Widow Support Groups

I believe that “Widow Support Groups” are enormously comforting and helpful if you are talking to other widows who are struggling with the same issues.

Some widows are just not interested in face to face support groups.  They prefer to connect online because they feel safer from their own homes.  Find out what kind of support groups will work for you and then seek them out.

In the end, it’s really your responsibility to look for grief support – no one can do it for you.  Seek out a group that makes you feel comfortable, and that may mean that groups for both men and women may not be for you.

It’s important for widows to understand that their life changes best when they match the changes to what fits their personality.  Is it enough to honor each day, seek the beauty around us and do a gratitude journal?  No – I wish it was that simple, but grief doesn’t have a simple fix.

We need to share our grief with others, to not only get their support but also to give support.  All our relationships shifted when we started our grief journey, not as a couple but as a single person.  It is almost as if living is new to us, and we need the support of others that have travelled this path.

I have a public Facebook group, but I also have a private Facebook group called “The Sisterhood of Widows – Private Group for Widows” that is currently over 11,000 widows from around the world.  Widows support and encourage each other as they reinvent themselves and heal their broken hearts.  It’s a safe place to stop running and face the reality of our new lives; the good, the bad and the ugly.

We need to be gentle with ourselves and accept that we are doing the best we can.  At times, we will fall down and need another widow who listens and understands our pain.  There is something about us widows, the feelings of desolation and loneliness that most people do not understand.  It’s very difficult to describe or explain our grief to those that have not lost their spouse.

Our community has widows from their thirties to eighties and age doesn’t seem to matter.  We have widowhood in common and it strengthens our community.  I’m constantly impressed that every widow in our community understands the importance of listening, understanding and supporting each other.

We all have a grief journey to share, and everyone recognizes that it heals our broken heart when we feel normal and accepted.

Whatever “Widow Support Group” you choose, online or in person, make sure that you feel accepted and understood.  Your feelings matter and you should never start wearing the mask of “I’m okay” so that others are comfortable around you.

11 Responses

  1. Luanne Reilly
    | Reply

    Your words are always said at just the perfect time.

  2. Denise Leach
    | Reply

    This is so true. I am a widow with no family. Thank you for creating a place I feel I belong and not being all alone.

  3. Carolyn Burby
    | Reply

    I just saw this group and have been needing to talk with others about starting over again. I lost my husband and just needed someone to talk with once in a while

    • Denise Leach
      | Reply

      Hi Carol, it’s so hard. I’m here if you need a ear to share

      • Carolyn Burby
        | Reply

        Thank you for the response

  4. Karen Achatz
    | Reply

    I am very grateful for you, Mary Francis. I really rely on the Private Facebook group to help me through this new reality. Thank you for your kindness and openness.

  5. Maria saia
    | Reply

    Need support. Loss of spouse in September. Limiting support groups by me. I am not alone

  6. Martha Moseler
    | Reply

    I lost my husband of 21 years last year April. I have been to a support group but i felt like that wasn’t for me i went 1 time i was invited by a friend who lost his wife. I have also been online with hospice and that was okay.
    I do live with 2 of my children but i have days that it jsut isn’t enough.

  7. Beth Finkelstein
    | Reply

    Hello, I lost my husband 4 1/2 years ago, (we were married for 30 years), he was killed in a bike accident. I moved two years ago from NYC to be near my daughter in LA, not because I wanted to leave NY. So I am in a new place. I am lost because I don’t know anyone here “in my shoes,” and it is very different than the east coast. I am not on Facebook, and I really don’t want to be. Is there a group or a way to talk with people who have been where I have been without doing it through FB? Thank you:)

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      You would have to reach out locally to see what is available. Check with Hospice, Churches, Funeral Homes for grief groups.

      Also join local hobbies and try new things. If you don’t like Facebook you could see Google for grieve support and see what comes up.

      Lots of great videos on YouTube and audios on podcasts.

      Sorry for your loss.
      Mary Francis

      • Beth Finkelstein
        | Reply

        Thank you!
        I think, since this is less about grief and more about finding friends who have been through loss, I am going to start with joining clubs and pursuing hobbies out of the home.

        The new things I have tried have so far been solo! Surfing at 60- which is wonderful , but not social , I knit and so I can try the one knitting group in all of Santa Barbara…

        Another flooding storm is coming this weekend, so I have to hunker down. But next week I can investigate. And, thankfully I have a wonderful trip planned in 2 weeks. I would love to find a group here, but churches and funeral homes… I am not religious at all- are these just common locations for meetings? I looked online, everything seems geared towards finding a new love, ( not for me), or are God and Church related healing, ( not for me.)

        Outside of the home interests is a great place to start. Thank you!

        And I am sorry for YOUR loss…

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