Nearly 700,000 women lose their husbands each year and will be widows for an average of 14 years.
— U.S. Bureau of the Census 1999
The founders of Hope for Widows know how hard it is to pick up the pieces when a husband, and often father passes. It can be devastating for even the strongest of women. Immediately the burdens of the spouse’s role are hefted upon the shoulders of the grieving widow who is neither financially, mentally, physically nor emotionally equipped to deal with these new responsibilities. Our hope is to mitigate this feeling of being totally overwhelmed by providing immediate contact, lasting support and a wealth of resources to widowed women across the country.
Michelle Eborn and Gwen Peterson are the co-founders of Hope for Widows. Michelle’s life changed forever in May 2006 when her 34 year old husband died of a Cardiac Arrhythmia during the St. George Triathlon. Michelle was six months pregnant with their fifth child. Gwen, her best friend, stepped in and helped Michelle run her life. The week between his death and funeral services was a blur. There were people comforting her, but no one truly understood the pain of losing a husband at such a young age.
At the memorial service two widowed angels appeared. They said, “You don’t know us, but we’re going to become good friends. Our husbands died, too.” It was the first sense of relief that Michelle had felt. They weren’t just saying “we’re sorry”. They understood. At that moment, she found her first glimmer of hope.
While Michelle received much help and care from family and friends, perhaps the greatest support she received was from this group of widows with whom she was forming a quick and everlasting friendship. Michelle knew that someday she would like pay this kindness forward and create an organization that would provide similar support for other widowed women.
Gwen has always been in her element when leading, organizing, and serving people. Having been in the trenches with Michelle during her darkest days, Gwen realized she could assist Michelle in making her dream a reality. In January of 2011, Gwen and Michelle founded Hope Connecting Widows Worldwide, DBA: Hope for Widows.Read More