Last year, 22-year-old Taryn Davis lost her husband, Cpl. Michael W. Davis, in an IED bombing in Iraq. Not only was she heartbroken, but she was amazed by the lack of resources available for men and women who had lost their spouses in military conflicts.
So she decided to help fill that void herself in the form of the American Widow Project, a documentary and nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the spouses of men and women killed in military conflicts through the grieving process.
The documentary, shown at film festivals around the country, is comprised of Taryn’s taped visits with young widows around the country. “It was for me,” she told the New York Times of making the film. “I was hoping I would learn a little about what my life would be like without Michael. I really just wanted to know that I wasn’t alone.”
The AWP Web site provides a 24-hour hotline for widows, staffed by men and women who have lost military spouses. It also provides networking assistance to help connect widows with local people willing to volunteer services like babysitting and counseling.
The Web site’s resources range from information on planning a funeral to dealing with military protocol, but perhaps most uniquely, the site provides forums for spouses to share stories, advice, memories and photographs to help one another cope with their grief.