The first time I met girls from the AWP it was 4 months after I lost my husband. They were the first widows I had met within 20 years of my age. We were in New Orleans on a service trip to help rebuild homes. That weekend is what inspired me to go back to school for Social Work. I found meaning in being able to connect with other girls my age who had experienced the same loss I had. I found a renewed sense of purpose in being able to help others. WidowU allowed me the chance to evaluate the choices I was making in regards to my body and my health. I feel that Maya Angelou’s words “When you know better, you do better” is applicable to my life since connecting with these programs. I have been able to let go of a lot of my anger. I feel focused on my goals and connected to life again.
I encourage anyone who is considering either of these programs to definitely go. At first, I was really nervous before my first trip, because I realized that I was getting on a plane to go to a city I had never been to, in order to spend time with women I had never met. I met some of my closest friends in New Orleans and I feel that by getting involved with the AWP as early as I did, I was able to re-route my life in a positive direction a lot earlier than I would have been able to otherwise.
I am not going to lie and say all of the positive growth was immediate or easy, but I met people who were willing to walk through my grief with me. Having friends that I could text at any time, just to talk and listen. Every girl has a different story, every story offers me insight and growth.