A little over two years ago, Stephanie came up with the idea of creating a friendship group for widows and widowers. There was nothing like this in the area and she knew that there were probably lots of widows and widowers looking for something else after attending grief groups or bereavement counselling or perhaps after being alone for several years. The first event, held at the end of May 2015 was a cocktail reception; about 20 people attended.
Stephanie’s initial hunch proved correct, the group grew rapidly as more and more widows and widowers found the community. Today, membership is over 200 and members come from almost every corner of the GTA. Since stats were started in August 2015, there have been 341 events with 5368 attending ( of course that is the same people attending multiple events!). There’s been a huge variety of events from restaurant dinners, potlucks at members homes, bowling, wine tasting, food sorting to help the Food for Life food bank, pool and lots more. We even did some traveling with a group going to Barbados in February and another group cruising the Caribbean around the same time. We have a Meet Up page, a Facebook group and of course, this website!
We think there are a couple of reasons our group has grown so quickly. The first is the unique concept – we do not focus on grief and bereavement – we come together to enjoy each other’s company and to share friendship and reconnect with the world socially after experiencing loss. The second is our membership. Everyone who joins, stays and participates brings their own unique experience, knowledge and insights to the group. We all benefit and grow with each new member, and the warmth and friendship so many have extended to others is inspiring.
We hope you will join us on Sunday May 28th as we celebrate our second anniversary. This event is very meaningful for Dorothy and Stephanie who have put in countless hours and worked tirelessly to ensure that each event is an enjoyable occasion and that every member feels welcome in the group. You can sign up on meet up – be sure to pay for your tickets in advance as seating is limited.
The future of Widowed Friends is unlimited – let’s celebrate the accomplishments of the past two years and look forward to the future – more fun,more events, more friendships and even some surprises!
Happy Anniversary! Feel free to leave comments for Stephanie or Dorothy in the comments section.