Our Story

Widowed Friends helps support positive changes to the well being of widows and widowers in our communities through inclusion and friendship.

What do I do now?

Months after devastating loss, Stephanie Etherington asked herself, “What do I do now?

Life completely changed following the death of her husband and she found herself alone and socially isolated as a young widow. Her past was no longer a shared history; the future she imagined no longer existed. The only way forward meant a complete life transformation.

With inspiration from friendships within her bereavement group, Stephanie realized the importance of widows and widowers forming new connections and friendships with others who shared similar experiences. She started to look for other widows and widowers like herself who were trying to break out of their loneliness. 

The idea behind Widowed Friends is to provide a community where widows and widowers can find meaning again within a safe community of friends who understand loss and the feelings they’re going through. In keeping with the organization’s mission to “empower widows and widowers to take steps to rebuild their lives and create a positive future”, the butterfly was chosen for the logo because of its message of hope and transformation

Stephanie’s insight led to the first small gathering of “widowed friends” which grew into the creation of a new and unique community for widows and widowers. Today, the group is thriving with Stephanie as founder, along with Lesley Morris, Communications and PR, and Penny Ryan, Events Coordinator

The idea behind Widowed Friends is to provide a community where widows and widowers find meaning again within a safe community of friends who understand loss and the feelings they’re going through. In keeping with the organization’s mission to “empower widows and widowers to take steps to rebuild their lives and create a positive future”, the butterfly was chosen for the logo because of its message of hope and transformation

As the group continued to grow, there was another kind of disruption—a global pandemic.

This time, transformation was thrust upon the world when shutdowns, masks, and social distancing, changed all our expectations, disrupted plans, wreaked havoc with social lives, and added a new dimension of uncertainty to the future

All of this led to a complete re-thinking of the organization—a transformation for Widowed Friends, particularly in the way in which the organization connected with those looking for others to share their journey.  Virtual platforms offered many opportunities to connect with existing and new members and provide a variety of services and support from social get togethers, guest speakers, sessions focused on loss and even virtual bingo games.

Today, if you are newly widowed or widowed for many years, the Widowed Friends community is here for you.  We are a social community focusing on building new friendships and rebuilding lives.  Being together as virtual friends or in-person, brings new confidence, and a tremendous relief that it is possible to start again. 

Our lives are going to be different, there is no question. But this doesn’t mean we can’t find some happiness, some joy and make new friends. And it’s okay to feel that joy when it comes along.

 

I’m ready to join 

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