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Coping with Widowhood: How to Move On

Updated on August 30, 2016
Charito1962 profile image

Ms. Charito is a Filipino based in Manila. She has worked as an executive assistant and a journalist. She is a widow with a grown-up son.

For a while, I experienced loneliness, financial unstableness, lack of focus at work, and all other negative feelings.
For a while, I experienced loneliness, financial unstableness, lack of focus at work, and all other negative feelings. | Source

I have been a widow since June 2005. I was 42 then. Before this, I had enjoyed ten years of marital bliss.

In the first few years since my husband’s passing, I experienced what many women would normally go through – loneliness, financial unstableness, lack of focus at work, and all other negative feelings.

Today, however, I can say I am happy even if I continue to face life’s harsh realities. I have learned to move one, and I would like to share how I do it.

I aim to address this hub to other widows out there. But what I am about to say is merely my opinion and not something based on some book I’ve read or lecture I’ve attended. Call it my secret formula, but it’s simply something I constantly do which helps me get by.


Keep yourself busy.

If you have a job, focus harder and strive to perfect it. A salary increase or promotion may just come your way. If you’re unemployed, look for work. If you’re a housewife and opt to stay home, get into some hobby/interest which you think can help you earn some money. Start a small business; or if you already have one, get some people involved and make it grow.

There are a lot of things to do at home. Engage in online work or hold a garage sale.

I try to learn new things and develop the skills for them.
I try to learn new things and develop the skills for them. | Source

Be humble to ask for help.

If despite working hard, you still can’t make ends meet – and your funds are fast depleting – don’t be ashamed to ask help from your family or kin. You’ll be surprised how supportive they can be.

But as soon as you can manage on your own, don’t forget to repay them with some token of gratitude. You owe them that!

Seek company.

It’s therapeutic. Be with family, relatives, and dear friends. (Reach out! Don’t wait for them to make the move.)

Call your parents and siblings to come over so your kids can be closer to them. Hold intimate family gatherings. And don’t forget your in-laws! They’re family, too.

At work, get to know your fellow workers better. Spend time with them after office hours or even on weekends. Engage in wholesome group activities.

It's therapeutic for me to be with family...
It's therapeutic for me to be with family... | Source
...and friends!
...and friends! | Source

Date again.

For you younger ones, pretty yourselves up and go out again. (Why not? You still have a long life ahead!)

If a nice man comes along (and by this, I mean a single guy or a widower!) – and you’re interested in him – give him a chance.

It may not be easy for you, though, to tell your young kids about him, but you can be honest and simply tell them, “You know, I met this man recently, and he’s asking me out on a date. Mom wants to go out with him, but I’ll be fine. Is that okay?”

If they vehemently object, go on with the date. And if in time, things go well between you and the man - and your kids soon learn to accept him - go ahead – remarry!

Nope. He's not my boyfriend. He's a Filipino celebrity I bumped into once, and I asked him to pose with me for this photo. (Ha, ha!)
Nope. He's not my boyfriend. He's a Filipino celebrity I bumped into once, and I asked him to pose with me for this photo. (Ha, ha!) | Source
Prayer helps me cope with life's harsh realities.
Prayer helps me cope with life's harsh realities. | Source

Have faith in God.

Pray. In a moment of crisis, there’s nothing better than connecting with the Almighty. Having a prayer life can surely bring about tremendous positive results to conquer grief – or any trial for that matter.

No one can help you more than the Big Guy up there! You just have to trust Him and find out what His plans are for you. Believe in Him.

See a therapist.

If you’re still in mourning – and are not satisfied with the list above – it would be best to seek psychiatric help. But choose someone who is credible and good-natured. Research more on his credentials before seeing him.

Is there life after a spouse's death?

Of course, there is!

It’s just having the right outlook in life.

This is from a talk show called “The Stand Point: Listen To The Feminine Side”. Listen to what two young widows and a psychologist have to say.

If your spouse suddenly dies, do you think you can move on?

See results

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    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 19 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hi, moonlake. I guess my advice applies on a case-to-case basis. We all have different circumstances. Anyway, the bottomline is that we widows just have to cope - and come up with strategies / lifestyles that would make us happy.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 19 months ago from America

      Great advice. It has been hard to move on, but I can say I'm getting better. One thing I have problems with I feel like I'm imposing on my kids if I call to much or ask for help. They have such busy lives. My son tells me how much he has to help his in-laws so that makes me feel guilty when I have to ask for any help. I try to everything myself.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 19 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks, Matty! Glad to meet you!

    • Matty Fernandez profile image

      Matty Fernandez 20 months ago from Passaic, NJ

      You give some great advice! good job.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 22 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hello, sir Dave. Yes, you may share this hub with your daughter. Just copy the link and send it to her.

      Thank you for stopping by.

    • chateaudumer profile image

      David B Katague 22 months ago from Northern California and the Philippines

      Hi Charito, my youngest daughter was widowed when she was 47 years old, three years ago. So, I could identify with this hub, I will share this hub with her. Is there an easy way to transfer your hub to her Facebook page? David

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for your visit, Ms. Nancy. I just take each day as it comes, facing life's struggles with a lot of faith.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 23 months ago from Hamburg, New York

      What wonderful advice from such a tragic experience. I admire your strength and resilience. It must have been very difficult to write about such a personal loss.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thank you for your comforting words, Ms. Patricia. I also hope that you, Stephanie, Jay and Heston are carrying on well despite the cancer that has inflicted you all. (Lung cancer claimed my husband's life.)

      But as I truly believe, God is good, and He will never abandon us in difficult times. We just have to offer up our sufferings to Him. That's what I keep doing.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 23 months ago from sunny Florida

      So happy to hear that you have found happiness and are living your life ....each of us finds ways that work for our lives to get through such difficult times. Wishing you many more days filled with joy.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Yes, and the "recipe" sure works well for me. Thanks for stopping by, Jill!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 23 months ago from United States

      I'm glad you found a recipe for happiness as a widow that allows you to stay strong and connected to your family and friends.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for your kind comment, Ms. Dora.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 23 months ago from The Caribbean

      Happy for you that enjoyed the marriage. The good memories plus the love of family and friends will get you through. I admire your courage.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thank you for the compliment, Nancy. Nice of you to stop by.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 23 months ago from Bend, OR

      Wow, you're a talented painter. I love what you were making on the easel. You have a lot of solid advice and it all comes from a good place. You are a terrific role model for anyone who has experienced the death of a spouse or other traumatic life event. Keeping busy and involved seems to be key.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hi, Ms. Stella! Nice of you to stop by! Yes, I hope all things work out well with you and your hubby. Warm regards!

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 23 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi Charito1962, You give great advice. There is hope and beautiful dreams to find as long as you are here. My new life with my second husband has been great. Best wishes and take care of your self, Stella

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Indeed, Bill. That's exactly what I'm aiming at through this hub - to make widows realize that they are not alone and that there is still hope in life. It's just a matter of having the right perspective.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Articles like this one are so very important. In sharing your story you are helping other widows to realize they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 24 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Why, thank you so much for stopping by, Ms. Rachel! Yes, I hope your sister-in-law benefits from this hub. I'm sure she'll learn to move on.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 24 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Charito, This was a very touching hub. My brother died suddenly of a massive heart attack leaving his wife and 3 children. It is so hard for her, mostly because of the shock of suddenly being left alone. I am going to show her this hub and hopefully she reads it. I think it will be really helpful, especially since you have experienced it all. God bless you.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hello, Ms. Essie. I am touched by your kind words. Yes, I do miss my husband.

      It was also a pleasure to read your lighthouse hub. Unfortunately, the lighthouses in my country are miles away from where I presently live. But I sure would love to know how it's like to be at the top!

      Thank you so much for visiting this hub. Take care.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hello Charito,

      I so much enjoyed your insight in this thoughtful, inspirational hub. You provide advice that would be beneficial to widows or widowers.It is also nice to see your photographs. My heart goes out to you on the loss of your precious husband.

      I would also like to thank you on your comment you left on my lighthouse hostel hub. That was so kind of you to take the time to write.

      The view from the top of a lighthouse tower is spectacular! I sure hope that you will experience it. Do you have lighthouses near you? I often imagine what it must have been like for the lighthouse keepers from years gone by when lighthouses were actually manned instead of automated. It was a difficult life,still, I am willing to bet they did enjoy some fantastic views!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Why, thank you so much, thumbi7! Glad you stopped by!

      Take care.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

      I must say you are very brave to share your personal story!

      I congratulate you for having such positive attitude and mental make up

      May God bless you and your son

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thank you, too, for stopping by, Ms. Ruby!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I just recently lost my soul mate and I have times of sadness, but I'm learning there is still life to live. I found your article interesting and helpful. Thank you..

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thank you so much for the compliment, manatita44. (That's actually me in the photos.)

      I'm glad you understand what we widows and mothers go through.

      So nice of you to stop by. I appreciate it!

      Warm regards!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Thanks for sharing, Charito.

      I truly admire mothers and I cannot say this enough. You guys defy the odds and do such an incredible job. Of course I rather liked the idea that you remembered the Divine. I am a trusting instrument of His.

      Very sincere and loving Hub. People cope in different ways but it is always a noble and useful thing to share. Much peace to you and family.

      P.S. Great pictures of family network. I visited a few times and It is a beautiful country.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Yes, it is a healing process, Ms. Dianna. And this is something good which I'd like to share with other women.

      I appreciate your comment.

      Thanks for visiting! Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I admire how you have moved forward with such positive faith. Your article will help many other women to face the future with courage. I think it is a healing process over time.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Chitrangada. Yes, that's me in the photos.

      So happy you stopped by. Warm regards!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I am really touched to read your story. But I must salute you for facing all this bravely and there is nothing more wise than moving on, as you said. Although it is easier said than done.

      You made some important points in this hub to deal with loneliness. Lovely pictures too.

      Thanks and voted up.