NEW YORK (WLNY) – Losing a loved one is undoubtedly a difficult thing to process.
There are many support groups out there — but one group of local women started their own, nontraditional support group after losing their husbands at a young age.
Becky Aikman’s memoir Saturday Night Widows depicts the camaraderie of a group of six widows who suffered devastating losses but found the humor in moving on and starting over together.
Aikman, along with group member Dawn Jiofi, joined us on The Couch to talk about the book and their emotional experience coming together in the wake of personal tragedy.
“My husband died when I was in my forties, and suddenly I felt out of place in my world,” Aikman said. “I not only missed him, but I didn’t know anybody else like me. I felt that, while losing someone close to you is a very common experience, there wasn’t much guidance in our culture for what to do next, how to start over and make this transition.”
Jiofi found out about the group through a friend of hers who knew Aikman. After getting in touch, the group formed and took on the task of rebuilding their lives – and supporting each other.
“I went to a traditional support group once. Everyone sat in a circle, everyone had a box of tissues. We were told to talk about how sad we were and share memories of our husbands’ deaths,” Aikman said. “And that may be helpful for some people, but what I really wanted at that point in my life was to have constructive ideas for how to go forward. How to make my life better and how to be happy again.”
The group does everything from taking spa trips, going lingerie shopping and volunteering locally.
“It’s an adventure story, because we really remade our lives. We went through a lot of changes,” Aikman said. “We came out at the end with a better and happier life.”
The Saturday Night Widows will be holding book signings across the Tri-State area. Click here for more information.