Added: Sun. Feb 03, 2013 11:30am
Do any of these unfortunate events remind you of a woman you know?
- A young military wife with toddlers got the dreaded knock on her door when her soldier-sweetheart was killed by a grenade blast in Afghanistan.
- A wife helplessly watched her husband shrink to a shell of himself as cancer ravaged his body.
- A best friend’s newly-retired husband collapsed on vacation and never regained consciousness.
- Another friend’s husband shockingly took his own life.
- A middle-age wife kissed her husband good night for the last time; he had a massive heart attack in his sleep.
This is what usually happens for a widow on Valentine’s Day: nothing.
Other than the day she buried her husband, Valentine’s Day is one of the most painful dates for a widow. In fact, the last time she got flowers was probably at her husband’s funeral.
This year “nothing” stops.
On this Valentine’s Day, please honor a widow.
25 Things You Can Do For A Widow On Valentine’s Day
The following ideas were contributed by widows across the nation.* Some women prefer togetherness, some prefer “me” time. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Shower her with Valentine’s Day cards.
- Send her flowers with a note telling her how special she is to you.
- Take her to the movies, a favorite restaurant, etc.
- Take her to a special place related to her hobbies or interests.
- Get a group of people together to play board games and add a bottle of wine.
- Send a Valentine’s Day card with a gift card to a book store or coffee shop, or small memento such as a scented candle, flavored teas, body lotions.
- Make a nice dinner with all the fixings for her family.
- Take her a basket filled with wine, cheese and crackers.
- At her office, leave a box of candy on her desk with a kind note.
- Take her some comedy movies with a Valentine’s Day survival kit of chocolates and other sweets.
- Do you make a favorite dessert that she loves? Or is there a favorite dessert from a restaurant? Hand deliver it.
- If you have a picture of her late husband or of the couple or family, frame it. Or, send it via email. Include a note with a good memory of the deceased husband.
- By phone or in person, ask her about her favorite Valentine’s Day memories and/or share your good memories of her husband. Example: “I know you’re probably thinking about him today, and I wanted you to know that I am thinking about him, too. I remember when he [recall a fond or funny memory].”
- Take her to the cemetery to visit her husband’s gravesite.
- Make a donation, i.e., a tree, brick, block, bench, anything that has a lasting memory for others to share in. Take a photo of it and include it in a card.
- Send your handyman to her house for a full day of fix-it.
- Give her a gift card to the car wash, for an oil change, trip to the grocery store.
- If the widow has children, take the initiative to make things happen. If she has young children, get them to create Valentine’s Day cards for mom. Include words such as “We know Daddy still loves you…and so do I” or “You are greatly loved.” If her children are around junior-high age, take them to the store to help them buy a small gift and card for their mother. If they’re teenagers who can drive, remind them in a friendly way via text or a phone call how much their mother would appreciate a Valentine’s Day remembrance.
- Offer to take care of her children for a few hours in the evening or during they day, and give her a gift card for a manicure/pedicure, makeup session, or spa appointment.
- If she has children, one friend babysits while others take her on an outing.
- Have a covered-dish dinner party at your home and invite a mix of singles and couples.
- Friends write “missing you” and other messages on notes, insert them in balloons, and have a balloon release party.
- Select something to do that will bring a lot of fun and laughter.
- If you want to give something to a widow but you feel uncomfortable, you can do so anonymously.
- If you ask her to do something with you on Valentine’s Day and she says “I prefer to be alone,” honor her wishes but call and leave an “I’m just thinking about you” message or text her.
(*and two widowers)
Will you please help spread the word? It would mean more than you can ever imagine to a widow somewhere. Just copy this link ―http://tinyurl.com/a9yqxen ― and post it on Facebook, Twitter, other social media, etc, with your own message. Here’s an example post: “‘On This Valentine’s Day, Honor A Widow' by making her day go from sad to spectacular. Here's how: http://tinyurl.com/a9yqxen. (Please share.)"
Sheryl Kurland is a relationship expert, author and speaker. Sign up to get her Supercharged Relationship Tips here. Website: The Relationship Insider.