Michele Neff Hernandez is a hero who, despite losing her husband in a tragic accident, built a community of support in a way that would make him proud. A former teacher, she now writes fiction and plays in her home in Rochester, NY.
Her husband Robert was an avid bicyclist who commuted the five miles to work on his bike every day (including during any weather) until he passed away in August 2010.
Michele’s organization aims to connect widows and widowers and give them a space for sharing and understanding the anguish of losing loved ones. However, the organization also connects the deceased, who are still a part of their families lives. She aims to give them a voice in honour of the love that they share.
In addition to bringing people together and offering comfort through this difficult time in their lives, Michele is also raising money for her scholarship fund for students and educators that want to learn about loss and healing.
Michele’s goal is to spread the word and bring in more members, both men, and women. The organization currently has about 50 members. She has plans to expand into Florida and Washington State. She also hopes that the group will represent all types of loss: divorce, addiction, and mental illness (among others), not just death.
The Facebook group for Widowers and Widows of Monroe County (W.A.W.) is full of members who express their love and gratitude to Michele, not only for her organization but for her strong presence in the community. They share jokes, memories, and moments of grief while offering hope and understanding to one another.
The idea of Hernandez also aims to make it easy for widows and widowers to find each other and find comfort in themselves.
Michele is helping other widows, and widowers find each other and find the strength, courage, and love they need for this challenging time in their lives.
Michele Neff Hernandez is a widow who has dedicated her free time to helping others in the same situation as hers. She takes care of those that she loves and offers love and support to those around her.
In an interview with CNN News, Michele said that her hope is in helping the widowed and encouraging them, as well as walking with them throughout the journey.
Even though Michele still feels much grief, she does not let this overwhelm her life and continues to spread love and understanding to others through the organization.
So, if you are a widow or widower, Michele is an excellent example of someone who can help you come to a better understanding of your grief and how to cope with it so that you not only survive but thrive after loss.