Update: $20 into my goal of $375 – can you help me get to $100 today? Click HERE to donate.
Last August I attended my first Camp Widow with the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation in San Diego, CA. Not only was it my first Camp Widow, but I was presenting with my awesome friend Supa Dupa on blogging about grief. Despite my severe back injury at the time, I made it out there with the incredible help of my friend Donna who made Camp Widow possible for me in many ways.
Prior to arriving at Camp Widow I had many fears that (I have come to find out) are very common amongst new campers. Here were some of them:
- It’s going to be a sob fest
- My grief is mine alone and no one will be able to relate to me
- I’ll be the youngest person there
- I don’t want to participate in everything, it will be too much
- San Diego CANNOT be fun with that many widows in town
- Everyone is going to be cranky
- I won’t know/get along with anyone
- It’s not worth the expense
- I cannot emotionally handle this
The list really does go on, but these are the ones that stick out in my brain as the ones I worried about the most. What I came to find out over the course of 3 very quick days was that widows are actually quite fun, even a bit goofy. I had never been around more real & authentic people in my life – no one there was hiding from their grief, from worry about saying the wrong thing, from talking about the issues that really mattered in life – it was ALL out there (and I do mean ALL out there).
I was worried people would see me and freak out because I am young, but I wasn’t the youngest person there. Instead, I met the youngest person there, and we powwowed around with an awesome group of widows. And we had fun! Tequila in the Gas Light district kind of fun.
And I cried, yep. But I didn’t cry for 3 days straight. I cried for my grief, and I cried for their grief. We were together in this, and no one was alone there.
While the schedule was tight, I never once felt obligated to attend anything, but instead found myself wanting to attend everything. But, if I didn’t feel up to going to something, I didn’t have to. That’s the beauty of it. You come for what you want out of it.
And I could emotionally handle it – it didn’t mean I was in a strong emotional place, but I was fighting for myself, and everyone there was fighting for me and fighting for my future. I was fighting for theirs too.
I was worried I wouldn’t connect with others, but I did. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t click with everyone, but I met some great new people, I got to finally hug those whom I had met on Widville and it was all worth it.
While I enjoyed my first time in San Diego, I was especially excited when it was announced there would be an East Coast Camp Widow, and that is where I am heading this April! I will be leading a roundtable discussion on being widowed with no children at Camp Widow East in Myrtle Beach, SC. I’m more of a beach/mountains/calm life kinda gal, so I cannot wait. And, tying with it my love of road trips, I’m driving there!
I know not everyone can afford Camp Widow, and that’s why I want to raise $375 to provide a campership for 1 camper to attend the Camp Widow of their choice this year. I know that there is some person out there who is not able to attend because of expenses, and this year, I want to provide this gift to them.
Please visit my secure fundraising page and contribute to give 1 person an opportunity to go to Camp Widow and feel connected in a way they may not have felt since the death of their spouse. Click here to donate today. Thank you!