Connie Winch

SSI provides a community of people who truly get it, and it includes all who've lost to death the person they believed they'd spend the rest of their lives with. These are the biggest reasons why SSI is so valuable to me.

  • Newly Widowed Packet

    Newly widowed packets are never sent out unsolicited. In order to respect the privacy of any widowed person, we ask that packets requested by friends or family members on behalf of a newly widowed person be sent to the address of the requesting party. The packet could then be delivered to the widowed person by someone they know and trust.

    The protection of privacy is a vital part of our programs, and we very much appreciate your cooperation.

    Send request

  • commented on Vulnerability 2018-03-19 23:19:31 -0700
    In case you’re not already familiar: On vulnerability generally (so..not about widowhood): “I know that vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.” -Brené Brown in her TED talk The Power of Vulnerability. 💜

  • @UnweddedWidow tweeted link to Membership. 2018-04-29 17:40:47 -0700
    Just made a donation to @SoaringSpirits International to ensure that widowed people everywhere can access its support resources. Join me?


    Alumni, Community Supporters and Friends of Soaring Spirits
    Become a Soaring Spirits International Member Today
    Because Hope Matters!

    *Membership is never required for access to services.

    Soaring Spirits provides innovative programs, such as Camp Widow®, Widowed Village, the Newly Widowed Packet Program, Widowed Pen Pal, and the You are Not Alone Outreach. These unique resources have been lifelines, if not live-saving, for widowed men and women trying to rebuild their lives post-loss. 

    You can help fund and sustain these vital services
    by joining the Soaring Spirits International Membership Program.

    Whether you are one of our many alumni who have experienced and benefited from Soaring Spirits’ programs, a family member who’s witnessed a life reclaimed because of our intervention, or a community supporter who wants to reach out to neighbors in need, your contribution will ensure that our inclusive programs continue to thrive and provide
    resources, community and hope to any widowed person in need.


    The mission of Soaring Spirits is to help widowed people find hope, and to find each other.

    We connect and support over three million widowed people in communities across the United States, and around the world; and in eight short years, have become the worldwide leader in providing grief-recovery resources for the widowed.

    Because we LOVE our donors, giving comes with perks!

    Choose your level of giving now:

    $100 per month or $1,200 annual payment

    • Your loved one will be commemorated on a 4x4 photo tribute tile on our Wall of Love permanent installation
    housed at the Soaring Spirits Resilience Center at Schreiner University. 

    • 10% discount at all Camp Widow stores

    • Soaring Spirits full color membership pin

    $25 per month or $300 annual payment

    • Receive “Hopeful Musings” – A limited edition inspirational book written by Soaring Spirits founder Michele Neff Hernandez

    • 10% discount at all Camp Widow stores

    • Soaring Spirits full color membership pin

    $20 per month or $240 annual payment

    • Receive a signature Soaring Spirits mug

    • 10% discount at all Camp Widow stores

    • Soaring Spirits full color membership pin

    $15 per month or $180 annual payment

    • Receive an inspirational custom hand painted token

    • 10% discount at all Camp Widow stores

    • Soaring Spirits full color membership pin

    Your membership will help sustain the programs of Soaring Spirits and ensure that men and women who are widowed tomorrow will have a community of support available to them from the first moment of their widowhood, and for years to come. Thank you. 

    *Soaring Spirits membership provides an opportunity for our community to support Soaring Spirits programs with a small monthly donation. Membership is never required for access to services.



  • commented on Making Plans Anyway 2016-05-31 07:20:36 -0700
    I absolutely LOVE The Gifts of Imperfection! Hope you do too. =)

  • commented on A Light In the Dark - My Tribute to Soaring Spirits International 2016-05-27 10:11:11 -0700
    Beautiful, Kelley. ❤

  • commented on Pre-planning your Emotional Response to Death...Ain't it Precious? 2016-05-25 14:23:26 -0700
    @alison: OMG, I love you! You ROCK, sister! #WidowsRock

    After a while (it’s been almost 12 years here…), my response to “Ron wouldn’t want you to be sad” was: Even when he was ALIVE, his not wanting me to be sad didn’t take away whatever it was that made me sad! As you pointed out…doesn’t. work. that. way.

    P.S. If you ever make your way through central Ohio, please look me up! :)

  • commented on The Champ 2016-05-07 16:10:45 -0700
    The more stories I hear, the more discouraged I get, tbh. And I don’t feel strong enough to handle all the creepiness, misogyny, and just plain meanness that seems to abound. That’s even though I’ve had my heart broken so many times. :(

  • commented on I Will Never Move On 2016-02-22 10:30:19 -0800
    Preach, my sister.

    Took me a while to get this read, but I finally did. And I’ll share it widely too.


  • commented on What does a Widow Look Like? 2016-05-13 06:24:15 -0700
    ((((Adenike)))) Big hugs. I’m so sorry you’ve had to join the “club” no one wants to join. You’ve come to the right place…we get it here, and we care.

    If you live near one of Soaring Spirits’ Regional Groups, you’ll be able to get together regularly with people who truly get it. You can find those groups here: Whether you live near one of those or not, you can access online support 24/7 through the Widowed Village forum. See Online support saved my life in the early days because I could log on in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep and chat with others who understood.

    And there are even more resources…here: and here: I hope you’re able to find an avenue of support that works for you.

    Be gentle with you. <3

  • commented on Grief Timeline 2015-10-28 13:17:02 -0700
    If “you can expect to grieve one year for every five years that you were married,” where would that have left me? Makes me wonder what that counselor would have said to me about grieving the loss of a dream that was never and will never be fulfilled.

    Michele, thank you as always for “holding the space” for us all to grieve at our own pace and in our own way.

  • commented on The Other Side: Dating A Widower 2015-09-04 09:53:14 -0700
    “I don’t think someone has to be widowed or understand the widow experience to be able to give that to a widowed person. I think more people out there than we even realize have the capacity to give such love.” Absolutely agree. <3

  • followed One-Time Donation 2016-11-29 10:21:38 -0800

  • commented on The Warrior and the Wildflowers 2015-08-17 15:11:43 -0700
    You’re familiar with Brené Brown…right? ;-) If not, you will love this:

    I think sometimes my problem is the opposite: I’m, to a degree at least, too open. I mean, there are people who aren’t equipped to hear and relate to our deep selves. Discerning who is and isn’t is not an easy task.

    Anyway, great post!

  • commented on JesusMaryandJoseph is all I have to Say About This~ 2015-07-15 18:12:10 -0700
    “I miss Chuck more than ever when things such as this happen.” So relatable. Way to see that guy for who he is and stay strong in what you know you need and want.

  • wants to volunteer 2015-05-28 11:06:53 -0700


    VolunteerAll of our innovative programs are powered by volunteers who spend their time serving our widowed community. Led by our National Volunteer Coordinator, Dianne West, our volunteer team works both onsite, and from the comfort of their own homes.

    Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

    • Widowed Village support team
    • Widow’s Voice blog writers
    • Share the Road Ride and Widow Dash committees
    • Community Outreach

    Onsite Volunteer Opportunities

    • Camp Widow®
    • Soaring Spirits events
    • In the Soaring Spirits office
    • Regional Group Leader

    Our volunteers help ensure that our programs run smoothly, and are consistently available to the next widowed person who needs to know that they are not alone.

    If you’d like to make a difference by becoming a Soaring Spirits volunteer, please fill out the form below.

    Become a volunteer

Unwedded widow. On September 4, 2004, my fiance Ron died at 34 from a sudden heart attack caused by severe obesity.
Donate Volunteer Membership