Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 23: International Widows Day

June 23, International Widows Day.

When I first saw this on the Internet, I thought, "So now we get a day? Is this like Mother's Day? Do we get presents? Cards? Flowers? And from whom?"

Or this could be a day for reflecting on our status as widows. A time to try to erase the stereotype of widows as black-clad victims and teach the world to view us as what we really are--survivors. We've had no choice but to survive, to continue our life journeys alone. Most of us have grown braver over the years. Like rocks continually buffeted by wind and rain, we've lost some of the rough edges of early widowhood. We've learned to ignore careless words, to face life challenges. We haven't chosen this path, but here we are, so we're doing our best. Congratulations to us.

The real purpose of International Widows Day is to highlight a day on which the world is asked to focus, if only for 24 hours, on the plight of widows in third world countries. These are women whose problems are so staggering just because they are widowed that we can hardly imagine them. These are women who often must work as virtual slaves, who are villified, raped, ostracized just because their husbands have died. If you're a widow, or even if you aren't, spare a thought and a prayer for these women. Or if you can, contribute some small amount for their welfare. Google International Widows Day for suggestions.



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