Emotional & Mental Health for Widows

Connection is Key

Carolyn Moor

The powerfully healing words ‘connect’ and ‘connection’ have been on my mind (and heart) since arriving in Sedona, AZ for our 2nd Annual MWC Chapter Leader Conference and Retreat.

I’m blown away by the power of connection and the strength it gives us in our healing journey.

Early in my widowhood, I longed for moments like this. To sit with someone who really understood me, who really listened and knew the challenges. To hear that someday, somehow, I would come through this grief to surprisingly discover that I had grown in ways unfathomable on the other side…..down the road.

Metaphorically, we have met in the very ‘bend in the road’. Walking this journey, uncertain of what will come next, it’s comforting to know that there are others here along with you. So, this year I decided to gift our ladies with a symbolic matte gold necklace that represented that ‘bend in the road’.

As we hiked crooked trails, climbed jagged rock formations, and held hands standing united in an empowering circle, we realized that we were forming our own ‘semi circle’ as part of an important connection in our healing journey. We felt less alone and more resilient. It took action, choice and facing our fear of being uncomfortable with ‘putting ourselves out there’.

Connection is all about moving from grief to growth.

At our conference, we Skype’d with Author Marc Schoen PhD, of Your Survival Instinct in Killing You: Retrain Your Brain to Conquer Fear, and Build Resilience. He explained to us the neuroscience of connection and why it’s vital for widows to find a community and role models because they strengthen our ability to cope and encourages us to become what he called ‘discomfort masters’.

After all the science, a meditation exercise and lots of Q&A, the conversation got serious. We asked him the hard questions like:

“How do we recover what we have lost?”


“How do we reassure and encourage our widows to lean into life, build resilience and recreate a new empowered life?”

The reality is….there is an enormous amount of fear in doing just that.

But the fear can be conquered….together in this widowhood ‘bend in the road’.

The nuggets of wisdom from our talk:

Be reassured that you don’t have to let go of anything don’t want to.

When you disclose, share and connect, with another compassionate widow, you release oxytocin during these moments of empathy. Do this as often as possible- it helps you survive and puts you on a clear path to thrive.

Decide to stick with it. Your community, whether in person or online, will act as guideposts when you want to stop and turn back.

Make a comeback not to your former self, but of your higher self that is emerging. Grief and growth can feel like the same. Give grief less space and lean more into awakening to the growth within.

Gratitude journals, affirmations work wonders. It scientifically opens up whole sections of the brain that make this journey and enable you to master life’s greatest challenges. So connect to something you are grateful for today. It’s more beneficial than any other super power you possess. Tap into that free resource.

I wish you a connected and joyful day. We’re free and independent to pave our own paths. You are worth it and you matter. I’ll connect with you along the way.

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Knowing there are women who have not only survived what I was going through, but were also thriving and moving forward in their lives.
— MSC Wister® (Widow + Sister)