Greenville 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 solutions analyst / project manager in IT for the 29+ years. I was raised in Upstate New York. I met my husband, the last of week of classes, while attending college. He was a senior, about to graduate, I was a sophomore, about to transfer to a new school.
My college transfer put me in a position where we were able to continue our relationship. We married in Oct , 1984, 5 months after I graduated college, at the age of 22. We were young, in love, and ready to tackle the world. We were blessed with our first child, in 1990, and twins in 1992 (thank goodness for modern medicine). Our 3 sons became the center of our world. Family was always the center of our being, but with the birth of our 3 sons, we felt complete. We were a family unit – we did everything together. In 1997, we relocated to Greenville, after Jeff was offered a promotion. The first time away from our families (all still living in Upstate NY) – we became even closer as a family. Our move was an adventure. We quickly made new friends and fell in love with Greenville and all the area had to offer. Greenville became our home.
Jeff died suddenly and unexpectedly on December 1st, 2011, at the age of 51. A day which forever changed the loves of my sons, myself, our family and friends. Our lives were changed in an instant. I was no longer a wife, I was a widow. All 3 sons were away at college. It was the most heart wrenching experience I have ever been through. Somehow, through the overwhelming grief and shock, I knew I needed to be strong and become the family leader, to ensure my sons that we were going to be OK. It was not an easy thing to do, but I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do. There were many mornings, when I would awake and hope that this was all just a bad dream. With a strong faith and the loving support of family and friends, over time, I became a little bit stronger each day. In many ways, the bond I have with my sons today is even stronger than it was before.
I lost my best friend, my partner, the love of my life that day. I became instantly aware that my life was never going to be the same. The dreams we shared were gone. The ‘we’ was no longer. The memories were too painful to think about. We have come a long way over the past 4 years. We have set out on our knew journey of life. Although, we have not forgotten, we have accepted that it is Ok for our lives to move on. In particular, my life has not ended – I have a lot of living and loving to do. There is so much to see and do – and so much to give and receive.
While reading the paper on February 15, 2015, I came across an article in the local newspaper about the Modern Widows Club. The article resonated me with. I knew, first hand, there were no support groups to be found in the Greenville area. I had met several women, over the past few years, who had been through a similar life changing experience with the loss of their spouse. I instantly knew this was something I needed to be a part of – to take my experiences – and hopefully help someone else. With friendship, love, and compassion one can see that becoming a widow is not the end of life, but the beginning of a redefining period… the beginning of a new normal.. the beginning of living once again.
I am currently an office manager for a commercial construction company – General Contractor – for 6 years. I’m the only office staff so I do it all. I have been a bookkeeper most of my adult life.
I was born and raised in MN. I married my first husband in 1984 and we had 3 daughters. Our lives took some changes, not in a good way and we separated in 2000 and divorced. Then I met Cyril in 2001. We fell in love immediately and we dated for 5 years before we married on 8/19/2006. He had 4 grown children and 2 grandchildren at that time. 2 more grandchildren arrived later. We both disliked MN winters so after my youngest daughter graduated high school and started college, we decided to move to SC. We visited two times before we made the move in Feb. 2010. Life was good! We really were enjoying the weather and traveled the area. He was always ready to go for a hike and find waterfalls.
Cyril started experiencing fatigue and went to the Dr. He was diagnosed 11/26/2011 with stage 4 a rare form of lung cancer. He fought a good fight for 5 years. The oncologist only gave him a 1 year survival chance. He found natural ways to fight along with a chemo pill that was available for that type of cancer. I put on my nurse hat throughout those later years as he struggled with different health problems due to the lung cancer and its effects. It metastasized to his ribs and brain. He passed away on 11/9/2016. I really miss my best friend. His oncologist was impressed with his longevity and always asked questions as to what he was doing during his fight. I’m happy to say that his oncologist did pay attention to what he was doing and now has implemented immunotherapy in his practice and it is covered by insurance. I lost my husband, but my heart has been touched that his fight is now able to help others in the area to win their battles.
After I went to a grief support group, I found the Greenville Community of the Modern Widows Club. It was a small group to start with and we really got to know each other and supported each other. It has grown a lot since then. I am now glad that I am in a good place to reach out to other widows and help them move forward and thrive again without their love of their life.
A southern transplant, I was born in Vermont—during a snowstorm—on April Fool’s Day! I grew up in Philadelphia, and Lexington, Kentucky before moving to South Carolina to attend Furman University. At Furman, I became good friends with my sweet “to be” husband. He graduated 2 years before me, and we lost touch. Subsequently, I married another person, had 2 kids, and lived life here in Greenville, SC.
I loved my life, — my kids were (and are!) great. My career was long and fulfilling, and my passion to teach was fulfilled as I taught special education, regular education, and reading (my love) in a variety of settings and in “jobs” such as teacher, mentor, coordinator of curriculum, consultant and instructional coach. My first husband and I divorced after 24 years of marriage and life was uncertain. Always an active person, I always have been inspired by helping others and being “involved.” While working on building a Habitat home (a Furman Alumni project) – I ran into Will, who was helping with the project. He was living and working as a priest in Washington, DC at the time. It was an “instant” re-connection after 28 years of not seeing each other. He “came back home” to South Carolina, and we were married on 02-02-02 at 2:00 in the Furman Chapel. It was an amazing wedding, relationship, and life. We were true soulmates and best friends. An amazing love story.
All was well, until “tell tale signs” in Will and his behavior began our journey –seeking a diagnosis and possible cure. It was not to be. After a year’s testing at Duke University, Will was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer. He was 59 and I was 57. We were devastated. I retired after 37 years with the school district on 06-06-17. A month later, and after five years of “our” diagnosis, Will died 07-17-17 at 2:00. I was severely debilitated. In November of the following year, I found MWC (online). It has been a God’s send. I was “instantly” supported and loved. My fairy tale life was over, and my daily life forever changed. But, my “wisters” are all around me now—with friendships that have encouraged and carried me through these last 2 ½ years. I am thankful.
Our Amazing Sponsor
Thank you to our following Sponsors who graciously partner with us in serving our widowed community. We can’t do this without your support!