Skip links

How it All Began

— written by Tami Glasco

Widow (noun): a woman with a dead husband

I hate the word widow! I looked the word up in a thesaurus trying to find a more palatable alternative; only two words appeared- dowager and relict. It turns out there might be worse words for widow.

To become a widow in any season of life is beyond painful. The void it creates in our lives defies a simple explanation. The void creates an avalanche of emotions you are stunned by. The void introduces you to a loneliness you never knew existed.

There is a season however when you realize that you are approaching an age where it is inevitable that one spouse will outlive the other. Statistics would reveal that the ratio of widow to widowers is more than 4 to 1. Approximately one million people are widowed each year. 800,000 are women. 75% will lose their friendship network and 50% will leave the church they attended with their husband. Statistics do not make reality one bit easier to experience but they do cause us to at least consider that very few couples are truly blessed with the gift of growing old together.

I was not in the season of old age when I became a widow. I was 18 days shy of my 51st birthday when my husband died in an unexpected, freak accident. We were enjoying the season of an empty nest, beginning to celebrate the joys of becoming grandparents and looking toward retirement. We were in the season of dreaming and planning what the “golden years” might look like. Suddenly dreams shatter and you realize that you have become part of a statistic you had no idea existed. One third of women who become widows are younger than 60 and one half become widowed by 65.  According to the census bureau, the average age of a widow in the United States is 59.

I found myself isolated. I didn’t fit into the circles of older widows. This group of widows typically have a greater support system of peers in the same situation as well as structures to nurture them in a church and community setting. I also no longer fit with my friends who were still couples. I felt alone.

As I struggled with my new reality and the need I desperately had to connect with another woman who understood the pain of what I was walking through, I realized there was no structure in place to find those women.

I began to connect with a couple of other women similar in age who had lost their husbands; we were more acquaintances at that point than close friends but the bond of loss quickly put down deep relational roots.  We saw the need around us to connect others who were traveling the same journey.

In the fall of 2015 my friends Vicki, Kelly and I met and we shared the vision the Lord had birthed in our hearts: A community of widows finding hope and healing in Christ, encouraging one another in the journey and seeking God’s purpose for our lives in this season.


Healing. Obedience. Purpose. Encouragement.

We planned our first meeting – An Evening of Hope. We printed and mailed invitations to about 25 women in our small community, that we knew either personally or through others. Most of these women didn’t know another woman that was invited and we were unsure if anyone would show up at my house that first December evening. To our astonishment 17 women walked through the door of my home most wondering why they had been willing to come and many in tears.

God began that evening what we call Hope Gatherings.  More importantly, God began to give these women HOPE!  We have seen God bring healing and transformation in the lives of so many women. Our goal is never to simply meet to commiserate but rather to love and encourage one another toward healing. Our goal is to help each woman see that she has purpose and to walk in obedience where God is calling her to walk that purpose out.  We desire for women to see that we are forever marked by our loss but we are not defined by it.

The desire of our hearts is to see women find healing and hope through Jesus Christ for He alone is the source of all Hope.  He is the healer of the broken hearted (Psalm 147:3) and He is our refuge and strength in the storm (Psalm 4:1-2).  He will never fail us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8).  Through the creation of local Hope Gathering Communities women can meet face to face on a monthly basis as a community bound by loss but grounded in the Hope of Christ.

Healing. Obedience. Purpose. Encouragement.

Together, we can find healing.

Find hope & healing.

connect with us