After Kimberly Love Killpack's husband died, she didn't want to see anyone but her immediate family -- and the stranger who sent a book to her during the viewing.
The book, "Tear Soup," was left to help comfort Killpack. Inside was a picture of another young widow by the name of Kimberly Kemp and her four children.
"I immediately called her," said Killpack, 43, of Pleasant View.
"She came up that night, and we talked for hours. It was so nice to talk to someone who said she knew how I felt and really meant it."
Kemp, 45, of North Ogden, said she knew she had to reach out to others because others had reached out to her…. Kemp told Killpack about other widows she had met, and they decided to arrange a time they could all get together.
"I met Michelle from a group in the Layton/Kaysville area. Her husband passed away two weeks after Sam. I knew I had to include her," Killpack said.
"Tonya was on the news a month after Sam died, and I had this overwhelming feeling she would be an important part of my life. I had known Angie's family ... We all became soul mates -- and we saved each other."
The group has grown from two women to more than 40.
First, I’m glad there’s a group like this out there. I know I would have liked another young widower to talk with after the late wife died. I felt so alone during that time it would have been nice to have another person to talk to who understood what I was going through. I think the service these women are performing is a vital one for those who have lost a spouse.
The second is because of the differences between men and women, I wonder if young widowers would ever form a group like this. I can see a couple of young widowers getting together and talking for a night over food and drink. However, forming some sort of social group that meets monthly (or on a regular basis) doesn’t seem like something most men would do. It seems like after an initial meeting, asking questions, and getting things off their chest, they’d lose interest in the group.
Awhile back Nothing Good About Grief belonged to a widow group in Florida that met occasionally. I remember reading about the gatherings she occasionally attended but, like the Utah group, it seemed to be comprised of just women. I don’t ever remember her mentioning men attending unless they were dating one of the widows. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)
Thinking back to my own experience, though I would have appreciated someone or a group to talk with all those years ago, I doubt I would have met up with other young widowers more than once unless I became good friends. But I would have been happy with the fact that I talked with another young widower and could have emailed him if a future question or issues came up. A monthly meeting with other young widowers wouldn’t have been necessary for me.