I joined WAY in 2006 after I lost my husband Jon suddenly to Meningitis at the age of 38. I found out that I was pregnant with our second daughter the day after Jon died. A friend of mine showed me an article in a pregnancy and birth magazine written by former WAY member Cheryl Craggs who was also pregnant when her husband died. Joining WAY was a lifeline for me since I was able to talk to other widows who understood just what I was going through.
When my daughter was born, the messages of congratulations from many of my new WAY friends – some of whom I’d never met –meant more to me than any cards.
Now with two young daughters, I was not able to get out much in the evenings so I used WAY’s online networks even more for friendship and support. I got to know a lot of people online and later through our closed Facebook group, and have made so many new friends. It has been fantastic to meet up with WAY members in my local area and at larger WAY events such as the annual Center Parcs gathering.
Through WAY, I have been able to enjoy holidays with my daughters in the Lake District, Dorset, Derbyshire and even Egypt. My children love their new WAY ‘family’ and always look forward to meeting their WAY friends who allow them to feel normal.
I wanted to put something back into the organisation that has been such a help to me and my children. So I joined the WAY committee at the 2010 AGM and was later elected as Chairman of WAY in 2011. I am now very proud to work on behalf of our members to broaden WAY’s network and influence and bring new hope to those who find themselves widowed and young.