For a widow, it isn’t just the grief of a loved one, but there are financial questions, property and estate issues, fathering their children, businesses that are now left, etc.
An athlete will tell you to run a marathon you need to invest in training, a coach etc. Anyone who is healthy conscious will tell you that investing in healthy is key and they talk of joining a gym, gym partner, eating healthy, count calories and all. Married couples will tell you invest in your marriage, and you will reap amazing results, stop investing in it: then the spark and fire will soon go out. I remember that my late husband and I were intentional in investing in our marriage. We invested in premarital counselling, attended marriage retreats, seminars, read books, went to holidays with other couples etc. It paid off and I am forever grateful that we did invest in our marriage.
Parents, leaders, professionals sing the same song as well: Invest in yourself. Painful as it is, when I lost my husband, I realised that I needed to learn more on widowhood. I never wanted to be a widow and I do not think anyone ever wanted to become one. Instead of crying, finding every valid reason why I cannot invest in my new status as a widow, I began to reach out to other widows I knew.
All I wanted was to hear from a fellow widow that it was going to be ok.
I wanted to hear of the challenges, what to expect and all by a widow. To be honest, it made more sense to me hearing a widow quote scripture like He is the Father to the fatherless and Defender of the widows than to hear it from someone who had not yet experienced this. I wanted to hear practical examples and experiences. I am sure you and I can relate that head knowledge is different from experience. I also remember going on YouTube, Facebook, I searched books and devotionals done by widows. I even began to ask myself why can’t we have seminars, retreats just for widows? I asked myself who is going to teach me, who is going to equip me? I found an answer. Instead of me waiting for someone to come up with programmes dedicated for widows, why can’t I initiate something.
I quickly crashed the idea and told myself I was still young in my journey, I needed to learn more, maybe someone who is more than five years can start. However, the burden grew, and I could not contain it and hence I went ahead and started a WhatsApp group with a few widows. It has been a blessing to me, and I have learned a lot for the past a year and half since we started. There is beauty in coming together no doubt. There is beauty and value in exchanging knowledge and wealth of experience gained over the years.
I mean if married couples can go for marriage retreat, I do not see why as widows cannot do the same. Whether one will remarry or not I believe it is worthy investing in your journey as a widow and find solutions that work for your context. Instead of us as widows sitting down, crying and saying there is nothing for widows, why can’t we come together and find what works for us. I believe widows summit will be one such a place that will draw widows from all walks of life and together face the giant of widowhood.
The very first annual Widows Summit will take place on December 4, 2021.Widows are going to come together from all walks of life and listen to other fellow widows share their journey. They are also going to be equipped by experts in business, law, and counselling etc. If you are reading this and you are a widow or know a widow, please email me on [email protected] and I will share with you the login details. The event is free as a way to support others in need. We want to offer practical help to help others in their time of need.
Yes, as widows we were hit by the “unwanted thing,”- death of a spouse but we can choose to embrace ourselves and invest in our widowhood journey.
Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, family building facilitator, author and Producer of the hit TV show, Talking with the Thabas, which has strengthened thousands of marriages and helped countless families become stronger. Learn more about her work at www.ashleythaba.com or view her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books: Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants on her website. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Facebook: Talking with the Thabas.