February 6, 2015

Letters to the Editor

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No letters were printed this week; here is the letter from seven weeks ago:

Widower’s column offers heartfelt wisdom for those who have lost loved ones

I am writing in regard to Bill Dodds’ “Your Family” column in the Dec. 5 issue of The Criterion. I want to say thank you for putting into words what I am sure is in the hearts of many widowers.

I lost my husband, Rob, on Dec. 27, 2011, and as Dodds states, “It feels like long ago and like yesterday.”

Every word in this column is so true, and my hope is that it reaches many. I would like to offer two more suggestions.

One is to try to avoid asking “How are you?” That question is so immense for any widower to respond to, which is why we most always say “fine” which is far beyond the truth. Try asking a specific question that focuses on one thing that relates to that individual.

Also stay away from saying, “Let me know if I can do anything.” Though well-intentioned, that puts the responsibility on the widower to ask for help which can be difficult. Rather choose a specific task, chore or errand for that person, and plan to follow through with it, even if it is just showing up for a visit.

We all have much to learn about each other in each of our individual lives that God has given us. Thank you again, Bill Dodds, for sharing part of your life and your gift of writing with us.

- Ellen Henke | Greenwood

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