It’s difficult for anyone to understand the feeling of becoming a widow without having gone through the unfortunate experience themselves.
“The temperature in your home isn’t the same. The refrigerator isn’t the same. Sometimes your children don’t want to come to your home because it reminds them of the sadness from losing their dad, and you want them there all the time because you’re lonely,” Miriam said, describing what a widow’s life looks like after she becomes widowed.
In addition, upon becoming widows, women lose 75% of their friendship networks. That’s why Widow Connection has been a blessing to so many people, including Miriam.
Through her nonprofit ministry, she’s met and served many widows around the world. One such example is Lori Fox-Ritter, a widow with whom she has become very close.
Lori’s husband, Eric, lost his battle with ALS on April 21, 2010—four years to the day after Miriam’s husband. At the time, her two children were 7 and 13 years old.
It wasn’t an instant connection, though.
Through her friend, Lori found Miriam’s radio program, New Beginnings, about a month after her husband passed away. After listening to an archived version of the broadcast, she felt that Miriam knew her heart and everything that she was going through and wanted to learn more.
A few weeks later, Lori purchased Miriam’s book, From Widow to Another, and was surprised at what she learned on the first page: Miriam’s husband passed away four years prior to the day Eric did. Both of their “vehicles to Heaven” were ALS, and Lori figured God was telling her to read the book—and that night, she finished it.
Lori felt very connected to Miriam after reading the book, so she decided to reach out to her on WidowConnection.com. After corresponding over email, they decided to meet in Chicago that December.
This would mark the beginning of a fresh start for Lori. After meeting Miriam, she was introduced to more widows with whom she could trust and relate to.
Following the death of a spouse, life is flipped upside down, but with the encouragement and love of God and others, widows can get back on their feet.
“That period of time afterwards we can decide to just stay under a rock and not get healthy and not figure it out, or we can say, ‘God gave me this body, and it needs to serve me,’” Miriam said. “One of the things we encourage each other to do is to listen to and take care of yourself, and God is going to love you and comfort you.”
Miriam noticed these positive changes Lori was making in her life.
“When I saw the way you were growing and loving your kids, kind of getting your body healthy again, I thought 'this woman is going to encourage a bunch of other women with her journey. And it happened.”
Miriam invited Lori to be featured on her DVD series, One Widow to Another, and she graciously accepted.
“I was really excited when she asked me to be part of this. I wanted to be used to share the things that had helped me,” Lori said, when explaining the impact Miriam’s book, website and entire ministry had on her life.
And it wasn’t just widows that God put in Lori’s life.
Lori knew she had to be in a good place before entering the dating scene again. She prayed that God would prepare someone’s heart for her. She knew it had to be a Christian man and one with whom she would want to spend the rest of her life. And in 2011, God brought Lori and Todd together, and they’ve been happily married since 2012.
Today, Lori uses her accounting skills to help her church and her brother with their finances and is more than willing to help new widows the same way Miriam helped her back in 2011.
As for Widow Connection, they have plans to grow and continue helping widows all over the world. Continue reading to see more about their future.
Join us in giving hope to widows around the world. Donate $10* to Widow Connection by texting FAMILY to 52000.
*Your one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your pre-paid balance. Message & data rates may apply.