Victoria Clark

My name is Victoria Clark. My husband died three years ago from multiple myeloma.

We were married 40 years and worked together for 31 – very independently interdependent. I have two sons, one across the country and the other across the world.

Grief knocked me for a loop, the rug pulled out from my feet. He fought his illness for two years with incredible strength, we did international travel, kept the business going as long as feasible. I was in charge of keeping things going and did not take time to reflect on the inevitable outcome.

I have gained insight into my feelings, my options, the work that needs to be done…and I am grateful to be finding the pathway to create a fulfilling life for myself.

If there is a way to help another widow, it would be my honor.

Victoria Clark

Emily Blackburn

I am Emily Blackburn, a 65-year-old widow (65? I can’t be that old. Just last year I was…) Colin died July 26, 2017. We had been married 34 years, no children. We were living in Nashville, TN when he died of cascading issues associated with diabetes. We had plans and dreams as everyone does, but they died with him. I moved to Rochester to be near family.

I consider myself a lucky widow in many ways. I was left with a pension, few debts, a decent life insurance policy, and in a position where I could make choices for my future and I was only responsible for myself. Though I attended and was helped by some grief groups, I did not sync with any of them. Support during grief is important, Support going beyond grief is essential.

We widows, who share what it is like to lose your partner, your wind or your wings, are starting down a new path. It is the one many have thread before us, but also uniquely our own. I became interested in this group because I was ready to move forward in my next phase of life, but didn’t want to go alone. 

Emily Blackburn

Maria Dye

My name is Maria Dye. I am a 57-year-old widow. Lost my husband to kidney cancer 11/19/2013, he was 50 yrs old. We were married 30 years with two children. Thankfully the kids were out of the home by that time. We both worked full time and had plans to retire at a fairly young age to live the rest of our time together traveling. Our relationship was a traditional lifestyle.  He did the “man’s” work and I did the “woman’s” work around the home. He took care of the cars, finances, yard, and fixing whatever needed fixing around the home. I saw him not only as my husband but my protector, hero and best friend. He would always joke about how he knew me longer than he has been alive because he was 19 when we met. To the say, the least my life was turned upside down when he died. Although I couldn’t stand being told that time will make it better and could never even imagine it, I am at a place now where I feel the loss but able to accept it and push myself to learn from it. I want to help other women through their loss and show others that they aren’t alone with all that comes with being a widow. Nobody understands unless they have experienced this.

Maria Dye

Kay Valentine

I am 72 years old, widowed on August 22, 2018. Paul, the love of my life, died of bladder cancer that had metastasized to his bones and brain. Paul is inscribed in my body. I think of him as part of my DNA. I miss him every day, sometimes with great intensity.

Since Paul died I have struggled with various health issues. For example. I had a right knee replacement. But I am very fortunate not to face financial challenges. For that I am grateful. It is also important to know that I do not have children.

I retired from fulltime teaching (sociology and women’s studies) at Nazareth College over ten years ago. However, post-retirement I had two book projects and lots of travel to keep me busy. The book projects ended when Paul died and that left a hole in my life that has been hard to fill. In addition, travel has been on hold due to my health issues.

I view this group as a way to forge meaningful relationships with women who have the lived experience of losing their love and grappling with grief. And I look forward to networking and moving toward a more balanced life.

Kay Valentine

Kathy Roth

MWC Chapter Sponsor

I am a champion of Boomer Women with a long history of helping women navigate life through the lens of money. I met Carolyn Moor and Modern Widows Club (MWC) through my advanced certification, CeFT™.

As a Certified Financial Transitionist, I understand how it’s the missing link between the existing deep grief community groups and strong-independent life. I see the power that widow to widow mentoring can bring to women in my community. 

Waterstone is proud to support women in this effort. We provide meeting space and technology, some financial support for leadership training. We encourage other enterprises who service widows to make the Rochester chapter a strong and growing force in our community. Join our efforts to help women reclaim their life vision. 

Kathy Roth

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