Sis married the son of a Baptist minister and with a dispensation in our Church but he presided. She soon left the Catholic Church and both went to Baptist for a while, until his brother died of a heart attack at age 32 leaving a wife and 2 small children. BIL left church completely, refused to grieve (as did the parents, outwardly) and they practiced no religion for a long time. She continued to sing in a choir of a large Lutheran church because she loves music and they still sing the beautiful stuff Catholics tossed out.
FF 20 years, and BIL’s father and mother are both ill with devastating diseases, and the sister-in-law has MS, daughters are grown up. He is madder at God than ever, but MIL asks for prayers for family. Sis asks me for a crucifix (not a plain cross) and a rosary. I send a scriptural rosary book, a rosary blessed by the pope and a crucifix from the Holy Land. Turns out the entire Baptist family, minus the angry BIL is praying the scriptural rosary. Father has a peaceful holy death, MIL gets better, the sister in law goes into remission, daughters experience spiritual healing. All are now praying the rosary.
BIL has a bad heart attack scare, and has always neglected his health because he figures he will die the same way his brother did. Sis asks me for a statue of Mary, for Baptists, mind you. I send her a folk art OL Guadalupe from Mexico, beautiful, with the story of Juan Diego including the complete symbolism of the image. This coincides (deliberately on my part) with a highly publicized sighting of a supposed image of our Lady in a public place which attracted thousands of people.
In the meantime, sis has sung twice in choirs for the Pope’s visits to her city, and for the funeral of their cardinal who died the same year as our mother and BIL’s father, all 3 times during beautiful Masses with the whole nine yards of Catholic liturgical splendor. She also sang in a memoral Mass for Pope JP2 last year for the diocese.
bottom line Sis and BIL are now attending a Catholic Church, entire family still praying the scriptural rosary, only now they are saying the Hail Mary’s, the sister and daughters are in inquiry classes for RCIA, the MIL is sick again but has regular visits from a Catholic chaplain. BIL went through an extended grieving period, finally, for his brother and father, almost a breakdown, lost his job, and is now in the throes of a full blown conversion of all aspects of his life. bottom line God works when, where and how he wills, and when he really wants to ramp things up he sends Our Lady to do the job.
For your husbands who are grieving - pray the rosary, pray the rosary, pray the rosary. The Eucharist is the sacrament of spiritual healing. Lift up your family during the consecration and in your thanksgiving after receiving. Spend time in adoration specifically lifting up your dead loved ones and your grieving families.