Elizabeth was only 38 when she lost her husband, Barry. Almost 50 years on, she vividly recalls the shock of becoming a widow at such a young age.
“He had a massive heart attack. We never expected it. He had no long-term health problems. He was an otherwise healthy person.”
But what made Barry’s death even harder for Elizabeth to make sense of was that he had only recently returned home from serving in the Vietnam War. Barry had made it back safely from Vietnam, and was home for 18 months before he died.
When Barry died, Elizabeth’s whole world changed in an instant. No longer an army wife, instead, Elizabeth found herself the single mum of four young children. Her oldest, fifteen, her youngest, only just turned three.
“Our family had been living in married quarters – that’s where Barry collapsed, where he died. And I got a letter from the Army asking me to vacate the premises within the month because they needed them.” – Elizabeth
“I didn’t drive, so I had to get my driver’s license. My daughter was too young to go to kindergarten or preschool, so she was with me all the time. And I had to find somewhere big enough for us to live. There was a lot to do.”
Then, while she was still coming to terms with the shock loss of her husband and navigating life on her own without him, Elizabeth’s own father passed away.
“Dad died just three weeks after Barry. Mum and I found ourselves grieving widows at the same time.”
In the wake of tragic loss, Legacy opened up a whole new life to Elizabeth.
“I had never belonged to a club before and it was very interesting, I enjoyed it. It was a whole new world for me that was different from the kitchen sink.
Experience has taught Elizabeth that Legacy’s promise of a lifetime of support might mean many different things through many seasons of life.
Legacy provides widows like Elizabeth with a caring community, so they can form new friendships and fight debilitating feelings of loneliness.
Legacy provides financial assistance and emergency relief for widows like Elizabeth and her family, so she never feels helpless in the face of uncertainty.
Legacy provides widows like Elizabeth with a network of experts to help her make claims for government assistance… or appeal the decisions which deny her the support she deserves. Your generous Remembrance Day gift can also provide ongoing advocacy on issues which could one day affect all widows, such as increased government funding for aged care services.
“Legacy was home away from home. My second home. My second family. It’s always helped me to be around others who were in the same position. We talk. I learn from them. We understand each other. The weeks I don’t come in, I’m lost”
While Elizabeth is thankful that she’s managed to get by since Barry’s passing, she has known many widows who struggle. Legacy supports widows of all ages – from those who are only in their 20s to others who are over 100! Your generous Remembrance Day gift is the extra bit of help they need to stay on top of things. From help with bills to food vouchers, it means families can stay out of immediate crisis.
“The soldiers get their uniforms on and go off, but they all have families… and it’s their families who feel it. We are the ones who are left behind. Without Legacy, I would have been worried all the time. To know that someone’s around when you need them is half the battle. Please give so Legacy can continue to be there for our next generation of families and widows.”
Help Legacy keep our promise
Support widows like Elizabeth by donating to Legacy today. To a grieving widow and daughter like Elizabeth, your generosity is the promise of a lifetime of support.
“If I had a problem, I knew that I could talk it over with any of the Legatees. That’s been the same ever since.”
Legatees are Legacy’s most dedicated volunteers. They commit to supporting families and build deep personal relationships to help them thrive.
Legatee relationships provide relief. Knowing that there is 24/7 comfort available for widows like Elizabeth when they need it.How to get involved