Updated: Dec 28, 2019
HELPING RESIDENTS FACE A DIFFICULT PERIOD IN THEIR LIVES
In the cycle of love and marriage, there eventually comes the possibility of the loss of a spouse. This is a time where feelings of sadness and loneliness can become overwhelming for the newly widowed persons who are struggling to make a new life after the death of their partner.
For 43 years, Widows Or Widowers (W.O.W.) have been connecting their members in similar situations to lend support, understanding and a new door to each other. “It can be so easy to slip into a self-pity frame of mind. Not wanting to make the effort to get out there and start anew, alone,” says Dave Spero, President of W.O.W. West Suburbs (The Original W.O.W.). “Meeting and communicating with others in your same situation is a big step.”
W.O.W. works through many of the Grief Groups provided at churches, funeral homes, hospitals and senior centers. The organization is not the initial grief group, but rather the next step after that. The requirements for membership are you must have been married to your spouse at the time of their passing, and you must not have remarried since then. One of the groups within W.O.W. called “A New Direction” will contact widowed people from six to ten months after losing a loved one and invite them to an introductory meeting with other newly widowed persons. Shortly after, they are invited to a Social Gathering meeting where they can meet more members and learn of the many social activities that are offered within the group.
The program has many recurring monthly programs to spur different interests from bowling the first Sunday of every month, golf during golf season, book clubs, dining nights out, Sunday brunches, and movie and pizza nights. Along with these various activities, special events and outings are planned throughout the year including bus trips to casinos, theatres, baseball games, and the race track. Fun holiday parties allow the members the opportunity to celebrate with each other.
“This group has helped me continue on with my life in a better way,” explains Dave. “I’ve been a member since 2003 and have met so many new friends and had so many fun experiences.”
If you know anyone who might benefit from this organization, please find more information on their website at www.wow.cfsites.org .
Mindy’s February Giving Inspiration: Introduce yourself to someone new. Make new colleagues, classmates, neighbors feel welcome.
ABOUT THE WRITER Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.