Self-Help for the Widowed
Adjusting to life without a partner is a slow and difficult process and widowhood is not something people easily talk about. Friends and family often try their best, especially in the time immediately after the bereavement. Unfortunately many don’t really understand what a bereaved person is feeling unless they have experienced a similar loss.
The bereaved partner needs to feel that they are not alone, that there are others who do understand how they feel and will offer unconditional, non-judgemental support.
The philosophy behind Widow.ie is simple; “give the bereaved a place to speak“. This is where the forum on Widow.ie comes into its own, after joining people soon discover they are not alone. They learn of the many out there who are going through a similar loss and can share experiences and offer or, receive mutual support.
Widow.ie was founded in January 2009 by Colette Byrne after her husband was tragically killed in a traffic accident in August of 2008. She was left to rear their then, three year old daughter alone.
She found the lack of existing literature, internet resources and support groups for a young widowed mother in Ireland frustrating, “Unless you lived in a large town or city, it was difficult to either find or get to a support group.”
Her first Christmas without her husband was spent both grieving for him and learning how to setup a website.
Asked what was the driving force behind her wish to set up the website, she said, “From the start I realised how horrible widowhood is. Before Peter’s death, I was ignorant to the many difficulties faced by being widowed. It was only when in the depths of grief and after discovering an American widow support website did I realize the benefit of an online support forum.”
She went on to add, “The American forum I had joined although great support, was missing something for me personally. I soon realised it was the fact that, even though grief is a universal language, many aspects are local. What I mean by that for example, an inquest, I wished to hear from others who had been to one here in Ireland. But as I was on an American support forum the members there wouldn’t know much about the Irish system.
“The seed was planted to start a bereavement support website for Ireland, but I had no knowledge on how to build a website. Even when I look back now its amazing how everything just came together. Don’t get me wrong, it was difficult with many a sleepless night trying to better understand how to code and build a website from scratch. Yes, there were tears and with grief I found it difficult to concentrate for long periods but persistence won and Widow.ie soon opened.”
The motto she says behind Widow.ie is, “…to help just one other.”
Free to Use
Widow.ie is open 24/7 to all ages and there is nearly always someone coming and going at different times of the day and late evenings.