At the time of writing this (late, I know), I am listening to the news reports of Hurricane Sandy half a world away from me.
My thoughts immediately turned to those widows facing this disaster.
In early 2011, less than a year into widowhood, my city flooded.
My house was relatively unaffected - I was flooded repeatedly, but only by ground water which had been filtered clean by the concrete it had seeped through. It was more soul-destroying in its regularity than it was scary. I just had to sweep 3-inch-deep water out the door several times during the day (and night).
I needed someone here to tell me that it would be OK. That I was a sensible woman who could cope with this. That I had prepared well by packing emergency bags and securing the house.
But mostly what I needed to know was that I was not alone.
....and that was when some neighbours I vaguely know who live a block away, but high up on the hill knocked on my door just to let me know that if the need arose, I was more than welcome to shelter at their house.
Just knowing that these ordinary people who knew my recently widowed situation cared enough to check on me was exactly what I needed. I knew I was being looked after. I knew I wasn't alone.
So if there is one thing I want to say tonight, to anyone facing a disaster who thinks they are alone .... I hope that you also are surrounded by kindness by friends and neighbours, and by all the hope and love that the rest of your widowed community can send.