I was widowed at the age of 56 when my dear husband died after fighting cancer for many years. Initially, I was in shock. I don't have clear memories of the first year after his death. I was muddling through on automatic pilot. Life had lost its meaning. Then, a widowed friend recommended Widowed Village, an online community of widowed people that is part of Soaring Spirits. I could read their stories, many of them were similar to mine. I finally didn't feel alone.
When I first heard about Camp Widow, I was intrigued, but intimidated. Then, the very kind and empathetic Dianne West, the volunteer coordinator for Soaring Spirits took time from her busy schedule to talk with me at length. I am so very grateful. I attended my first camp widow only 11 months post loss. At Camp Widow I met others who gave me confidence that I could navigate the extremely rocky waters of the aftermath of my dear husband's death. My dear daughters have been positively influenced as well. They love my widowed tribe. And we are all thriving. I will be forever grateful to the amazing Michele Neff Hernandez for putting together such a wonderful organization, that does so much for so many widowed people.