Ed and Jan were married 32 years. Ed had just retired, and Jan was looking forward to the next chapter in their lives: time with the grandkids, bridge with their friends, and years of traveling. All was good; and then it wasn't. Ed died of a heart attack on the third green of his favorite golf course.
In a blur the funeral was behind her, and family and friends had returned to their lives. Jan was exhausted. The grief was overwhelming. It was too quiet; Jan missed Ed's tender voice. The emptiness drained her of all energy. She knew there were things to do, but she didn't know where to start. She had no interest in the stack of letters and bills piled on the table. Ed had always taken care of the bills. Ed had taken care of everything, and now he was gone. Jan was on her own for the first time in over 30 years. She was heartbroken, frightened and lonely. She wondered, "How am I ever going to get through this?"
Recent studies suggest Jan is not the exception, but the rule.
It's clear most widows aren't prepared for the financial aftermath of losing a spouse. Losing a spouse is one of life's most emotionally disruptive and stressful events a woman can experience. Dealing with the overwhelming grief is a full-time job, let alone having to manage through the long list of important and demanding tasks that follow a loss. Widows need encouragement, support and advice they can trust. They need help tackling dozens of issues they may know little about. Wings for Widows was founded in 2018 to help fill this role.
Wings for Widows is a public charity that provides broad services to widows struggling after the loss of a loved one. We are an all-volunteer organization with one goal: help women soar again. Our services are provided at no cost.
As her advocate, we connect her with the right resources, including grief counseling. As her financial coach, we guide her through the financial and legal complexities of early widowhood. Our companion services include listening to her, praying with her and networking her with other widows, groups and organizations.
The loss of a spouse if often just the first loss. Widows may have to cope with the loss of the sole-breadwinner in the family, plunging some into financial turmoil. Decisions, once made together, are now made alone, often without the benefit of experience. When young children are involved, the loss of a co-parent may be the hardest loss of all. These compounding losses can be overwhelming and debilitating. But important tasks still need to be completed. Wings for Widows is ready to step in and help get these things done.
We work with her support team to help her move forward from loss, confusion and uncertainty to a future of hope, clarity and possibility. We provide the assistance she needs regardless of her financial circumstances. We meet her wherever she is in her journey and spend the time necessary for her to gain understanding, restore her confidence and take control.
Will you help us with our mission? We do not charge for our services. All of our staff are volunteers who donate hundreds of hours each year. Nearly 1,000 widows are produced every year in the Twin Cities, where we are currently focusing our efforts. We help cover the expense of additional professional services if a widow can't afford them. We offer scholarships to Financial Peace University for widows to develop their financial literacy and money skills. Our future goals and plans include outreach efforts throughout Minnesota and beyond using chapters in major markets and an educational video series for widows to access nationwide.
We encourage you to visit our website to learn more. Thank you for considering a donation to Wings for Widows. We are grateful for your generosity.