When my husband passed away, I was in shock, denial, so lost, empty, and utterly broken. I was in a soul shattered state of mind. It seemed at that time, that the goodness of my life was gone. Immersed in my own sorrow, I felt disconnected and set apart from the rest of the world. I avoided crowds and any social demands. Isolation crept in. My wonderful family and friends were so caring; nevertheless, they just could not understand or process what I was going through as a widow. I shut down.
Shortly after, a friend of a friend read one of my Facebook posts concerning my husband’s passing. She humbly reached out to me and sent me a private message. She was a part of the Hope for Widows community. Her spirit of compassion shined forth as her reaffirming and fostering words, “I get it” continue to be ingrained in my heart.
I introduced myself on the Hope for Widows closed support group and was immediately drawn to each widow’s harrowing journey…our stories that link and bind us together in such a life altering, fragile; but, profoundly strengthening manner. The Proverb, “Two in distress makes sorrow less,” rings so true, when grief is shared our burdens feel lifted; plus, the camaraderie of mutual widow sisters eases our pain. For me, Hope for Widows has been a circle of love, displaying a spectrum of support, a refuge, and a safe haven from the storm. Hope for Widows has literally saved my life.
If you are not aware, I wanted to share with you the many facets of Hope for Widows:
- Hope for Widows Foundation Facebook Page ( A Non- Profit Organization)– This is where you are reading my Wednesday blog right now, along with the other Hope for Widows authors on their designated days. This is ultimately our tool to promote public awareness, advocacy and outreach to all widows across society’s barriers.
- Hope for Widows 501 (c) 3 Closed Group- This is a forum for woman only. It is a validating sanctuary; a support system where friendships are formed and bonded. Our fellowship enables us to bear each other’s burdens, encourage, and rejoice in our steps ahead. Through this venue, we can vent, scream, cry, rant, ask for prayer, ask for suggestions, reflect, learn, and grow together as widow warriors all in a non-judgmental environment. As widows, we have mutual understanding about the unique, parallel circumstances, grief, and secondary losses that widows endure. Reading other widow’s experiences is proof that we can survive and triumph as a widow. Hearing the words, “You are not alone” eases our mind during the ebb and flow of our grief walk, facilitates the healing process, and nurtures us to embrace, embark, and forge ahead with our new normal.
As I am so addicted to Pinterest, late last night I ran across a quote. It did not list an author, so I apologize if there is one; however, the following exemplifies the community purpose of the Hope for Widows closed group. “In this group we do grace, we do real, we do raw, we do mistakes, we do forgiveness, we do praise, we do really loud, really well, we do hugs, and we do love!”
Alanna Jane Cordrey Mejias, the administrator of the closed group, does a marvelous job of monitoring with unsurpassed warmth. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hopeforwidows/
- Hope for Widows.org- This is our newly, updated website filled with a wealth of relevant information. It features our mission, vision, values and initiatives. It also encompasses the archived, author blogs, at http://hopeforwidows.org/blog/
In addition, this site shares how HFW got started. For me, this hit home. It reflected the vulnerable and personal side that reached out and grabbed me. This isn’t a corporate gig or a company that desires to financially prosper. HFW was formed at the ground roots due to one woman’s story. Michelle Livingston Eborn’s husband died in 2006. Her life was forever changed. She, along with Gwen Peterson, the other founder, who is also Michelle’s friend, decided together that they would like to graciously pay it forward and create some type of an organization that would support, empower and benefit widowed women. Hope for Widows was then birthed, truly exhibiting beauty amidst the ashes.
A new, vital component is the secure, request support page. Please use the link below to be routed to this valuable resource. https://hopeforwidows.org/resources/request-support/
Hope for Widows provides the framework and therapeutically allows us the opportunity to benefit from sharing. If you are feeling withdrawn, alone, just like I was, please seek and cultivate a support system. Invest your time in interactions and connections with those who get it. As always, please feel free to comment or share. You are all in my heart.
Blessings and Grace to Each of You,
Lisa Dempsey Bargewell
My Blog Topic for Next Wednesday: Sorting Through My Husband’s Belongings