Peggy Harris married her husband Billie only six weeks before he went to war. She has been waiting to find out his fate for a long time – 60 years! The two married just before Billie shipped out as a fighter pilot in World War II. Peggy really got the run-around about her husband’s fate. He was killed, no he was missing, no killed and buried, etc. Her Congressman said Billie was still listed as missing in action after Peggy’s last letter to him in 2005. Then everything changed. You can watch the CBS News report about what happened to Billie and how Peggy Harris lived her life as if she were widowed, yet she never really knew.
In an earlier story, a Ft. Myers, Florida woman received word that the bracelet she had given to her young husband before he shipped out in WWII had been located. Virginia Moore was widowed when her husband was killed one year after he left. A man using a metal detector located the bracelet and called Virginia. She thought that the call was about her son, named after his father.
After the funeral, when all the friends and family members start returning to their lives, those who are widowed often struggle to find meaning and hope. Things can seem hopeless due to the huge change a spouse’s death brings. The heartbreak that comes with being widowed seems like it will never end. Words like closure can ring hallow, just like they did for Peggy Harris. But time does move on. And it is possible to go from heartbreak to happiness, even if you are widowed.
Part of getting to happiness involves not only picking up your emotional pieces, but also getting your finances organized. If you are newly widowed, this could start as simply separating the mail and pulling out the bills. You can get some large envelopes and sort financial information that you comes across. Once the papers are sorted out, you can seek out financial advice and assistance. But at the beginning, take it step by step, a day at a time. In time, you will get things in place and start to understand your finances. Before long, you will have your own investing strategy. Because you never know when you may need to hop a flight to France.
If you are at the point where you need more education and information about financial planning, I’m here to help. Just give me a call. You can also download a copy of my book New Widow Financial Lifeline.