I never thought I would become a widow at age 51 and face retirement and life alone. I had been around many widows growing up and had seen how they mourned for their husbands. But they were mostly older ladies. My mom became a widow at 54 years of age and she lost touch with reality and her basic beliefs for a few years after my dad died. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t have much pity for her. I didn’t realize what she was going through at the time. I didn’t come to have much pity for her until I experienced the death of my husband and became a widow myself. Unfortunately, my mom had died by then and I didn’t have a chance to tell her how sorry I was. Being a widow is an experience that one can’t even begin to understand until she becomes one. I can understand why God had Paul write that the elders of the church were to minister to the widows. The ministry to widows is needed especially during the first few months when the widow often feels so utterly alone and lost without the one with whom she had chosen to spend her life. Many times loneliness and confusion fill most of her days. Then many times, she spends sleepless nights only to get up and spend another long depressing day alone. If she is blessed enough to have a supportive family and church family and a close circle of friends, she can begin to heal and make a start at getting on with her life. I thank God that I had the supportive family and friends and God led me to a church where I could get the kind of love and support that I needed to fill the gap that was left after my family and friends went on with their lives when it was necessary for them to do so. With the help of family, friends, a supportive church and most of all, a merciful God, I’ve made it 16 years now and been able to live a relatively happy life. God has been good and life has been worth living, even without my dear husband. So, as I am about too celebrate my 16th birthday as a widow, I encourage you all to look around and see if there is someone you know who could use some comfort and support and offer her that support. God will bless you for it and you will feel good about doing so. I love you all and thank God for you.