… a story.
It was September of 2022 in Denver at the local community college. A widow, finding no support options in Mississippi, arrives via a road trip where Soaring Spirits is offering a one-day program for widowed people. What was she thinking when she arrived? She did not know a soul and discovered the program online. Exhausted by grief, and the long drive, she stands under the stairwell to catch her breath.
A different widow, at the same location, flew in the night before from Riverside, California. Her widowed brain sorted through the doubt that was her new best friend since losing her person. As a Camp Widow ambassador she was there to watch for new “campers” coming in that may look lost, or overwhelmed. Her new friend, doubt, asked: Would she know the right thing to say?
each one “taking a big step” to show up
Everyone present, those receiving help for the first time since their loss and those who’ve attended a Soaring Spirits event and arrive to help others; each make their own version of “taking a big step” to show up in the hope of tending to the crippling grief of losing their person. A surprise element often arrives: serendipity.
The two widows meet under the stairwell and find immediately that they both lost their husbands and have come to Camp Widow to begin to sort out their grief; to look their grief in the eye and ask the hard questions. Coffee may have been offered; details for the day exchanged. The widow there for the first time moves on to the registration table while the second widow watches for anyone who appears lost or in need of a friendly face.
each come to Camp Widow to begin to sort out their grief
It’s impossible to describe what happens next, but those who’ve attended a Camp Widow event describe it as life-changing. Inspirational talks, self-selected, relevant workshops that include tips for what to do when you are crying suddenly over something. How to muster courage to keep going.
The two widows find each other after the closing activity. They are surprised to find that the rocks they created featured identical words for their husbands—integrity.
As if that is not enough synchronicity for one story, fast forward to Camp Widow Tampa this past weekend. Melody and Kathie (the names of said widows) meet-up at the beginning of the weekend, neither knowing that the other would be there.
a deja vous moment
Each widow followed the path of her needs and occasionally they would see one another and wave or grab a quick hug. Several times they share the story of how they met at the pop-up in Colorado and wrote the same word for their husbands.
On the last night, which provided another opportunity to say our person’s name and honor them, we picked from four words written on a shamrock: Faith, hope, joy, and love.
In a final moment of serendipity, linking Colorado 2022 to Florida 2023, my new friend and I unknowingly picked the same word! Joy!
And that, my friends, is synchronicity!
Long live Camp Widow!
Long live love!