The National Widowers’ Organization, a Vineyard-based group, held its annual meeting last week in Chilmark. The board of directors approved two projects aimed at helping widowers: continuing to support the unique research into widowers’ needs, and starting a pilot web-based program to support widowers.
Founded in 2009 as the Vineyard Men’s Bereavement Group by Sam Feldman after his wife Gretchen died, the organization has sought ways to assist widowers. In 2010, the effort was expanded nationally, resulting in both the current organization and the support group for men on Martha’s Vineyard. The National Widowers’ Organization website has become a leading source of information for widowers and their families with visits to the site from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The organization has sponsored research into understanding how men reorganize their lives after the loss of a spouse.
The board also approved a pilot program to help widowers find support groups or to connect with peers. The Widower to Widower program will allow them to exchange ideas and experience and share solutions.
The Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Support Group continues to meet under the leadership of Jack Burton. Comprised of widowers who support each other, the group meets twice a month and is always interested in new members. Contact Jack at 508-627-5600 for more information.