International Widows Day

purple cactusThe UN has proclaimed Thursday, June 23, 2011, International Widows Day.

My friend B posted this in response:

“Thinking of my widow friends and all those widows throughout the world on this, the first International Widows’ Day. So many widows in other countries are left without anything after the death of their husband. I am fortunate to live in this country, have an education and be able to provide for myself. There are so many who have nothing.”

Here are  some links talking about International Widows’ Day.  The first is from the Loomba Foundation, founded by a man from India whose mother was a young widow.  The second is from the Daily Mirror.

So many widows around the world lose their property and protection when their husbands die.  In countries and cultures where women are not allowed to work, a widow is totally at the mercy of her husband’s family and often can not go back to her own family.  If none are willing to help care for her and her children, a widow faces starvation, prostitution, and exploitation.

In the United States, Social Security benefits for children and their surviving parent are nowhere near adequate to raise a child.  Life insurance for many young families is considered a luxury, and so many widows and widowers are left with nothing when “the unthinkable” happens.  Once the funeral is over and the last casserole has been thrown away, there can be a financial as well as emotional crater left behind.

Have a thought for the widows (and widowers) in your life today.

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