Meet our Widow Advocates | Wings for Widows
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Meet our Widow Advocates

Our volunteer widow advocates are at least two years into widowhood and, of course, have learned first-hand what it is like to lose a life partner.  Our widow advocates have normally participated in a  grief counseling program, have great listening skills, know how to ask good questions, and are engaged in a new chapter of life again. Your extraordinary widow sisters combine compassion with a true sense of calling to share the grief of other widows. You may not require financial coaching before you require someone just to listen. Someone to tell you that you’re not going crazy and that you’ll get through this, one day at a time. You may not want to burden your kids or married friends when you feel like you’re barely holding it together. That’s why we’re here. We can listen, answer your questions, find you resources, and encourage you that things will get better. Connect with one of us today.

Connect with a Widow Advocate today

Liane L.

I became a widow very suddenly in early 2017.  My husband Dave and I started dating in high school and were married over forty years. The shock of losing my best friend and the most fun and optimistic person I’ve ever known has been a challenge.

During Covid, the loneliness has been especially hard to endure. My faith and the other widows who have walked alongside me have given me a new way of looking at my life, and a new way to serve God by helping others. Helping to launch Wings for Widows and developing services and programs that meet the needs of the community we serve has given me purpose and joy.

Cindy K

I lost my husband in 2017. The last 10 months of his life, I was his caretaker. It was so hard to see him suffer and be unable to speak. I have grown children so am on my own at home now.

When I became widowed I found the thing I struggled with the most was a sense of not belonging in the group of friends we’d enjoyed our whole lives. Loneliness is always a struggle.  As a result of my loss I have learned to rely on my faith more constantly.  I chose to volunteer for Wings for Widows as a Widow Advocate so that I can give hope to new widows.

Deb Milligan

Debbie M

My husband, Lee died suddenly in 2010. Though my journey of being a widow began many years ago, I remember well the feeling of having my brain filled with fog, at the same time having to function and make major decisions. It felt as if I had landed on a strange planet and had no map. Family and friends helped me greatly through those early days.

I have two grandchildren and two grown daughters, one of whom is Krista who lost her husband to cancer in 2019. Krista is a Wings for Widows advocate and was my inspiration to join the organization.

I count it a privilege to come alongside widows, listen to their stories and challenges, walk with them in their pain, and bring a spark of hope for a good future.

Jessie E

I became a widow at 42 when my husband died unexpectedly in an accident. We were a blended family and I was overwhelmed with how to take care of everything big and small, let alone my needs.

I have learned how to do things I didn’t think were possible with the help of family, friends and fellow widows. I serve as a Wings for Widows Advocate because I want to help other widows get on their feet, however long that takes … knowing you have support to help you through. To quote Glennon Doyle: We can do hard things.

Jo N

I lost my husband in 2018, after his 3-year battle with cancer. I have two grown daughters and three grands. The largest struggle was not knowing what to do first. After a year I reached out to Wings for Widows and they really helped me wrap my arms around everything and helped me dive in and get stuff done. Not only did they help me work on a very large medical bill from my husband’s medical provider that the insurance did not cover but having someone there helped me in knowing I was not alone and there were people to help and who understood.
Yes, I have a lot of friends, but talking to other widows is different because they just understand.
I became a widows advocate for Wings for Widows so that I can offer that same feeling to new widows, the feeling that you’re not alone and whatever you’re feeling is ok. I want to help support and reassure you when you feel most alone.
Krista Mahoney

Krista M

My husband died in 2019 after 1-1/2 years of cancer treatment, leaving me as a solo mom of two young kids. I felt a sense of relief when he died–both that his suffering was over, and that I would be able to refocus my attention on my kids. But walking out the next steps of parenting without my husband–bedtimes, family meals, birthdays, kids’ education decisions–was painful and draining! The adjustment to parenting alone is challenging, but I have learned to find daily joy in the midst of grief and carry forward a new vision for my family–both honoring the memory of my husband and cultivating my own dreams. My mom, who was widowed 10 years before me, has been invaluable to me in normalizing my grief experience and offering hope.

I became a Wings for Widows advocate because I want to extend an empathetic, supportive presence to other women walking through grief. You are not alone, and there is great hope for your future! 

Michelle Ramier

Michelle R

I lost my husband of 25 years in June of 2019. He died by suicide after a brief but intense mental health episode. He was the financial manager of the household so I had a lot to learn while also trying to make sure that the kids had all of the resources they needed to get through this. In truth, we’re never all the way through a loss like this but the first several months were critical in making sure that our boat stayed afloat on all levels. The kind and patient folks at Wings for Widows helped me navigate my financial statements, bills, etc. and got me to a place of understanding my big picture financial health. I’d love to offer assistance in any way that I’m able to other widows, which is why I became a widow advocate.

Patty Desiderio

Patty D

I became a widow in 2011.  My husband endured a year and a half of suffering before he died of cancer.  What is a woman to do when her husband is her world?  We didn’t have children.  I had no family nearby.   

I had a small business, but wasn’t a “career woman”.  I had to figure it out.  It took a lot of time and I did things I never imagined I would have to. 

Early on, I met and got immeasurable help and support from some fellow widows.  It made life bearable having someone who understood what you’re experiencing without the awkwardness or pity.  I’ve committed myself to helping other widows and being a widow advocate is one way I can “PAY BACK” the widow sisterhood.