Portland Community and Support Group for Widows

Our Mission for Widows

We serve to empower widows to “lean into life,” build resilience and release their potential to make a positive difference in the world.

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 Advocate

Lisa R.

My late husband John passed June 2014 at age 58 from liver disease and bile duct cancer that took his life just 7 weeks after we were told his biopsy didn’t show his tumor was cancerous. We were together 9 years. I am an only child without children (except for the furry rescued kind), so my family is very small; I had to look for other avenues of support to process and start to heal from my loss.

In 2014, shortly after John died, I found Modern Widows Club and its founder Carolyn Moor while searching the Internet for widow support in the Portland, Oregon area. I wasn’t interested in a grief group; I wanted to move toward something positive, not remain stuck in sadness. I reached out to Cindy Toledo, the leader of the Seattle area community of Modern Widows Club, a 4-hour drive from my home. Cindy invited me to come to Seattle and meet her for coffee so she could explain the purpose of Modern Widows Club, how it helped her after the sudden loss of her then-husband, and how the group might help me too. After experiencing Cindy’s kindness, comforting words, and positive outlook, I decided MWC was just what I was looking for. For 3 months in 2015, I drove 4 hours from the Portland, Oregon area to Seattle to attend the monthly MWC gathering. Since I was retired, I sold my house in Oregon and moved to Seattle to be near my new MWC Wister (widow sister) support system and my cousin, who is like a sister to me.

In 2015 and early 2016, I was honored and blessed to have mentored one-on-one with Carolyn Moor. Through her intuition and insight, Carolyn guided me into imagining my future, expanding my capabilities, reaching forward, and leaning into life as a newly single woman. I wanted to give back to thank MWC, so I volunteered with the Seattle MWC Community. Through Cindy, I helped coordinate the annual 2017 MWC Leaders Conference in Seattle that year. In 2018, I received a very unexpected call from Carolyn Moor, who awarded me a scholarship to attend the first Modern Widows Club Widow’s Empowerment Event (WEE) in Orlando. It was an amazing, life-changing experience! I enjoy giving back to the community as a volunteer. I was a board member for a local humane society. I was accepted as the first volunteer to work with the staff at my prior city’s City Hall, assisting the finance and human resources managers. Now, I’m very excited to become the MWC community advocate for the Portland area. I will meet, serve, and mentor traditional widows and non-traditional “widows” who weren’t married but were in committed relationships with their significant others.