The day before my husband’s funeral, two of his friends came and mowed the lawn. Two weeks after the funeral, the grass had grown and needed mowing again, but no one came to help. It was nice of them to help before the funeral, but it was in the months after the funeral that I truly needed help. I didn’t even know how to start the lawnmower, but I had to put aside my grief and figure it out.
Most married couples are a team, with each team member handling certain tasks. If you have a relative, friend or neighbor who has lost her husband, and aren’t sure how to help, think about what responsibilities her husband probably handled for their team.
Was he in charge of all the bill paying? If he paid the bills online, and she’s a bit intimidated by computers, you could take the time to show her how to manage online bill pay and help her set up a system she can master.
If her husband handled the minor household maintenance and repairs, tell her to call you when a light bulb needs to be changed, and you’ll be happy to climb the ladder to get that done. You could stop by her house occasionally to see if there’s some little task that might be daunting to her, but easy for you.
If something needs to be done that requires expertise, you could help her find a reputable company to do the job. A woman living alone after years of marriage might feel insecure in dealing with workers alone. She’s used to having a second set of eyes on projects so your opinion could provide reassurance that things are being done properly, or another voice to make objections if they are not.
Too often people don’t know what to do when someone they care about has been widowed, so they don’t do anything, and then feel bad about not offering help. Be someone who asks what you can do to help. She’ll appreciate the offer.
Becoming a widow or widower is not something anyone wishes for or that can be predicted. It’s important to make sure your loved ones are taken care of and protected if they find themselves in that position. Attend one of our Free Workshops to educate yourself on how you can protect your stuff in 3 easy steps. We invite you to register today and take the first step in knowing the right documents you need to protect you and your loved ones.