LOUISE: A Year of Support
Recently, I had a devastating experience. I punched the button on my answering machine, expecting to delete an unwanted message when an announcement suddenly blared, “All old messages deleted.” I grabbed the phone and screamed, “No! No!” This couldn’t be happening! I had saved one last message from my husband on that machine and now it was gone forever. I spent the day grieving the loss of hearing Carl’s voice at the touch of a button. A voice that was strong and healthy before his illness that said, “I’m on my way home….” Only the wife of another heavenly husband could truly comprehend the gravity of my loss, so I sat down at my computer and wrote a note to one of my WWHH friends.
“Wives With Heavenly Husbands” (WWHH) is a support group for widows. Last October, I invited any woman who had lost her husband through death to join me at our first meeting. That meeting brought 45 women. One for every year I was married before losing my husband. That night I heard 45 beautiful stories of life and love and knew we had to continue this group.
Today, WWHH averages 25-30 women at our regular meetings and seldom does a month go by that I don’t receive a couple of calls or messages from new widows. They come to our group, not knowing what to expect, and find a sisterhood of strong, sensitive women who literally wrap loving arms around them. Women who understand their pain, loneliness and needs. Women of all ages and stages of widowhood and from every walk of life. Women with babies, teenagers, grown children, grandchildren or no children.
We share our ups and downs, difficulties and victories. Some months we bring in speakers such as Bob Willis, a well-known sculptor and longtime hospice Chaplin who sculpted the “Healing Heart” while relating tips on grief. Another month we had a young woman who had been widowed in her early thirties give her personal testimony of faith before showing us her lovely line of handcrafted jewelry. That night, all 35 women present made their own special pair of angel earrings to take home. Stand In The Gap Ministries, an organization that strives to implement a ministry to widows in every church, no matter the denomination or size, joined us at a recent meeting, but most months we simply share our hearts and try to support each other.
We have developed a Membership Directory to help us keep in touch with each other and a Service Directory of recommended professionals. Several of the women gather for social activities outside the meetings. But the best part of our group is finding friends who understand the pain that still lingers in our hearts, no matter how long our husbands have been in heaven.
One of the reasons I started this group was to keep a promise to my husband. When Carl was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he asked that everything be done for the glory of God. He died just seventeen days later. I admit that promise was difficult at times, but I’m certain Carl would agree that “Wives With Heavenly Husbands” definitely brings glory to God. I am blessed to be leading this precious group of ladies who share their hurts, heartaches, love and laughter, and I invite any wife with a heavenly husband to join us at our next meeting.
WWHH meets at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of each month. Contact Louise at 405-330-2804 or LouiseTJ@cox.net for more information.