Southern Illinois 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 Advocates
My husband Jeff and I were a perfect match. His adventurous spirit swept me off my feet at first meeting. We traveled the world together and shared a beautiful life. We were married 4 years when he passed away unexpectedly lying next to me in October 2016, when our son Alistair was only 3 months old.
Alistair and I are living our lives to the fullest, forging our own path, while still honoring and learning about the life and deep love that Jeff and I shared.
I found Modern Widows Club through a friend in 2017 and have found an unexpected but welcome tribe of fierce and strong women. My heart is full after connecting at each gathering and my desire to serve and be an example of strength for others is my reason for leading.
I have been a Registered Nurse for 30 years and retired in April of 2020. I now enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, learning to play the piano, and spending time with my church family, and volunteer work. Rich, my husband, best friend, and soul mate, died in June of 2017 as the result of a sudden catastrophic stroke.
In October of 2017, I found Modern Widows club and my life changed again. Up until that first meeting I didn’t know any “Modern” Widows. This group of women were leaning into life, there were struggles, but they kept pushing forward. I feel like I just hung onto the hand they held out to me until I was able to reach back for other widows! This is my mission with Modern Widows Club, to help others put one foot in front of the other as they walk this path. To help them learn to soar!
In March 2011, Ivan asked me out. I couldn’t believe how thoughtful he was on our date nights. He would leave me notes and flowers on my car, quickly becoming the most romantic man I had ever known. In November 2011, Ivan asked me to marry him, and I said yes! We were married in October 2012, surrounded by family and friends. The day was absolutely perfect. Afterward, my feet hurt from dancing and my face hurt from smiling!
Our married life was simple and pleasant. We had dinners together, enjoyed game nights, loves our church group, and we were in love. July 30, 2014, we went to church like every other Sunday, then Ivan went home while I went to lunch with a friend. At lunch, I received a call from the paramedics; Ivan had had a stroke. He was sent to Saint Louis University Hospital from Carbondale hospital, where he was cared for by an outstanding team of doctors, nurses, and staff. Prayers were coming from all around the world. After a two-week fight, Ivan was gone.
August 10, 2014, I packed up his things from around his room, the cards, the flowers, and his bag of belongings. I got in my car alone and drove back to Carbondale. I went straight to church and sat in the back. I really had nothing to say to God, but I knew it was where I needed to be. The rest of the week was a haze; I was in shock. How could God not heal Ivan? Little did I know, God was not done yet. On the Friday morning of the memorial service, I was feeling sick. My first thought was that it was stress, but I had a hunch it was more and took a pregnancy test. It was positive! I took another with the same results! God had given me the hope I needed at the exact moment I needed it.
I still don’t know why Ivan had to die at 26 or why I became a widow at 29, but I know God’s got a plan for my family and me. Ivan’s loud laugh, huge smile and beautiful joy carry on. Modern Widows Club is a place where I have seen many women come up for air. When a new widow walks into a meeting and takes a deep breath, you can see this invisible burden lifted. Modern Widows Club is a place where we can gather together and support each other. Modern Widows Club has become a place for empowerment. After losing Ivan, I felt so alone. I am so thankful to have this group of resilient ladies, who have lost so much, yet we all keep on going and growing.