All are welcome
All are welcome
Tom and our two kids on New Year's Eve, 1987
Dear Friend,
Welcome to a Widow’s Way, a growing community of women who have a heart and love for the mission of Young Life, and who also share in common the loss of our spouse.  We gather monthly for hosted Zoom conversations to connect with one another, and to grow in our journeys of grief and faith. 
Also, recently, a group of us experienced our first weekend get-away together.  It was so meaningful to have some time and space to talk, laugh, rest, play, and pause to bring ourselves before the love of God together. 
All are welcome to join in on any of our future experiences.  We’d love to have you with us.  Please let us know of your interest so that we'll be sure you have the information you need by completing this short form HERE (and don't forget to click "submit" at the bottom).

Change and the Holidays
With the loss of our spouse come changes too numerous to count: outings with friends, meals, signing our name, sleeping and just about every activity in our lives causes us to pause and think about how it used to be. 
With the holidays, whether it’s the first or the twentieth year without our spouse, there always seems to be pause.  For me the holidays bring feelings of wanting to escape, to skip all the gatherings and traditions. With no small children around it was easier in the early years to ignore traditions. But over the years I have learned to create new traditions and even incorporate old ones.  Some I have let go all together and that’s ok. 
Planning ahead and preparing ourselves for the emotional ambushes that can surprise us during this season can be very helpful.  I have learned over these years of grief if I plan ahead, create an exit plan for events, and practice responses ahead of time to advice and questions from well-meaning friends and family, I avoid being caught off guard.
I have gathered some tips that I hope will help us maneuver through the holidays and lessen the stress and pain that often times sneaks up on us.
  1. Anticipate some emotion when signing Christmas cards and setting the table. Even though we know this could be hard, we may still be surprised. Expect emotions and lessen the surprise.
  2. Think ahead about traditions. Which ones will be the hardest?  What are some new ones to incorporate?
  3. Identify which holiday activities you have the energy and desire to do. Prioritize the top two which are most important. Be flexible with your plan. 
    (To see full list click HERE)

I would like you to meet Emily Blaess.  She walks this journey of grief with us and has agreed to share her story.  Her story spoken with transparency and love, encourages us to keep in mind that our lives still have meaning and purpose.  
My husband died one day – no warning.  He was 38, I was almost 38 and our children were 3, almost 9 and 11.  We were all young.  Looking back 19 years later, it doesn’t matter how old you are.  Death means everything changes.  To read the rest of Emily's story, click HERE. 
Praying for you as we approach the holidays and as always, we walk this journey together.  
Patti Stoetzner
A Widow’s Way
"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Psalm 34:17-18
"Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today ... may he also be to you one who restores life."  Ruth 4:14 & 15
Get Connected
Inviting you

See our web page HERE sharing our vision and beginning resources for widows.

We are hosting monthly Widow's Way Conversations where we can connect with others who have experienced this loss in a supportive and helpful way, as well as receive encouragement on relevant topics.  Our next one will be Tuesday, Dec 7th at 7:00 pm Central Time.  If you would like to receive more information on this or find out how to participate, please click HERE.

We plan to gather for retreats one to two times a year to enjoy a safe place for rest, renewal, learning, and sharing with other widows.  Stay tuned!

We’d love to hear any comments, questions or ideas you might have by clicking the "Get Connected" button above. 

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