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This message comes to us from Michele Hernandez, whose husband Phil was killed in a bicycle accident on August 31, 2005. Michele is the founder of widowsbond.com:

Hello Everyone,

Thank you to all of you for the many kind words that pour into my inbox daily. Your support for the work of widowsbond.com has been phenomenal, and truly I couldn't do this without you!

I am writing today to present an idea. In recent months it has come to my attention that the variety of resources available to widows are all over the map, and sometimes difficult to locate. As I considered how many wonderful programs there are out there and the variety of websites offering hope and help to my sister widows...I had a vision of how awesome it would be to bring these resources from all over the country to one place. And so, the idea for the Soaring Spirits National Conference on Widowhood was born. My question to all of you is, would you come? This would be a family friendly event, with classes for your current spouse if you have one, I am considering on-site daycare if the need seems great enough, and San Diego has a variety of wonderful tourist options...it is a great vacation destination. Details are listed below, this is very much a fluid concept at the moment...so all suggestions for classes and presenters will be considered.

Just for a minute imagine the power of being among hundreds or thousands of other widows. We are survivors and the classes offered will be about putting our lives back together and celebrating the life of the men we lost, by really living the life we have left. I would greatly appreciate your responses as soon as you have a minute to give them. Thoughts, suggestions, concerns, excitement...all are welcome. Due to the large number of women who are now a part of our database (and I am so grateful for each of you!), I may not be able to answer every e-mail, but know you will definitely be heard.

We are so strong together and we have so much to offer each other, let's celebrate our strength and nourish our future!

Michele, widowsbond@sbcglobal.net

Soaring Spirits National Conference on Widowhood

July 17-19, 2009

San Diego, California

Friday: Meet Your Match Reception followed by evening entertainment

Saturday: All day class offerings, forty sessions to choose from. Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided. Lunch time vendor expo. Semi-formal dinner banquet with evening kareoke...this should be fun!

Sunday: The inaugural running of The Widow Dash 5K...proceeds will provide temporary relief grants for widows in financial emergencies

Cost: $200 (for those interested sponsorships will be welcomed and offered to those in need)

Accommodations: The Marriott Hotel, San Diego price per night $265...dual, tri and quad occupancy available, roommate list available as well in order to share the cost

Potential workshop topics: ideas for yearly memorials, global widowhood concerns, scrapbooking your husband's life, widow match, starting a support group, on-line dating, married to a widow?, financial planning, estate planning, real estate seminar, life insurance, volunteerism, widow make-overs, preserving your husband's memory for children who never met him, finding community support in your area, life as a military widow, staying healthy--have you had all your screenings?.....these are just a few of the options, your suggestions are welcome.

Added highlights: a tile memorial wall of all our beloved men, daily widow winners (fun prizes in store), awards to widows for significant contributions to sister widows (yes, you can vote for this), and more to come!

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