The foundation of Hope for Widows is firmly embedded in the bedrock of experience. From its leaders to its newest member, Hope for Widows is a support system for, and developed by widowed women.
The current and future need for Hope for Widows is enormous. In the United States alone, an estimated 700,000 women lose their husbands each year. Confusion combined with uncertainty exacerbates the shock of losing a husband. In this brittle environment, depression, loneliness, blame and a feeling of worthlessness, may become overwhelming and too much to bear.
Hope for Widows know first-hand how hard it is to pick up the pieces when a husband and often father pass. 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.
91% of widows say the death of their spouse or partner is the worst thing that has ever happened to them.
A 2011 prospective study published by Cornell University examined the physical and mental health of widows against their non-widowed counterparts. Their research found that a sharp decline in positive emotions was the largest contributing factor to the widow’s physical and emotional health.
Hope for Widows’ core tenet calls for action on the part of its membership in the wake of a new widow case. Almost immediately, widows reach out to the grieving, and perform a type of intervention. This positive interposition from fellow widows has been found to initiate the healing process.
When help and advice come directly from peers, individuals who share similar life experiences, the bonding process that results creates a positive outcome. A peer has “been there, done that” and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. From the military to the mental health and disabilities communities, peer support programs have demonstrated that helping others can be an important part of the healing process.
Hope for Widows reaches out across society’s barriers to all widowed women. We respect everyone’s beliefs and espouse no specific religious or philosophical ideology. We welcome widows of all ages, grieving the death of a spouse and from any cause. We do not take sides on political issues or endorse political candidate. We treat each other with care and respect, showing consideration for those with whom we may disagree.
We can’t eliminate the grief journey, but it’s clear that there are all sorts of things, big and small, that we can do to make the path more manageable. — Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation.
Our Mission: Easing the burdens of widows and their families.
We support widows through the grieving process and beyond by providing life transition resources and immediate peer connections; facilitating the healing process and allowing them to rebuild and re-engage in life.
Our Vision: Building peer-to-peer support
Our vision is to be a strong network of widows – empowering our members through shared experience. We open the door to a safe haven for widows, ensuring they do not go through their experience alone, but with life-long connections and lasting support. We relate. We understand. We listen. We care.