What is Widowhood?

Widowhood is the time period following the death of one’s spouse for as long as there is no remarriage.

What is a Widow?

  • A widow is a woman whose husband is dead and who has not remarried.
  • The Latin word for widow is vidua, which means “to separate or divide.”

Biblical Example:


“There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”

Luke 2:36–37

What is a Widower?

  • A widower is a man whose wife is dead and who has not remarried.
  • The male counterpart of widow.

Biblical Example:


“She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.”

Genesis 23:2

What is Mourning?

  • Mourning is expressing deep sorrow or grief over the death of someone.
  • The Greek word for mourning is klaio, which means “to wail.”

“When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.”

John 11:31

  • A specific period of time during which signs of grief are shown.

“When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father.”

Genesis 50:10

— A custom was to wear black for a specific time of mourning.

— Flags are flown at half mast to indicate a national mourning.

What is Grief?

  • Grief is deep sorrow caused by the loss of anything or anyone having a strong emotional value.
  • The Latin word for grief is gravis, which means “heavy, grave.”

“They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life. And the disciples were filled with grief.”

Matthew 17:23

  • Grief Facts

— Grief is a process.

— The deeper the emotional involvement, the deeper the grief.

— Grieving has no set time frame. It can last for months or even years.

— God intends to heal our hearts when they are filled with grief.

“You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”

John 16:20




  • Marooned - feeling abandoned and deserted by mate
  • Overwhelmed - feeling unable to handle life alone
  • Useless - feeling without purpose in life
  • Resentful - feeling angry at God for allowing mate to die
  • Numbness - feeling unable to accept daily reality
  • Isolated - feeling loss at not being a part of other couples’ activities
  • Neglected - feeling lonely and feeling misunderstood by others...



Do you or do you know someone who has additional questions or requires help?

If so, please choose Women of Faith's other resources on this and other relevant topics (Quick Reference Guides, Keys for Living Books, e-Books and Studies).

Grace Filled Words:


“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

Psalm 68:5


“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”

Psalm 18:32

Additional Scriptures: 

The Book of Ruth

John 16:20


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