Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why I go to Camp....

Each year for the past 8 I have participated in the Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society. As part of fundraising efforts, we have personal pages telling people why we "relay". I was thinking yesterday as I was traveling home from Camp Widow about the reasons why I come back each year and continue to work on it in the months in between.

I love Camp Widow. I love the joyful noise of it - the voices chattering, the loud bursts of laughter, and even the quiet sniffles. I love the look of it - the groups of people chatting, the heads nodding, the hugs, the smiles, the compassion and the community. I love the feel of it - welcoming, understanding, warm, caring, and oh so inspiring!

I spoke with so many people over the weekend I can hardly keep it straight in my head, but I was touched by the conversations I had with each person. I heard a hundred different stories of how people found out about Camp and how they ultimately made it there. I listened as people described for me their loneliness and isolation as a widowed person, and their revelation at the community they found in San Diego. I was awed by the courage it took to come when they had doubt it would help them, and inspired by the hope I heard in so many voices.

Why do I go to Camp Widow? I go because of you. I go because I want to be there to meet you and hear your stories and see your transformation when you find our community. I go because we all belong to an exclusive club with VERY high dues, and I want to see our members in person, not just online. I go because I need to be reminded that moving forward (exactly right Meagan - not moving ON, but moving forward) is a very tough choice and we have to make it each and every day, no matter how many days/weeks/month or years it has been. This is a tough road we all travel, but the bumps are much easier with the love and support of each other. I love you my widowed family. You are the reason I go to Camp Widow and I can't wait to see you next year!


  1. Michelle,thank you for creating a place for us to find understanding. I just wish there was a Camp Widow on the East Coast!

  2. I have friends that go to Camp Widow but I never made the trip. Maybe some year. Thanks for this blog.


    Everything Strength

  3. I too wish there was a Camp Widow on the East Coast. I would volunteer and help start one. lets hear it East Coast Widows are you willing to help get one on this coast?

  4. Rumor has it that an East Coast Camp Widow is being planned for Spring 2012. God willing I will see you all there!!

  5. The rumor is true. We are planning an East Coast Camp Widow for Spring of 2012! Destination and dates to be announced within the next month...we can't wait!

    Michele Neff Hernandez