January of 2020 came with many changes. At the end of the Grief Share program I attended, I was asked by one of the leaders to consider leading a Widow to Widow (W2W) group. Once I agreed to step into this role, God brought all the pieces together. It was such a blessing to learn that the woman who had started these groups in Edmonton had moved to Calgary the previous year and was willing to help lay the groundwork for this widow group.
The next two months were busy with gathering resources and getting the word out about the W2W group. A team of two leaders and two volunteers was formed. Word went out on social media, the internet, and our local community with information about the group and first meeting to be held in April 2020. Through March and April, four women contacted us through different sources; three of these women became widowed in February and March. COVID-19 really compounded the grief and pain for these women as they were unable to hold memorial services for their loved ones. Due to COVID-19, our first meeting in April was canceled and we pursued other ways to connect with this group.
Our next challenge was learning Zoom! Technology became one of the biggest challenges for most of us. We started having trial runs with individual women to walk them through the process of connecting online and on their phones. As not all the women had computers, we connected mainly through text messages, emails, and phone calls. The first formal W2W meeting was held on Zoom, June 17, 2020. Even though it was not an ideal format, it was some form of connection that was so desperately needed.
God has been faithful through all these challenges and continues to work things out for good. This group began with three women in April and increased to eight women by December. It has been a privilege to assist these women on their grief journey.
– Theresa M., A W2W Calgary Team Leader