When I was first widowed in 2018, I was fortunate to find the amazing charity Widowed and Young, and the subgroup WAYWOCs (Widowed and Young WithOut Children). I can honestly say that I couldn't have got through the past three and a half years without this incredible bunch of young widows, male and female, cis and trans, straight and queer. We have shared (virtually and face-to-face) our tragedies, our successes, our tears, our laughter, and any number of truly bad puns and Marmite-related comestibles.
There was a running joke about who had the latest copy of the Widow's Handbook. And so I thought - perhaps it's time to create the handbook. I don't have all of the answers, which is why I'm going to bring in some amazing widow contributors to share what they have learned on this route none of us chose, and this club that none of us wanted to ever have to join.
The Widow's Handbook is aimed at widows but I hope that it will help all who are bereaved, and all who are around bereaved people.
Note: I use the word widow, as many of my fellow widows do, as a generic word for everyone - male, female, cis, trans, non-binary, queer, married, unmarried.
I was widowed at 50 when Tim, who I expected would be my happy-ever-after following a marriage break-up, died suddenly from heart failure linked to his type 2 diabetes. Though we'd known each other since our early 20s, we'd been married less than ten years.