I was a nattering nabob of negativity when I first heard about the National Conference on Widowhood, in San Diego from July 17 to 19. A couple of my gremlins were cranky: It’s so far away. It looks like it will be a lot of old people. The website is cheesy. The host organization, Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation, sounds Christian. I’m not in shape for the 5K. They have a symphony, when I’d rather grieve to the grooves of Yeah Yeah Yeahs or My Bloody Valentine. And worst of all, it didn’t seem like there would be any guys there.
Then I heard an interview with conference organizer Michelle Neff Hernandez, and was beyond reassured: this is a serious, substantive, non-sectarian deal. Michelle is brilliant and warm, her words and attitude make it clear that my hesitations were unfounded.
(As for my other objections: I like old people quite a lot, I’m a great cheerleader when others run, I can bring my own iPod to the concert, and I am married.)
Not only would this event be energizing and nurturing for my insecure extroverted soul, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stand (maybe even dance?) cheek to jowl with hundreds of folks who are walking the same road of grief -- all committed to renewal.
If you can make it to San Diego in time, you MUST attend. You can purchase a ticket for just Saturday, July 18, so make it a day trip. If you require further persuasion, get a load of the overview agenda for all three days or check out the complete list of exciting and diverse presenters. In particular, note that there will be presentations on subjects that are rarely addressed, like surviving after a partner's suicide, and how we can make a difference for widows in other parts of the world. The Liz Logelin foundation will announce its first grantees.
I wish my fairy godmother would show up and turn this couch into a trip to California for the weekend so I could attend for even one exciting and uniting day.
Please, make my judgmental ass jealous and go! And then tell me all about all the beautiful people you met, the stories you heard, and how recharged you feel. I'll bite my lip, but I'll be happy for you.