Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

Monday, December 12, 2011
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Matt and Wendy

Five of us sit around a table.  Even though there are only seven people in the small restaurant – including the five of us – our server is slow to get us our drinks.  As we wait, we talk about launching our website and the discussion turns to the best way to welcome people.  Suggestions run from starting with a specific topic to posting a general blog about grief.  Should we take a serious tone or make it light-hearted?  “Why don’t we just write about this conversation and start from the beginning?” one of the widows says.


A long pause follows. 


What is the beginning?  What is the entry point to our journey of grief?  Is it the moment our spouse dies, officially labeling us a widow/widower?  For some, is it the moment we know our spouse isn’t long for this world?  Or how about the first deathiversary, spouse’s birthday, wedding anniversary?  Is it the first time we’re buying groceries and seeing the oranges reduces us to tears because breakfasts of past always included fruit as a mainstay?  My, how healthy we all were back then.


The journey through grief is unique for everyone.  Everyone has their own starting point.  The only constant is that we are all going through it differently.  That we have to go through it at all is what binds us together.  The knowledge that there is strength in numbers is at the core of the Chicagoland Young Widowed Connection mission.  As we welcome you to CYWC’s beginning, we anticipate learning more about your beginning and look forward to you joining us on this journey.


Hi Wendy, I became a widow on Nov. 10th, 2009. I don't live in IL, but wanted to let you know that a new organization for Widows in Denver, CO, called Widow's Walk has the 1st ever curriculum for widows coming out hopefully in January. It will be something that can be done in a group for 10 weeks or it can be something that a widow can even do herself at home just to help her through her grief journey. I am friends with the founder and director of Widow's Walk (Christina Cassidy) and if you are interested in the curriculum, please contact me at and I will get you all of the forthcoming information and have Christy call you directly to talk about it. Christy became a widow at the age of 38 and has been widowed for 12 years. She raised 5 children alone and knows what it is like to be a young widow. I think it's absolutely GREAT that you have such a heart for widows. A fellow traveler in the journey, Candy

I was widowed back in 1997 and I was 32 at the time. I had two young children and I watched my husband succumb to cancer. It was awful and being widowed meant I was single but not really (especially since I had two young kids). Somehow, with much support from my community, I have moved on. I have remarried, and my kids are nearly grown. What got me through the grief was the community. I think this website is a great idea. I think it helps to know that we are not alone and that some of the thoughts and feelings we have are not unusual. In general, I think our society does not prepare us well for widowhood and having a support system/community will help many. I know that a friend of mine who was widowed 7 years ago found hope in the fact that I had moved on with my life. Over the years, I have listened to her and assured her that she is fine. And even though I've been widowed for almost 15 years, I still have those moments where I cry for the one I have lost so i don't think the grief ever totally goes away. Anyway, I hope this site takes off. I don't live in Chicago (anymore), but will try to stop by.

Thanks, Candy. I actually follow Christy's FB and am inspired by what she does!

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