Widow and widower group hopes to help during the hard times | PostIndependent.com

Widow and widower group hopes to help during the hard times

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. When spouses die, no one knows how widows or widowers feel – unless they’ve been through the same experience.There are questions. So many difficult questions.Will I spend every day crying?How can I make it through a night alone?When is it time to remove the clothes that hang, unworn, in the closet?Grief counseling can help. But one New Castle woman is hoping an informal support group can offer a common ground for widows and widowers to walk on.”People just need to vent, to talk about it,” said Kathy Chambers, a widow new to the area. “It’s helps with the healing, especially with women.”Chambers knows the devastation of losing a spouse. Her husband, Bart, died in April 2003 after suffering an epileptic seizure. The couple was married for 11 years.”One day, he just went down all of a sudden in a bad seizure at home,” she said. “He died at 47.”Chambers is a respiratory therapist at Valley View Hospital who relocated to the valley from Des Moines, Iowa. “I came here for a whole life change,” she said.Trying to move on after her husband’s death was not an easy transition, so she joined a support group that grew to about 80 widows.”Life just changes,” she said. “You think your friendships are not going to change, but it’s just not the same.”In Des Moines, the support group Chambers joined offered the opportunity for widows to have fun together, but also share in their grief.”It really was just a casual gathering of people. We kept it light,” she said. “It was more of a social gathering of women. We would go out to eat, go to the movies, or meet at peoples’ houses. We got together about once or twice a month.”The group acknowledged participants’ spouses birthdays and death and wedding anniversaries with cards, e-mails or phone calls.”That would cheer us up on those tough days,” Chambers said.Chambers hopes a similar support group can help widows and widowers in the Roaring Fork Valley share in their grief – and look to the future.”Just to know there are other people out there, to look in the eyes of another person and know they’re on the same level,” she said. “You have a better connection, knowing we can somehow pull together.”Those interested in joining a social support group for widows and widowers can reach Chambers at 984-2939.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601aclark@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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