A Tale of Two Widows

September 1, 2023

By Christine Martin, Director of Programs at Community Life Bridge

This is a tale of two widows…both widows lived life to the fullest with their spouses. The love in
their marriage overflowed all around them. They served side by side making a difference in others’ lives.
At times, they served their neighbors together by taking baked goods or helping with projects around
their homes. Other times, they served by welcoming in family members or foster children into their
home. Each day brought opportunities to serve those in their family, neighborhood and community.
These couples made a difference together and were known for their compassion and love. The life of
service was not always easy, but by each other’s side they found encouragement from each other and
joy in all they did.
Then the unthinkable happened and one of them passed away. The time of grief was heavy, but
those they served showed up to support them. Over time a new routine of daily life was created. The
first widow really struggled. When this widow thought of service, the memories of serving together took
over and the grief grew stronger. Depression set in and the lack of encouragement was evident and
pulled them down into a life of isolation. Isolation is a hard life, but it seemed easier than being around
other couples that looked like they “used to.” The second widow struggled for a time, not rushing the
grief, but knew that serving others was what brought joy to their life. So, after what felt like an
appropriate time, this widow sought out new opportunities to serve. The second widow began to serve
in ways that matched their passions, finding encouragement in continuing to live on the legacy of their
This community has so many who have come to this crossroad as a widow. We have several
volunteers at Community Life Ride who have lost their spouse and have chosen the path of service, like
the second widow. They spent time grieving and then sought out opportunities to give back, serve the
community with what they had to offer and find joy in knowing that their spouse would be proud of the
life they were living. I know that this community also has several whose life reflects the first widow. My
heart goes out to them. Life is hard and living it alone is not easy. But this community offers so much to
restore the joy of service after the loss of a spouse. We have opportunities to serve in groups to be
around others who can encourage you, places like Feed Sumner, Habitat for Humanity or United Way
offer these opportunities. We also have opportunities to serve as an individual like Community Life Ride,
Homebound Meals or Tennessee Respite. These organizations may be a great step to get you back into
serving and you never know, you might find joy in serving someone who is walking the path you just did.
If you would like help taking the next step to connect to any of these organizations, give me a call at
Community Life Bridge and I would be happy to serve you in that way.