taxes, gasoline, auto and home insurance go up, even in years when there is no cost-of-living increase from Social Security. 

His funeral can be financially devastating when there is no life insurance. Nearly a third of single women over age 75 are impoverished, with less than $890 a month to live on. Sometimes there is not enough money left for food, yet many widows don't qualify for food stamps. 

Medicare doesn't help with any dental, eye glasses or hearing aid needs she might have. Unable to afford the dentist she may lose teeth. Struggling to make ends meet, she is on her own to figure out a way to find the money for those needed expenses. 

Frequently gas to church or to the doctor is a luxury she can't afford. A book of postage stamps to pay bills or a small gift for a grandchild's birthday can be a hardship. 

Half of her is gone with his passing and she is left with feelings of loss and abandonment. Alone, facing the obstacles of loneliness, grief, discouragement and poverty, feelings of isolation and rejection by others can make them easy prey for con artists. 

Sensing that she isn't needed or wanted she may feel that she no longer has a purpose, which can lead to depression and ultimately, affect one's will to live. 

Aware that widows find comfort and hope as they reassure another widow that their feelings surrounding their loss are natural, we provide 'thinking of you' cards and stamps for widows to send to other widows. Appreciative, both sender and recipient tend to look for ways to reach out to others. 


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SIMPLE THINGS THAT HELP THE WIDOWED:

- Reach something that is too high.

- Change a smoke alarm battery or light bulb

- Fix a wobbly handrail, so one doesn't fall.

- Offer to pick up an item or two at the grocery story.

- Clear the walk of snow or ice, to make getting to the mailbox easier.

- Carry in the kitty litter from the trunk

- Make a five minute check up call after a storm.

- Offer a ride to church

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Some say they are surprised that their small acts meant so much to another human being.