A good place to start connecting as a widow is at church, possibly a women's Bible study or prayer group. If the group doesn't go out for coffee once in a while, suggest it. I found it's not a good idea to rush in a social whirlwind to start with. However, if a woman friend tries to connect be open to it. Take her phone number and call her. It's easy does it, but do it!
In time, Gary and I set aside our fears and anxiety and self-pity, and learned - instead of counting all that would never be the same - to count all that remained.