There are many different ways one can come into single parenting. The majority of my blogs are focused on the divorce aspect of single parenting, but today I’d like to look at the other side. I teach Sunday School at my church. My class is full of five year olds, all of whom come from single parent families. I knew this going in, but hadn’t really thought much about how each child came into this situation. Most, like my own son, have experienced the divorce of their parents, which is difficult in and of itself, but one explained to me today that she and her older brother had lost their father in a tragic car accident a few years back. My heart broke for this little girl and her family. I had seen her mother struggling each week, always sitting in the back of the chapel, in case she needed a quick escape. Her children are some of the most difficult in the ward, which isn’t uncommon after experiencing such a loss. My heart was breaking for this little girl, but it was also breaking for her mother.
I cannot imagine losing the father of your children so suddenly. With no warning at all, you are thrust into single parenting, through no fault of your own. Emotions are running high for the entire family. Your children are grieving at the loss of their father, you are grieving the loss of your husband, and somehow you have to find a way to make it through. There is no way you can prepare yourself for something like this. Suddenly, you have to find a way to support your little family on your own in the midst of trying to piece your life back together. I can’t imagine how incredibly overwhelming that must be, especially with young children you’re trying to support.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the other side of single parenting don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are lots of support groups for men and women who have been widowed. There are plenty of financial resources out there as well. Look around your community and see what is available for you and your children to get through this difficult time. If nothing else, perhaps you can find hope from others who have been through the same thing and come out on the other side.