When the orginial founder, Michelle Eborn’s husband died in 2006, her life changed forever. The week between his death and funeral services was a blur. There were people around her comforting her but no one there knew or understood the pain of losing a husband in his 30s let alone while she was pregnant. The viewing came and two widowed angels appeared. They let her know that they did understand her pain because they too had recently lost husbands who where in their 30s and they too had been pregnant. At that moment, was Michelle’s first glimmer of hope.
Luckily, Michelle lived in a neighborhood with many resourceful people. She quickly learned that there were all types of bereavement groups but very few resources specifically for widows. She kept saying that some day she would like to pay it forward and create some type of an organization that would support widowed women giving them resources of therapists, coaches, financial planners, insurance agents, etc.
As time went on, Michelle started to heal. At this same time, Gwen Peterson the other original founder who is also Michelle’s best friend, was doing a lot of personal development work to determine where her 15 years of corporate experience and her stay at home mom experience could mesh. In January of 2011, Gwen started realizing that she is in her element when she is leading and serving people. Having been in the trenches with Michelle during her darkest days, Gwen realized it was time to make Michelle’s dream into a reality.
Fast forward to November 2016, Chasity Williams, Khadija Ali and Maureen Bobo came in contact with Gwen Peterson to see how they could assist and network with her in the grieving community and their Foundation. They feel blessed and humbled to announce after several months and conversations later that their dream, their vision and their purpose of serving an ever-growing widow community has come to fruition this month with their new 501c Foundation called Hope for Widows. What would have taken many years for the three busy women to get off the ground, has so graciously fallen into their laps. It is due to the dedication and to the devotion of founders Gwen Peterson and Michelle Eborn that the Hope for Widows foundation exists. As the new directors of Hope for Widows, Maureen, Chasity and Khadija will carry the torch that Gwen and Michelle and their board of directors lit to a new and an expanded audience of women.
Maureen, Chasity and Khadija may have different perspectives on widowhood, but they are united in their motivation to plant seeds of hope in the hearts of other widows. Over the last four years, the newly instated directors of Hope for Widows brainstormed how they might make an impact within the precious widow community. The three realized that their individual stories needed to be shared, as other women will relate with their unique grieving processes, their personal stresses, and their individual uncertainties. It was with that perspective that their book, The Unwelcome Committee, was published.
Writing The Unwelcome Committee was a true labor of love. Its pages were written in spite of the pain they felt and at great sacrifice. As single mothers, finding the time to write had to be balanced with raising children, maintaining households, working full-time jobs, and even finding pockets of time for self-care. The book is raw, uncut and has many personal reflections that may be surprising to read, but it is also a source of strength for women who struggle with the loss of their spouse or partner; women who are struggling to cope with their reality.
To all the widows who yearn to find solace, the directors of Hope for Widows desire that you’ll find peace in knowing that faith is not believing that GOD will make our ideas and plans happen if we give them to Him, but rather, faith is a steadfast trust that what He leads us to and through is better than what we ever planned!
You do not walk the path of grief alone. Your broken heart can be repaired and can be made stronger. Your grief can be turned into hope. Healing Happens.
Maureen, Chasity and Khadija invite you to reach out to them if you or someone you care about will benefit from their strong network of widows. We are dedicated and eager to carry this torch beyond expected.
As widows, we relate. We understand. We listen. We care.