Miriam Neff and her husband Bob were married for 41 years and in those years they had babies, adopted, both had careers, had gone through crises in the lives of those they loved the most, had moved, had ministries, and traveled the world together. Their final journey together was through years of Bob’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and was the hardest one of all.
In Miriam’s own words her description of becoming a widow is, “Imagine a single event that will dramatically change your calendar, your checkbook, your friendship network, the contents of your refrigerator, the temperature you set your thermostat, your outlook on your future, and your connection with your children. And that’s not all. Your appearance may change, your emotions, your sleep pattern, your theology, your social status, and possibly your address.”
Miriam covers a widow’s vulnerabilities, grief, depression, fear, money, a widow’s strengths, how relationships including not only friends and family but in-laws will never be the same. She talks about taking a good close look at you and finding out who you really are as a woman. She goes step by step into exactly what things need to be done during the first year when a widow is in that shock and numb mode and is in that place of great vulnerability where she can be taken advantage.
She suggests that a widow choose her own “board of directors” consisting of 6 people – a godly widow, a trustworthy person with financial wisdom, a practical friend, an encourager, a person with spiritual discernment and courage, and a relative whose priority is YOUR well-being. At the back of the book she includes several different forms to help you with your finances that you can either copy or go to her website and print out.
This book is one that I would recommend as the first book to give to a new widow because it is easy to read in that “widow fog” and is just what a widow needs to know as she begins her grief journey.
“…I am discovering something good about being a widow; in fact, it is grand. God holds me more closely to His heart because of this new status. Yes, this is true and unbelievable. While in most circles here we have become invisible, or nearly so, we have become precious to God. There are 103 Scripture references to widows, revealing that we are not invisible to God…..we are not only close to God’s heart, but He measures everyone by how they treat us (James 1:27). He instructs that our needs be met (Deuteronomy 24:17) through the church’s tithes if necessary (Deuteronomy 14:28-29); 26;12; Acts 6:1-4). He instructs that in our vulnerability we be given our legal rights (Isaiah 1:17; Luke 18:1-8). He commends us for our sacrificial giving (Mark 12:42-43).”
Thank you, Miriam, for this book!