A Milestone & A Ministry

White liliesThis year marks a huge milestone for me. Not sure how to describe it. Not a happy one. But still a milestone. May 29th marked the fifth anniversary of my husband’s death. Five years without the love of my life. As a Christian, knowing Carl is in heaven is a praise, but as a wife, now a widow, losing my husband was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. I spent the first year after his death in shock. I remember willing myself to smile at times, not for myself but for others. I cried a lot! I was depressed, fragile and even angry. Not at Carl but at God. Why would He allow such a tragedy?

I was also overwhelmed. I now had full responsibility of our adult son with special needs. No one to help, advise or offer positive feedback. No one to give me a break as a caregiver. Then there were the cars, house and acre plus yard to care for along with all the financial things, which I had left solely to my husband. Now I was alone and had no idea how to live without this man, my husband of 45 years. Life as I knew it changed forever in that intensive care unit at Mercy Hospital.

Now five years have passed and I still miss Carl more than I could ever say, but life has finally changed from black and white to color again. It was a slow process and many people helped along the way. One of the main things I had to do was to finally accept life the way it was, not the way it used to be or the way I wanted it to be. I had to realize that life would go on and it could actually be happy again. I knew if Carl could talk to me—and believe me I conversed with him a lot over these last five years—that he would tell me to be happy, to live a full life and to honor God.

So here I am, wondering what I accomplished during these last five years that would make Carl proud and would honor our Lord. One thing that comes to mind is the grief support group I started for widows a few years ago—Wives With Heavenly Husbands. I hope that has been a significant help to other women who lost their husbands.

White liliesBut there is still a missing piece in the grief community. You see, in recent years, I have also had some gentlemen contact me concerning the death of their wives. They also need support. One asked, “How about a group for Husbands With Heavenly Wives?” And he’s right. It’s a much-needed support. So I did some research and gathered a few people from the grief community for a meeting to address the needs and grief issues of all who are widowed—both men and women. This will be a one-time meeting for both widows and widowers.

Our speakers will be Buddy Stone who ministers to widows through Stand in the Gap Ministries, Glenn Dunn, who leads a support group for widowers at Westminster Presbyterian Church in OKC, and Bob Willis, a well-known grief specialist in the metro area. We invite all widows and widowers and their guests to this special program on Thursday, June 23 at 7:00pm at Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Room W-109. Please pass this info on to anyone who has lost their mate, whether a recent or later loss, and feel free to contact me for more information.

Losing a spouse is a tragic, life-altering event. Hopefully, we can build strong support systems and help each other.

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