Dayton Community and Support Group for Widows
Our Mission for Widows
We serve to empower widows to lean into life, build resilience and make a positive difference in society.
Modern Widows Club is designed to create a safe and private environment for widows to lean into life together through the journey.
We are the club no one wants to be in because you only get in by virtue of experiencing a great loss. Yet what I hope you find once you’re here is that you’re surrounded by a community of really amazing women that you can lean on and learn from. We’re widows helping widows to live– to go upward and onward. Sometimes we cry and sometimes we laugh. We talk about how to tackle challenges without our husbands’ help and cheer each other on. We often share food as we do this, because who doesn’t like to eat?
When a woman loses her husband she tends to feel very alone. Regardless of her age or circumstances, she can use other women in her life who understand the unique challenges she is now faced with. She needs women who will build her up and encourage her in this new life she walks. We are stronger together. No woman is an island. We need each other.
Meet Our Community Advocates
I am a lifelong resident of the Miami Valley (Dayton Ohio area), born and raised here. I’m the 2nd oldest of nine siblings. Married for 53 years, widowed April 28, 2018, and I have 4 children and 11 grandchildren. One of the best achievements in my life is the success of my children. Two sons, my daughter, and a grandson are Marine Vets, with a grandson graduating from West Point this year. All three sons own businesses and my daughter is a nurse who is a coordinator for several nursing homes in the Pittsburgh area. I owned a cleaning business, “Dabbelt’s Janitorial Inc.” for 12 years and now one of my sons is the owner and is a barber who owns Normandy Barber shop. My youngest son is the owner of 3 Granite Transformations franchises and my oldest is an independent carpenter. I was children’s director for Christ Life Church for 5 years and still am very involved in this Church now called Lifepointe. I have been a Realtor for 18 years and love working with buyers and sellers.
After becoming a widow, I began looking for something to help me resume living again. I began searching for a widow’s support group. I could only find grief counseling in my area. I wanted something more and came across Modern Widows Club. I listened to Carolyn’s podcast and said to myself, this is what I need. After contacting them I found that there weren’t any communities near me. I felt a call in my spirit to look into starting a group in the Dayton, Ohio area, and after several interviews, I was invited to go to the Leadership conference in Nashville. I would say that it was love at first sight. The widows there were amazing. So much love and devotion from all of them. Although I am in the beginning stages of starting my group, I have a heart to touch other widows in my area and help them be resilient and contribute to society.
My name is Bryony. I’m a Registered Nurse, certified grief recovery specialist, and a certified grief coach for widows, mother of 2, a Widow, and a Grief Warrior.
My passion for taking care of others started almost 20 years ago when I became a registered nurse. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I devoted over 20 years of my life, having the opportunity to grow and evolve in the field of nursing as a pediatric critical care nurse, working in the pediatric intensive care unit. I worked very hard to master everything I needed to become the best nurse possible. I was awarded “Pediatric Critical Care Nurse of the Year” by the March of Dimes in 2014. I have been exposed to countless deaths throughout my career that have included babies, kids, teens, and young adults. Unfortunately, I have had many babies die in my arms and picked up countless mothers off the floor after they lost their child.
I have learned how to save lives and learned how to lose lives. I was blessed to able to experience the rewarding feelings of saving a human’s life, but I also experienced the aftermath of carrying unresolved grief around with me. Death has been no stranger to me. As a nurse, I have been exposed to the physical and emotional effects of this experience when caring for a dying patient. I was taught how to provide support for the patient and family as they proceed through the stages of grief. What I didn’t learn was how to recover from the pain. This didn’t occur until after I experienced a long stretch of traumatic events in my personal life. On October 1, 2017, Las Vegas had a tragic mass shooting that changed the lives of many people, including mine. I assisted in the identification of 15 deceased bodies at the hospital where I was employed. Shortly after that event, my father unexpectedly passed away, then one month later, my husband passed away.
My husband Willie passed away from pancreatic cancer on February 1, 2018. We battled all the torturous but surviving days of cancer together for over two years before his passing. Willie was my husband, my best friend, father of my children, and I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without him by my side. He loved me, respected me, supported me, and he believed in me. I am grateful we shared 22 years, building the foundation of our family.
After Willie passed away, I was blindsided by this thing called widowhood. I was experiencing something that was not in the eyes of the people around me. I was lost in a world I didn’t recognize searching for the safe place I once knew. I had to find a new safe place. I desperately needed to find a supportive community that would provide the understanding, comfort, and hope I needed as a new widow. After much delay, I was able to find the support that I needed to escape the fog, loneliness, and all the misunderstandings that were immersed in my life. With extensive training from the new mentors in my life, I learned how to recover from grief while training how to help others. My experience as a widow has exposed me to many new exciting opportunities and guidance to a new path. My passion for helping others carries on much further than just being a nurse. I started a new journey. I have made it my mission to help other widows. I am a professionally trained grief recovery specialist and a certified grief coach for widows. Today, I offer to help widows who are ready to find happiness and escape the loneliness of widowhood by providing them with some resourceful tools they need to recover from the emotional holes left in their souls after their loss. One of the most significant rewards is the feeling of being able to influence lives positively while helping build resilience. I have mastered ways to navigate stressful situations while learning how to cope effectively while enhancing my abilities to face future challenges. I hope by sharing my story with transparency and heart, it will bring others hope and empower them to share their own stories. I want to support and encourage others to thrive in life. I help others focus on solutions while building confidence and resilience towards the storms of life. I completely understand the need to find yourself again. Because I share the similar experience of losing a spouse, I can bring a depth of empathy while giving a little glimpse of my struggles to help provide practical solutions to face grief with optimum happiness and a real purpose. It is not a comfortable journey, but I am here to help you start believing in yourself again and reach a higher level of well being.