Greater Chicago 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 partners’ 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 loved one she tends to feel very alone. Regardless of her age or circumstances, she will benefit from 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

Katie H.

My name is Katie, I am a registered nurse, and I have always lived in the NW suburbs of Chicago. I met Larry, the love of my life, in college. We married in 1982 and raised three, active children. I assisted Larry in running our church’s Youth Ministry for 15 years as well as our Marriage Prep program. We journeyed well together with many blessings despite a few major potholes.

Speed ahead to May of 2012 when we were crushed with devastating news: Larry was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal, degenerative neuromuscular disease. I was overwhelmed with anxiety and anticipatory grief. I could not eat or sleep. My nursing career was an amazing asset as I asked questions, advocated and cared for Larry. After a short 15 months, my courageous and wonderful Larry passed peacefully on August 14, 2013. Despite knowing his death was approaching, I still struggled even saying the word “widow.” I preferred the status “on solo journey” after my 31 years of marriage. However, I was quite lost in how to navigate alone. This prayer gave me tremendous direction, “…May your love for him fill your heart with a thankfulness that crowds out grief and despair…” I received tremendous support on my recovery path and felt I had faced grief well. Yet, there was a void in my healing. In the fall of 2017, I began attending MWC meetings in the Chicago area and discovered the missing piece. Here I found fellowship as we shared our journeys and no-apology-tears. One meeting, I asked if anyone else had a messy bedroom and almost rejoiced when at least 12 others said yes. These wisters got it! Today, I am eager to continue growing, sharing, and connecting with other wisters since this is not a solo journey.

Sharon R.

Sharon is widowed from Al in 2017 after 35+ years of marriage and is blessed with 3 young adult children and 2 daughters-in-law. She is Grandma to a granddaughter born in 2020 and a grandson born in 2021. Sharon lives on the edge of Dekalb in the English basement of a home with her oldest and his wife and grandson. A feisty Golden Retriever and 2 cats round out the DeKalb family. Her daughter also lives in DeKalb. Sharon is frequented by a flock of 9 wild turkeys who live in the forest preserve across the river at the edge of the backyard!

Tuesday nights, find Sharon leading a Grief Recovery group in DeKalb. She is a Lutheran pastor who retired from full-time ministry for over 20 years. She holds her doctorate in ministry from Northern Seminary, focusing on spiritual transformation. She is a part-time adjunct faculty member in the Christian Ministries Department at Judson University in Elgin, teaching a master’s level class entitled “Developing as a Leader in Ministry.” She also enjoys doing pulpit supply on the weekends and developing who she is in this new season of life.