I never imagined becoming widowed in my mid 50s - my husband, Neal, stricken by a rare cancer and dying in 2011 - and then, a year later, my packing up his Subaru and moving from a small Connecticut town to bustling Rockville, MD to be near family. It was quite the overwhelming adjustment learning the roads and finding a job and an apartment. - as well as new doctors, a new mechanic, new dry cleaner, new hairdresser - and new friends. All of this took considerable time and emotional energy - leaving little time or energy at the end of each day to sort through paperwork.
One day, I was browsing Facebook for widow support groups, and stumbled upon Widow Care. Still reluctant to think of myself as a widow (a somewhat stigma-laden word), I hesitated to call - but eventually did - and after a brief conversation and simple application process, a few weeks later, was matched with a volunteer named Hasti. For several months, Hasti came to my home and helped me sift through mounds of paperwork - and just as importantly, served as a compassionate sounding board and calming force.
I was so grateful for her support - and to this day, she and I remain friends. I am also grateful for the continued support of Widow Care and its team. I've referred other widowed friends to the organization and as I continue adjusting to my "new normal" life, I look forward to meeting new friends at future Widow Care events.
It's reassuring to know that I'm among friends and that Widow Care is there for me.