Ruba, Diversity Working Group Volunteer

Ruba has been a WAY volunteer since 2022 after joining our Diversity Working Group. The group was set up to help ensure WAY's support could reach more people within cultural and ethnic diverse communities who have been widowed young.

WAY Volunteer, Ruba

"I was widowed suddenly in late 2020 when my husband Aqeel collapsed at home and died of an aortic dissection.  He was just 33 years old. 

Aqeel’s death was utterly devastating and completely heartbreaking.  It left me widow at just 29, with a young daughter just shy of two years old to care for without her father.  I spent much of the first year in a grief fog, functioning on autopilot and doing what I needed to do to survive. 

I came across WAY through social media and related to a lot of their posts before deciding to join just over a year after losing Aqeel.  Until then, I would sporadically contact other individual widows on social media if their posts resonated with me, but otherwise found it extremely difficult to connect with the wonderful support system of family, friends and community I had around me.  They just didn’t “get it”. 

I attended some new member Zooms and an event for the WAVY (Widowed and Very Young) sub-group and found it really helpful to speak to others in a similar position.  It was and still is always heartbreaking to hear other people’s stories, but it’s also an honour to be able to share in that part of someone’s life and to learn from their journey.  

I decided to volunteer for WAY in late 2022 when I came across a piece in WAY Forward that the charity was looking to set up a Diversity Working Group.  The role of the group is to try and ensure that WAY’s services and support system reach as diverse a group of widows as possible.  I have always been interested in promoting diversity and inclusion, and felt passionate to share the unique elements of my story as a young Arab and Muslim widow with others.  My role gives me the chance to give back to WAYs supportive network, whilst also educating and learning about the huge amount of diversity found in grief and widowhood.  I hope this will eventually encourage widows from all backgrounds to join WAY and get the support they need."

Joining WAY

When you join WAY you’ll have access to a community of other widowed people who understand what you are going through. We also have a group specifically for our Cultural and Ethnic Diverse community.

We are sorry you or a loved one needs to be here, but we all understand how difficult these times can be and we’re here for when you are ready.