I grabbed a bite to eat at a local restaurant, and sat down at a communal table where there were 2 other ladies next to me. Both of them, it turns out, are widows and in conversation, they discovered that I ran Widow Care, a local non-profit serving the needs of widowed individuals in the Washington, DC region.
Also, what turned out is that one of the ladies was a past client of mine from 20 years before. I had sold her house for she and her late husband. The conversation turned into a wonderful discussion of real estate, which has been my 31-year career-- what Widow Care is attempting to do, and also relationships with common people between the 3 of us.
As the conversation delved into a discussion of their personal widow stories, I discovered that, in one case, one lady had lost her husband not quite a year ago, and my past client had lost her husband 4 years ago.
The more recent widow was already over her grieving process. She had already established her desire to move on and find a new relationship, if the opportunity presented itself.
This was primarily due to the quality of the marriage that she had, which included a lot of secretive & hidden elements that were discovered after he passed. My past client, on the other hand, had had nothing but a best friend relationship with her deceased husband, and missed him gravely even 4 years later.
She said repetitively throughout our conversation: "No one will be like [Bobby]" (name redacted). It struck me that every widow goes through a process of grieving that is different, and Widow Care hopes to support all widows according to their unique and special needs, and our mentorship program is designed to help those who need either more or less assistance to find that kind of friendship and social engagement that would serve them best as they walk through their Widow's Fog.
These two women had been friends for many, many years and had formed their own social support network between the two of them. They like to travel together, they supported each other and encouraged one another & laughed and cried together, and were able to walk through their process of grieving together, better.
This reminded me of the importance of Widow Care coming alongside the widows who don't have that kind of social framework & need friendship and kindness. Widows and widowers are at the very heart of God, and they are a demographic that James points out we should look out for, and in doing, it is pure religion. What does James mean by "Pure Religion"? Well, it's my interpretation that there is nothing to be gained personally by giving generously to one who has nothing to give in return, and is walking through tremendous grief, pain and social isolation and often, job loss.
The only thing that is gained is a heart full for having given.