FROM THE CAMP WIDOW EXPERIENCE
A – ALLOWING myself to need help was harder to do than one might think. It allowed me to receive.
B – BY the time I arrived at my second camp, it was not long before I found a familiar face and a warm hug.
C – CARING for myself in ways that are new and different have proven to be instrumental in my healing journey. Camp Widow is a key piece in my current self care.
D – DARING to put my needs first has become a critical survival skill during grief.
E – ENERGY varies during grief, so I gave myself permission to take a “Camp Widow Nap” in the middle of my first day in Tampa.
F – FINDING normalcy among other widows and widower’s brought me a feeling of relief and comfort ways I did not expect.
G – GROWING on the path of grief requires a decision on my part to say “yes” to life.
H – HOPE is tangible at Camp Widow. (See quote in “A”)
I – IN keeping with the value I have for community, actively seeking out peer support fits my needs.
J – JUMPING into leading a small group felt normal, but when I explored the possibility I found that I am not ready yet.
K – KINDNESS is one of the hallmarks of Camp Widow.
L – LEARNING to be in this new life as a single person takes a good amount of humility and asks that I return to “beginners mind” in this new world of grief.
M – MANY (many!) caring folks stand ready to support and listen at Camp Widow. They do their best to help campers to have a great experience with kind and generous spirits.
N – NO need to explain at Camp Widow! We are all there because we lost our person. Such relief in that!
O – OVERCOMING shyness or awkwardness is possible where kindness dwells. (See “K”)
P – PRACTICAL considerations seem insurmountable at times. In the end, it is possible to overcome obstacles with dogged determination. (Hint: . . . sometimes we have to ask for help.)
Q – QUIET spaces to sit by myself, with essential oils, or a puzzle or book, are available as quiet repose for widowed folks at Camp Widow.
R – RELAXING is also a part of the recipe for healing at camp.
S – SITTING with other widows and widowers offers great comfort to me. All throughout our time together one person or another mentions their person….something that is missing since they are gone, or ways that the surviving person has had to step up now that they’re gone. I treasure these conversations.
T – “TRANSFORMATION is only possible when we are truly open to evolving…Michele Neff Hernandez.” Transformation is not an easy process. Just ask a butterfly.
U – UNDERNEATH the flow of workshops, keynotes, yummy food, and special events is a lot of hard work and commitment from the Soaring Spirits team. Thank you!
V – VERY, very, very, very, grateful that I was able to attend Camp Widow this year.
W – WIDOW OR WIDOWER is a heavy title. It helps to be with others who are exploring how this new, unwanted, status is impacting us.
X – X-TRA love and support is available at Camp Widow. It is beautiful to witness in a myriad of ways.
Y – You can come as you are to Camp Widow, and to any of the Soaring Spirits gatherings. For me, there is a strong pull toward these gatherings in which no formal agenda takes over. Instead, just person-to-person conversations and folks holding space for the process of grief that can be unpredictable.
Z – Zoom meetings on Soaring Spirits International makes it possible to find support right from your home. Join us!