W4W International Widows Day

 23 juni 2022

More Information

Our service

First-hand experience

There’s such a huge amount to do. Things you don’t know about and don’t want to know about either. And because it’s all
unfamiliar and you’re in a state of emotional overload, it becomes simply too much.
You face doubts and questions. Questions you don’t know how to answer. Tackling it all alone and doing everything
yourself is overwhelming. It saps your energy and gnaws away at your self-confidence. You get bogged down in the issues
of the day and the scope of your disbelief is only equaled by your ignorance of everything that’s hit you.

Arrangements for the visitation, the funeral, the cards, the ceremony, the service or mass, the tributes, the condolence visits, the wake – it all lands on your plate.

Then there are the questions. Did he write a will? What does it say? The visit to the notary. The executor’s role. How much does the accountant know? Should I instruct a lawyer, so that everything gets done

Working through your own and your children’s grief. How do you grieve? How do you avoid sinking into despair and falling to pieces? Staying strong for the children. What is the impact on your immediate and even your extended family? Where can I find psychological or practical help when I need it? What’s the situation with the house and other investments? Who can I trust? Who are my real friends?

How are the children coping? And how about me? How do I get my life back on track? How do I look after my health? When am I allowed to laugh again? How are we going to manage to go on holiday? How do I find a job?

It’s tough being alone. Will I ever be happy again? Do I want to find new love? What needs to be done and where should you begin if you decide to move house. The desire for a clean slate. Who can I turn to for help with administration and budgeting? And so on and so on.

We faced these questions and more and we helped each other where we could. But at times we also sat with our heads in our hands… Where should I start? How can I move forward in my life? Is there still space left for ‘me’ in all of this?

Widows for Widows

Social & Professional Independence

Action plan for getting your life back on track
Book an intake chat and get your bespoke
Widows for Widows Roadmap.

A service package tailored to your questions, at a single glance. We have carefully selected and assessed all our service providers so that you can decide in a safe setting what you do and don’t want to take and what you’d prefer to put on hold for a while


There’s a life after his death and we will help you make it clearer and more agreeable and bring it balance where you need it.



We draw upon expertise gained through the first-hand experience to help widows through this unsettling time. We offer compassionate support through Widows Anonymous, our workshops and events. We evaluate with you where you need support, be it in Practical Matters or in striving for a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body. We can also provide assistance on your way to an Independent Lifestyle and we organize activities within the scope of Leisure & Pleasure. We are a Sisterhood. We don’t just sit on the couch and mope. We want to learn together, take action and take back control. We also seek out the fun things in life (again).

A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body


– For you
– For your children


– Asking for help
– Letting go
– Self-development
– Finding a way forward
– Self-confidence

  • Picking up the reins again
  • Looking forward to the future


WA Widows Anomymous

A safe space in the spirit of AA, where you won’t have to deal with the ‘Aren’t you so strong?’ brigade. Somewhere where you’ll feel comfortable sharing your feelings and experiences with others in a similar situation.

Grieving & learning to trust

Individual or group sessions under the guidance of a grief counselor.

Follow your heart – it’s still beating

Individual or group sessions where you learn to live your truth without restraint.

Grieving from a child’s perspective

Lectures and group sessions on how children deal with loss, and how you, as
a mother, can help them. We also offer children guidance from coaches and
psychologists, for everything from homework support to mental health.

Practical & Legal Matters

  • Settling the Estate
  • Book-keeping & Tax
  • Stocks & Investments
  • Loans & Debts

– Planning & guidance

Moving House

– Real estate agent
– Valuation
– Furniture & furnishings
– Where next?
– Schools
– Etc.


Admin is ‘fun’

Learn how to manage your administration and tame the chaos.

A nest egg

Managing on what you’ve got, budgeting, saving and investing

Home life

A fresh start in new home? What do you need to think about when making a decision and how do you ensure a smooth move?

Look after your loved ones and make a new will

Your new reality requires new legal arrangements

Independent Lifestyle

  • Financial Independence
  • Career planning & Prospects
  • Study & Self Development
  • Help with Job Applications
  • Applying for My Dream Job


Who am I and what are My Strengths?

Talk through your chances and challenges in social intercourse with a
professional and critically self reflect.

Learn How to Apply for Work

Putting yourself out there is a special skill. We’ll help you with it.

Effective Networking

How can you capitalize positively on your contacts?

From Mother to Breadwinner

It takes mindset and guts! Explore your chances with a professional and get your very own ‘roadmap’ to the labor market.

Leisure & Pleasure

  • A healthy mind in a healthy body
  • Metamorphosis
  • Holidays and group travel
  • ‘The Merry Widow’* dating

*Operetta by Franz Lehar, first performed on 30 December 1905


Colour your Life

Look at your personality, your wardrobe, and your house to see how you can live more authentically.

Detox & Happiness

Cleansing body and mind increases your resilience and boosts your inner strength
and power.

Healthy Habits

A good night’s sleep, self-care, and self-love are fundamental to getting through
hard times like these. Literal and figurative cleaning up and letting go.

Ready to rock

Take up new hobbies, do something that you’ve always wanted to do, seize the day, nothing is out of bounds. Laughter yoga is a fun way to start.

About Us

Astrid & Marianne

We met through our children’s school and discovered we had a lot in common. Then we were both
widowed within a month of each other. That strengthened our bond and brought our friendship closer. We
supported each other in our grief and shared our experiences and our fears. We swapped tips and
contacts. We helped each other wherever we could. We are there for each other. That helped create the calm and mental space to start living again. And along the way, as we chatted at the kitchen table over endless cups of coffee and tea, snacks and wine, we developed a plan for Widows for Widows.

We’d often worked together successfully in the past. We make a strong pair. We draw on each other’s strengths and have good synergy. We complement each other. We are able to laugh and cry together, but more than anything, we know how to share. The common experiences of an emotional period strengthened
our bond.

Astrid van Heumen is the widow of Lode, and the mother of a darling daughter. She has two dogs, a Jack Russell and a Westie, who is currently staying with her parents in the countryside. After an international corporate career, she took an entrepreneurial path, setting up her own business, Corporate Casting, and striving for financial independence. She grew up with the belief that smart women look out for themselves. Her husband’s unexpected choice was a bolt from the blue, but she could only respect it. Astrid’s new reality is certainly a challenge, but she is continuing her life’s journey with courage and a positive mindset. She is looking to help others by sharing the knowledge, skills, and expertise she gained through first-hand experience.

Throughout her managerial and supervisory roles, Astrid has shown commitment to women’s issues.

Marianne Heemskerk is the widow of Philip and a mother of three, a pair of nerdy boy twins and a sweetheart of a daughter. She has a big dog, a Landseer, and four cats: a Ragdoll, two Norwegian Forest cats, and a Main Coon. She was blindsided by her husband’s unexpected death, but she had no other option than to accept the reality that her life changed forever in a split second. How could an independent-minded woman be so dependent on her husband? But her colorful personality could not be dulled. She emerged the stronger from this life lesson and rose to the challenges ahead.

Marianne has managerial and supervisory experience gained in a variety of organizations within the Netherlands and abroad. She sits on a number of supervisory boards and is involved in several charity projects.

Our Members

Widows for Widows makes life for new widows less overwhelming and easier to manage.
The funeral director and the notary do their stuff, but that’s only the beginning.

After that you are on your own. This is when we step in and support you as you let go and process what has
happened. It’s a stage when you probably feel that you can no longer burden your family and friends.
And after that we help you build yourself a new life. ‘There is life after his death’.


€ 50 / year

Access to our Widows Network

Priority booking for events and workshops of Widows4Widows and Widows Anonymous
10% discount for our workshops and events
10% discount on Widows Anonymous meetings

Or immerse yourself in our ‘get your life back on track’ action plan

Widows for Widows