Author Topic: Bago Testimonials  (Read 3339 times)

singinmomo4

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Bago Testimonials
« on: March 10, 2015, 04:21:46 PM »
I get a lot of questions about bagos asking all sorts of questions. Attending your first bago can be so hard especially if you aren't necessarily social by nature. I have seen people of all personalities, widowed a short time, widowed a long time, young, old, completely different backgrounds all be forever affected by what those of us who have been to bagos call "Bago Magic". Here is my testimonial...

My husband died Nov 2009, my first bago was just a dinner with 2 other local widows I had never met less than a year after my husbands death. I was so nervous, meeting people I didn't know except online. My kids thought I was crazy. It was a wonderful dinner and it helped me to not feel so alone. We talked about just about everything. The wid that invited me LindaKoz, I'm so thankful she did. She is such a wonderful, loving, supportive friend.

After that I had a little more confidence. I actually traveled a bit further to Maryland to attend a larger dinner bago. I was running late (as usual) and when I got there, everyone else was there. I walk in, sit down at an empty spot at the end of the table and introduce myself with my name and screen name. When I said who I was on the board the person sitting across from me said "Oh, I've been wanting to meet you, you're funny!" LOL! I was so shocked! That person, His_Girl_68 and someone else I met at the bago MadPage have become two very close and dear friends.

Then, 4 years ago, I decided to go to my first weekend long bago, that I actually had to get on a plane and fly to. I went to the DFW bago. I was in a bad place at the time, hurting, grieving and I was extremely scared. How could I fly so far away from my children? I was having extreme panic attacks (which I never have btw) and I almost bailed when all the flights out of Philadelphia were canceled because of weather, I mean, what was the sense, losing one day, flying in the next and flying out again the following day? Was it even worth it? I'm here to tell you it was! That bago was transforming for me. It was full of bago magic! I'm so thankful for a few people, one that even cursed at me through FB telling me to get the f down there (thanks FrankT  :) ) that coaxed me back from the brink and encouraged me to go. I met so many wonderful, fabulous friends that weekend. It was wonderful!!! I can't wait to get down there again to see all my dear friends! Again, I added to my "close friend" list through that bago. Wonderful, dear friends that I feel closer to than people I have known for much longer.

Well, after that bago all I wanted to do was bago! I would go just about anywhere to attend a bago. PA, MD, NJ, NY, MA, OR, FL, CO, KS, MO. I need my bagos! They are the best therapy ever! I have even been given the nickname Bago Diva.   ;D

I am so thankful for bagos and all my beautiful bago friends who are now my real life friends. So if anyone is out there and cautious or scared to go to your first bago just take the leap, I promise, there will be a whole group of wids there ready to catch you and you won't be sorry!

Now I want to hear more Bago testimonials!
Rick, an amazing husband, father, fisherman & fisher of men with a servants heart who served God every day. ReRe, miss your smile & twinkle in your eye.

WifeLess

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 06:45:21 PM »
Thank you singinmomo4 for creating this testimonial thread, just as you did a similar one on our old site. Your story indicates why you are sometimes called the Bago Diva. The following is an update of what I once posted on that previous thread.

During the past 5 years I have attended dozens of widowbagos and arranged more than 15 brunch widowbagos myself. In the NY/NJ/PA area, we frequently get about 20 wids in attendance (often including the Bago Diva herself). In the past I frequently posted about the benefits of attending widowbagos, often recommending them to newer members, especially those who feel alone and isolated from others. Below are a few excerpts from these posts:

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I was just telling some (non-widowed) friends about our widowbagos . . . I told them about:

How genuinely happy everyone is to see each other.

How comfortable everyone is in each other's company.

How easy it is for us to talk with each other about nearly anything, no matter how personal, emotional, painful.

How we sometimes talk so lively or laugh so loud that I'll bet no one observing us could possibly guess the tragic circumstances that brought us all together.

How, in the midst of it all, we might shed a few tears but no one asks why since everyone already knows.

How long these dinners last since no one wants to leave.

How all of you seem like old friends to me even though the first time I met any of you was only a few months ago, and we've gotten together only a few times, but it seems much longer than that, like we've known each other for years.

How we can't wait for the next one.

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I too was shy about going to my first one . . . It was in NYC. I had to force myself. But after meeting everyone, I was immediately comfortable. And I was never again reluctant to attend. It is always a great experience . . .

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At first, I was completely alone . . . I knew no other widow(er)s besides seniors. It was only when I started attending widowbagos that I began to meet others like me. Some members of this site are now my closest friends. Unlike everyone else, WE ALL GET IT.

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. . . the friends I've made at widowbagos around here in the NYC/NJ area. We truly lift each other's spirits when we are together, and no one is made to feel like the odd, sad one.

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. . . those I have met at widowbagos, most of whom I now consider friends, have been the greatest source of support and encouragement. We always seem to have a great time together, often talking and laughing louder than most others around us, although there may be a few tears as well. But then to also see how they have continued on with their lives despite the challenges they now face is indeed inspiring.

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About 3 months after my wife's death I attended my first widowbago, which proved to be a truly life-changing experience. It was the first time since her death that I felt a sense of excitement and enjoyment of something. I suddenly felt like I belonged somewhere. Not long after that, almost everyone I associated with outside of work was a widow(er), some of whom eventually became my best friends.

Even now after 3 years, we still get together sometimes, both at widowbagos and privately too. We also call or email regularly. And these fellow travelers on this difficult journey have provided me with, not only friendship and entertainment, but also understanding and support. As I once said to them in a post: "It keeps me sane to talk with all of you. Well, what passes for sanity these days."

Without question, the single greatest factor in my emotional survival and recovery in the aftermath of my wife's death was this new set of YWBB friendships I formed. So if it is a possibility, I strongly recommend your looking into widow(er) groups, either associated with YWBB or otherwise.

Perhaps some pictures will be more convincing. The following photos were taken at one of our Sunday brunch widowbagos in NJ, at several Saturday evening dinner widowbagos in southestern PA, and at a Sunday afternoon widowbago in MD:
















And several years ago, my lovely Bluebird used her cell phone to make this short video of what it is like to attend one of our NJ brunch widowbagos:





But of course my favorite was the "Weddibago" at which Bluebird and I were married. Everyone in this photo (except the baby) is a widow(er):





So, to those who have not already attended a widowbago but may be considering it, I say as I once posted:

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During my entire first year, the greatest joy I felt was when I was with my new widowed friends. If you have not already done so, I strongly recommend your looking into widowbagos in your area. Smiles and laughter are always in abundance there.

--- WifeLess
« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 07:11:01 PM by WifeLess »

TooSoon

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 06:39:21 PM »
Love this!  In August 2013, I organized what turned out to be a mini-bago in Atlantic City.  My parents and friends did not at all understand why I felt the need to do this ("meet strangers") and honestly, at the time, neither did I.  The board was one thing but meeting others with stories like mine was perhaps the greatest comfort I could have ever asked for.  That bago led to others both big and small and to some friendships that extend far beyond simply sharing the loss of a spouse.  I can't imagine NOT seeing the friends I have made at these events.  In fact, through this hallowed tradition, I met a widow who lives just blocks from my office in the tiny university town where I teach and even if we can't see each other all of the time, I just like knowing she is there.  In fact, just this past week we had a bago for two after work.   

For anyone who feels insecure or shy, I would encourage you to reach out and see if there are widows and widowers in your area.  You'd be surprised how intrepid widows can be....furthermore, the people I have met through this network have never let me down.  I know I can call on any one of them in an hour of need - and god knows I have and do - and they will rally. 

Bagos also taught me something else really important.  While we come from all walks of life and have all sorts of world-views, this one thing we share can indeed bind us in a very real and powerful way.

Sissy1966

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 11:50:35 PM »
I live in NW Oregon, pretty much an introvert, so I usually don't put myself out there with strangers.  But I would be interested in meeting with other widows. I've been widowed less than a year. Anyone out there?

sphoc

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2015, 01:57:36 PM »
I went to my first bago on 8/18/13 at Snuffy's with the NY/NJ folks. I was driving from Atlanta to Maine, and the timing just happened to work out that I would be driving through NJ about the time of the brunch, so I decided to join. It happened to be the 4 month anniversary of my DH's death, so it was really good for me to be around people who understood (especially as I was about to spend a week with my family who have been less than supportive). As Wifeless noted in the thread, I "won the award for traveling the farthest both before and after."  It was the best thing I did that week, and it helped me get through the rest of the week dealing with relatives and hurtful commentary.

Lmsmdm

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 08:47:26 PM »
TooSoon I am blushing...love our little get togethers!!!! Still have to get M and the neighbor together!! Trust me they will get along ha ha!

I was terrified going to my first bago, it was dinner with about 8 wids. I was about 4 mo out, and came pretty close to making an about face in the parking lot. I am so glad I didn't!! Bago Diva gave me the best widda hug EVER!

Since then I been to many bogos, and hosted a few. There is nothing like laughing, and crying all in the span if 2 minutes, and everyone gets it!!!!

Go if you can, you will not regret it!!
You hate me don't you? Yup, so much I married you twice! :)

Wheelerswife

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2015, 09:55:18 AM »
I've been to a few bagos over the years....just a few.  I was just trying to list the places where I've had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of us.  The list gets long...22 states - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee,, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, Texas and California.  (Did I miss any?) I've also attended bagos in Canada and Australia.  While all are memorable, my heart lies particularly close to the group in the New England area, my original bago crew based in Connecticut that I met at 6 weeks out and all of those who have joined us there in the last 5 1/2 years.  It was this group that was with me the day John, my second husband, died unexpectedly.  True friends...who took me into their home, friends who came back the next day to sit with me when I was in that stunned state, trying to comprehend that John was DEAD!  There are other bagos that stand out...that first DFW bago - my first big weekend bago in early 2011 - and the Wichita bago just before my first oncology appointment about a year ago where folks came just to be there for me.  And then there were the widow weddings...I could keep going...because there are also those 1:1 visits and overnight stays that I hold very dear as well, but it would take a dissertation to give them all the attention they deserve.

So...any of you who are new to this idea of bagos...nobody has ever bitten me at a bago and we never lost anyone...except @candib, but we located her and sent a search party for her!  So, whether you are more reserved and would prefer to meet in a small group, or if you like big parties, find a way to connect with people near you or very far from you in the best way for you.  I don't think you will regret it.

Maureen
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 08:23:13 PM by Wheelerswife »
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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kmouse

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2015, 07:56:22 PM »
As I was taking my last stroll through YWBB before it goes dark, I found my earlier bago testimonial:

Re: Bago Testimonials - 01/21/13 06:28 PM
Just saying bago puts a smile on my face. :-D As a veteran of little bagos, big bagos, epic bagos, and chill little bago-ets between just a couple wids, I've never met a bago I haven't thoroughly enjoyed. I'm fairly introverted and it takes me a while to warm up to people but at bagos I've never failed to have the feeling that I can just kick back, relax, be myself, and roll with the ride.

Our KC group was able to get together pretty often back in the day. The years have brought new marriages, relocations, life changes, and sadly even loss of our own k a gill. These ladies were the ones to reach out to me first, grab me into their group, and show me that laughing and crying can coexist. Over time they helped me find my way to several rounds of Widdas Gone Wild, Columbia luncheons, a ghost hunting bago in Kansas, and lots of dinners (Mokie even got me to eat some alligator at one of those.) I count them as some of my dearest friends in life.

Over time I found the confidence to even jump out of my comfort zone...and had a blast at the DFW bago. This one was a game changer for me in so many ways. I was nursing grief, the pains of a job wearing me out, and some things in my soul that needed healing. Sitting in the middle of that group...and I can't really explain how...something realigned itself. I came back to KC feeling for the first time that I could handle life on my own and it could be a good one. There's more to this story, but that belongs in a different section for a different time. smile I also walked away from this bago with even deeper friendships, some that have become simply family to me.

You'd have to really know me and my personality to understand how foreign the above was. I found bravery and courage inside that I didn't know existed before I walked into that first bago. My life had been defined before by my family, my work, my schooling, etc. Bagos opened a new world to me and one in which I was *me*. These people know *me* and are ok with who I am...happiness, sadness, and all. They are my soul brothers and sisters who understand why I don't always smile but they are ok with my dorky sense of humor and proclivity for naughty jokes. Over time the defining trait that brought us together has become less the singular focus...we've become simply dear friends who enjoy and value one another.

If you are on the fence about a bago, pm a bago vet and just ask about their experiences. Sometimes legend can make a bago sound like a wanton bacchanalia when in reality it just a group of wid yukking it up over great food and drinks. (Don't tell, but Widdas Gone Wild is all about lounging on docks and floating on a great lake surrounded by the BESTEST people. Sometimes the wild just comes from the wild laughter. wink )


K

2015 Update: Still and always a major bago fan!  ;D
Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale. -Anonymous

And sometimes it can give a second. -Me

RWV 7/7/56-4/13/09 I would have waited forever.

HvnBound

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 10:47:16 PM »
This is from the ywbb...about my first bago. At this point I had already had two minibagos, first with one other wid and then another small one at 8 weeks out with about 10 wids...

Went to my first big "Bago" - wow

Registered: Mon May 28 2012
Posts: 1344
Loc: everywhere    
Hello all,

A dear friend on this site convinced me that I needed to go to the Ozarks 'Bago, so I went.

The first day was admittedly a bit intimidating since everyone seemed to know everyone else but...they were all just so sweet and kind and understanding. Especially when I told them of how far I was. I have not felt that love and kindness since my dh was okay.

OMG - There are actual widows and widowers that are now - remarried....really did not expect that.

You probably do not know this but my DH did not wear cologne but he did wear a particular brand of shower wash and - yes, you guessed it, one of my condo - mates happened to wash up with that same shower wash - what did I do, you ask? I searched high and low for something to get rid of the fragrance - Lysol spray - and sprayed the entire shower area with it so maybe, just maybe, I would not smell that smell.......but then after it was dry, I figured the smell was gone, so I took a shower and admittedly - for some reason - opened the body wash and smelled...I was taken back to some absolutely amazing memories...in the shower...read between the lines ok?....;)

About 1.5 hrs later, I am chilling on the deck with all of my dh's fave songs playing - oddly enough, and this same person with this wonderful "smell" sits beside me and I relive memories of me and my dh on the lake and the ocean...I tell this sweet lady to my left of what in the world is going on and this sweet soul offers to comfort me, I tell her no and I have to go inside the big house...thankfully when I return this person with the smell has left and I realize that I have to "escape" to the condo...the music is hitting so hard - so I return to the condo and only listen to hard R & R which is "safe" because dh hated hard rock.

It got better within the hour...I did not cry but if others did, it is totally okay, we all have our own journeys -- - as usual, my posts are always so doggone long!!!!

We lit up paper lanterns and as I let go I said I love you sweetie...what a wonderful thought. I watched this lantern go forever and told him I will love him forever and ever just like how all of my cards to him read.

From what I saw, there is hope for all of us, even those of us that do not EVER believe that lightning can hit us twice...there might, possibly, maybe be hope...I will advise if it happens for me -5 - 10 yrs from now...Take care.
----
Tue Aug 07 2012 12:18 PM Another first - not major but still...
HvnBound Online
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I went to the bago in the Ozarks, brought my bathing suit that my dh picked out for me. Last time I wore it was on vacation with him in 2009...and no, I did not even try it on, threw it into my bag at the last second.

My lady condo-mates tried this weekend for me to join them in the lake, I used the excuse that I just don't like swimming in the lake but then Sunday night, they convinced me to put it on and to go swimming in the pool since it will be another first.

So I put it on and wow, it was actually sort of loose, not like it was in '09, the moon was odd looking and when walking up to the pool heard songs from a bar that he and I used to dance to. I took it as a sign of sorts that I am supposed to continue my process of healing and continue doing things I only did with him, without him.
-----

Bagos are the best, you are with others who truly do get it, we laugh, we reminisce and we laugh :D
"It's time to start living the life you've imagined."

  --  Henry James

Sometimes you just have to die a little inside in order
to be reborn and rise again as a stronger and wiser version of you.
  -- Unknown

WifeLess

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2015, 04:33:12 PM »
For those who feel alone this Holiday Season, getting together with other widows and widowers may help. One way to accomplish this is to arrange or attend a Widowbago. Bumping this up for those who need further encouragement.

keeptrying

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Re: Bago Testimonials
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2015, 06:14:10 PM »
My first and only Bago... I debated, should I go, should I not go. What will it be like? I have a ton of kids, I was either pregnant or had a newborn.. I don't really remember even though it wasn't all that long ago. ( I was always either pregnant or a baby for many years).  What if I meet them and they all hack me up to pieces and throw me in the woods? I have all these kids, how could I possibly be social? I never drove that far with my kids alone. My husband has always been the driver. -  What if they all sit around and cry the whole time?  What if they are all too happy? What to expect?
 I went for it!
I was scared and nervous as heck. I see everyone sitting there, talking, like they all knew each other forever. Me being socially awkward and nervous started to walk over, I was seen and people came over, I was introduced to everyone. The kids started to play with the other kids. I sat, talked listened. Everyone was SO amazing. Every person has a different story, but you feel like you get it, they get it, you belong. It was a place where you didn't feel so alone. It was safe, safe to be you. Comforting. Finally! I am so thankful I went. I am excited to go to another. I think of everyone I met there often. How strong, kind and amazing they all are. It really does blow my mind.  They gave me hope and happiness. I read their posts on here and I am lucky, VERY lucky and thankful to have had the opportunity to have met them. - I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Thank you Bago friends, you have truly helped me more than words could ever express. I am so thankful for that experience.