(Update to original post from January 30, 2017)

“It’s the little things you miss the most,” my client, whose spouse passed away three years ago, shared with me. “Life goes on, but it’s different.”

Some people, when their spouse passes away, gain a freedom they’ve never experienced. At times, they feel guilty because they’re enjoying this new phase of life.

Some people when their spouse passes away, feel lost. Their spouse was their best friend, and they spent a lot of time together. They struggle with being by themselves and making their own decisions.

Do you know a loved one whose spouse passed away?

Whether it’s a recent death or a death from several years ago, it’s still a loss.

With the holidays behind us, take time to reach out to a widow/widower. Be respectful of their boundaries. They may or may not want to talk about their deceased spouse.

The objective for reaching out is to let them know you care. You can visit via phone or in person. Even if they decline a long visit, they will appreciate the gesture.

If in person, here are some activities to suggest:

  • Visit at their home or invite them to your home
  • Walk in a nearby park
  • Meet for afternoon tea/coffee at a local café
  • Attend a local theater performance
  • Visit a new art exhibit

Spending time with someone whose spouse passed away can be uncomfortable, but it means a lot to the person grieving. Set aside feeling awkward and focus on being there for a loved one.

There are lots of little things you can do to show you care, but the most important act is being present.


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”