Thursday, January 27, 2011

Widows Resource: What's A Widows Conference Like?

Kelly and Joannah 1/22/11
Dear Reader,
These two young widows in California met in person last Saturday at this widows conference. Isn't it cool that they could meet each other? They first got introduced on Facebook. They both follow Randy Alcorn, and Joannah could relate to a comment that Kelly left with Randy. So Joannah sent Kelly a friend request, and look what has blossomed!

If you're on Facebook, go ahead and friend me, and then I'll add you to my Lifeboat group so you can get status updates from other widows I know. (Don't worry, you won't be flooded with updates from Lifeboat).

Kelly's experience at the widows conf was posted yesterday, so just scroll down to Wednesday if you haven't read that already. And here's Joannah's take on it. But please, please, please--let me know right away when you hear of one of these conferences so I can get the news out. It's great to attend and meet like-minded widows. If I have the time and opportunity, I'll be there too, and look forward to meeting you!

Dear Ferree,
Kelly and I attended an abbreviated version of the retreat. I couldn't make it Friday night, and we both decided not to stay Saturday night and Sunday morning. For me it was just too hard to be away from home in my physical condition.

Yesterday's session included a couple of widows sharing their stories. I liked that they were able to see God's hand in all the circumstances surrounding their losses. We heard from a widow who, like you, has since remarried. She and her second husband run a grief ministry right here in my own neighborhood. She spoke a lot about the stages of grief, and what's to be expected in the first three years after the loss.

At lunch we were able to sit with some other young widows. They all had children who were teens or younger. We shared our stories. Everyone was at a different place in their journey.

After lunch, we spent time in small groups answering questions that the before-lunch speaker had for us. This gave us an opportunity to go a little deeper with our experiences and our feelings. I would say that this was the most emotional part of the day for many, as we had to focus on specific aspects of our losses and our new lives.

After lunch we attended a tea, and had more time to visit.

The keynote speaker was not scheduled to speak until after dinner, and so we both missed that. I wish she had been scheduled earlier in the day, as I was looking forward to hearing what she had to say.

Overall, I'd say that this was a good conference/retreat. If I wasn't dealing with pregnancy issues, I would have been happy to have been there all weekend. Everyone was very inclusive and supportive. The coordinators had come up with a lovely, feminine theme and carried it out really well. I loved that it was Christ-centered and we were free to share our eternal perspectives on this life and the next.

I would encourage other Christian widows to attend events like this. I think it's important for us to connect with others in similar situations and offer our understanding and love to each other.

Read more about Joannah and her experiences on her blog, Beauty for Ashes, listed on the sidebar.
Thank you, Joannah!
PS. Don't forget to friend me (Ferree Hardy) on Facebook if you'd like to be in the Lifeboat group.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ferree -

    I never knew sites like this existed when my husband died. Thankfully, someone introduced me to GriefShare.

    I'll see if I can locate you on Facebook. :)



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