International Widows’ Day Thursday 23rd June 2022
There are an estimated 258 million widows around the world, and nearly one in ten live in extreme poverty
In 2009, the Loomba Foundation commissioned a study to explore issues around widowhood. The findings were collected in a book, ‘Invisible Forgotten Sufferers: The Plight of Widows Around the World’, which was presented to the UN in 2010.
On December 22, 2010, the United Nations 65th General Assembly established June 23rd as International Widows Day. This day is an annual, global day of action to raise awareness about the cultural discrimination of widows.
We would like to raise awareness of the invisible and ongoing emotional pain often suffered by widows in our country, as well as other losses associated with widowhood, such as loss of financial security, loss of a future, loss of identity, and even loss of home or job, and more.
When you get married, it is a reasonable assumption that you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Little thought is given to what it might be like when the other dies. The possibility that one will eventually be left alone is generally not something that is considered as part of that commitment.
It is understandable that when it does happen, the feelings of grief can be confusing and overwhelming.
Although we’re taught how to acquire things, few of us have learned how to deal with the emotional pain of loss. It’s never too soon to get to work on the emotional pain associated with your loss to free you up to enjoy your fond memories.
Here are some thoughts:
YOU are in control of you and your feelings. It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to miss your loved one. But it’s not ok to live out your life under a cloud that’s always there.
Grief isn’t something you just get over. Grief can consume you, come over in waves, or appear as a little trickle. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. It’s an emotion and not something that can be fixed. Feelings of grief are a normal and natural reaction to loss.
Ignore the misinformation that grief lasts forever. The notion that you must live in pain for the rest of your life after the loss of a loved one is just wrong.
You CAN recover from the pain. Feeling better is not about forgetting or pretending the loss never happened. Feeling better is about relieving the emotional pain you are carrying with you daily, so that you can start sleeping better, concentrating, eating, and even enjoying your life again.
Let’s change the conversation. Be open and honest about how you’re feeling with someone you can trust, who will just be prepared to listen.
And finally... you don’t have to do this alone. Our grief specialists are professionals who are here to help you through your journey. A number of them also have lived experience of losing a partner or spouse.
If you or someone you know would benefit from professional support, please visit our grief specialists directory to find a grief specialist for you.