Ideas. Lessons Learned, and Occasionally, Opinions


On May 23, 2018

When I was a young widow, there was no such thing as a support group to help me through. There was no such thing as online resources. There were no retreats for widowed people to share their experience. I sometimes thought I recognized the sadness in another person’s face, but I didn’t dare ask if we had a common thread of grief between us. Despite all the well-intentioned people who loved me, I felt alone and lost. I had to figure out this grief thing by myself and find some way to put the pieces back together, heal, and refashion my life.


No widow should grieve alone -- nor do they have to. While there is now a wide variety of places to help widows get counsel, sympathy and share their feelings, one of the most healing is the non-profit organization Soaring Spirits International. Founded by a young widow, Michele Neff-Hernandez, the group offers Camp Widow®, a weekend this program for widowed persons rebuilding their lives, in different parts of the country as well as a variety of other resources.  The value this organization offers is inspiring and I am now a member of their Advisory Board and I teach at their events.

If you have a client who is widowed, I encourage you to tell them about Soaring Spirits. Suggest they chat on its forum, get a pen-pal, read the blog posts of other widowed people, find a regional meeting, check out the long list of recommended resources, register for Camp Widow, gain hope, and know that they are not alone.  


And there are other ways you can help, too. 

  • Be there for your client. Patiently listen to the stories of their loved one.  Rather than attempting to cheer them up, offer a strong shoulder and a listening ear.
  • Don’t ask “How are you?” Instead, ask “What do you wish people knew about what this is like for you?” or “What kind of a day is it today – an up day, a down day, or an all-over-the-place day?” 
  • Help with the details. The death of a spouse uncovers all of the ways a person fails to prepare ahead. Do they have the car title, passwords, and other essential information? Is there a will and advance directives? Offer to help your client manage and complete the paperwork and offer a lockbox service for safekeeping

You have the financial expertise to help your clients, now raise the bar in other areas by learning how to do more to support a client through difficult life transitions. Serve your clients well through the toughest times of their lives, and you help them as well as your business.

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