Young Widow Forum

Socializing => Widowbago Meetings => Topic started by: Ginger on March 11, 2015, 06:45:35 AM

Title: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: Ginger on March 11, 2015, 06:45:35 AM
Since we are losing a lot of the board's history, I just wanted to share how the first Widowbago came about.  This is an excerpt from a post that Abbe, one of the original members shared in July 2003. She shared this story with anyone that asked, including myself, so I'm sure she would be fine sharing it again here to preserve the concept and the history. Please feel free to post your first Bago experience here.

"I thought I would start this thread because alot of you might be wondering what exactly is a Widowbago Gathering.

I found this board when I was widowed about 11 months. At that time there were only 20 or so people posting and we spoke only thru the message board.
At some point in time, there was talk about meeting in NYC.
I wanted so badly to go, but absolutely terrified.
How could I possibly meet people online??? How could I travel into the city by myself???
I had one foot into committing and the other out.
I asked a local widow friend to go with me, and all I got was excuses.
I felt if I didn't go and take one step forward I would have more to lose.
Up until the moments I left, I almost backed out.
I decided not to stay overnight, figured if I didn't like these people I could always just leave (pure genious, huh?)
When I walked into the hotel bar (of course that was after calling my sister from the bathroom to let her know I was still alive!)
and there sat Ed and Teal - the three of us with broad smiles was totally unbelievable - then came Ann E, Patty, Carol Y, Mary, Lauren, Caroline, and a few others. We talked and laughed nonstop. Would never know it was the first time we met.
It was like coming home - knowing in people eyes that they knew how you felt and in turn knew them.
We laughed and smiled the entire time.
It was awesome! I went back into the city the next night for dinner with them.
We were all friends that just had never met before.  ......

An hour or so later during dinner, Carol Y and I were talking about her wanting to travel around and visit all of us - hence the birth of the term Widowbago.
..... hopefully everyone will join in with their stories.

... Since then, we have met in NYC again - people have met for dinner, lunch, afternoon, whatever, whenever. It's really nice to know that we have friends in every state - for ex = Lisa M was up from Florida last week, orig from NJ, so she said we have to get together, just so happens Ed was staying with friends that weekend in NJ, so we ended up having a wonderful afternoon together.

Now alot of us can't seem to get enough - socializing is part of healing
... there is no pressure to attend - if it works for you, come, if not we'll be together another time.

So everyone, share your stories for all of the people wondering..."
Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: Wheelerswife on March 11, 2015, 08:09:49 AM
Thank you, Ginger.  YOU were at my first bago on November 21, 2009.  I just went back to that bago thread to check the date, which was 1 day before my 2 month anniversary.  We've seen each other at bagos ever since, and I'm grateful that we got to see each other on New Year's Day this year.  I've met widows from coast to coast in the US, Saskatchewan, Canada and even when I visited Sydney, Australia.  It is good to see that people are starting to connect more in Europe and some day, I hope to bago there, too!

Thank you for posting this history!

Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: Chopperette on March 13, 2015, 10:18:59 PM
Does someone know the origin of the name? I get the widow part of course  ;D but bago?  (It could be a language barrier)
Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: Ginger on March 14, 2015, 08:08:31 AM
The originator of the word was Abbe, one of the first members on the YWBB.

It is a play on the word, Winnebago. You think of a Winnebago RV (recreational vehicle) as something used to travel to many new places, visit with old friends or make new friends, and a chance to have a new adventure.

Thus the term "Widowbago" is a term used for Widows "traveling" to new places with a chance to make new friends and or to visit with old ones. It may be the first chance or place to have a new adventure with people who truly "get it" on this journey called grief.
Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: Chopperette on March 14, 2015, 08:56:49 AM
Thanks Ginger,  I thought it sounded like the RV. LOL  it  was witty to play with the word!
Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: anniegirl on March 15, 2015, 02:19:36 PM
Thanks for sharing this history, Ginger.
Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: Ginger on July 22, 2015, 03:19:23 PM
I am just bumping this up because a new member questioned what a bago was. Thought it might be nice to bring the history and concept of how the idea of the bago came about so newbies can understand why they are special to many of us.

Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: rifatheroffour on July 23, 2015, 09:06:11 AM
My first Bago was shortly after I joined the site.  I was 5 months out when I found YWBB and the bago section called to me.  I knew meeting others could be a healthy thing. It was July and we met for pizza at an outdoor pizza place a few towns over from where I live. It was small and quiet, Hikermom, Yaya and I.  They were both at or near a year so I was the "young" one.  We had (Ok well I know I did) a very nice chat over dinner, some tears for me since it was the first time I shared my story with anyone in person that I didn't really know.  I also sat in the car, as I was early, wondering what the heck I was doing meeting for dinner with people I really didn't know.  My kids wondered the same thing.  It was one of the best post widowhood decisions I have ever made.  That bago was followed in September by one of the CT Winery bagos where I met the internationally famous Maureen, and have been lucky to have met her and many others numerous times since in groups anywhere from 2 to 32, NY and PA to MA and NH.  I'm not as widely circulatory as Maureen!  But I have even hosted a small and uneventful bago at home( ;) ) and consider myself lucky to have been able to do so.  The last CT Winery bago I even shared my wife's story with someone new and made it through without tears.  Another wid even noticed this and commented on it to me later.  Funny thing is I was aware of it myself and to know that someone else cared enough to notice made me feel like maybe I was heading in the right direction, thanks to all of you out there.

Bago's have been a blessing for me to be able solidify some really great friendships along this journey with those who understand what we go through each day we struggle to rebuild our lives.   I look forward to each and every one that I can get myself to.
Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: sdarrah1130 on July 24, 2015, 10:03:01 PM
My first bago was in April 2015 at 8 weeks out.  I connected with a few widows from OH, PA, NY & MI. 

I was terrified!  I am a social person by nature so the "being terrified" was very unusual for me.  As soon as I walked into the restaurant and started speaking with everyone, I KNEW I found new friends. 

Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: MIK3 on September 07, 2015, 07:38:44 PM
I found the site at 3 weeks out. I was so wanting to connect with people who could relate on a young widowed level, but I'd just missed out on what was apparently a wonderful local Bago.

I suggested a dinner Bago at a nearby casino. One widow was a member of the Mohegan community. She & I sort of co-arranged the dinner, though she did most of the arranging. Only two others came, so it was a nice dinner for four strangers who had so much to talk about.  Part of the plan was to enjoy a free Robert Cray concert after dinner, but we all agreed that we'd rather find a quieter place in the casino to talk a while longer.  It was the first time since losing my wife that I could enjoy deep conversation with anybody.  It was refreshing, heartbreaking, healing and emotional, and as I was driving back home I felt like I was suddenly all alone again.  I'd had a few hours with new friends with whom I could talk openly and I really needed that.  One of them has attended a few other Bagos I've been to afterward.  I haven't seen either of the other two widows since then, but all three of them gave me a major push start to healing.
Title: Re: The "First Widowbago"
Post by: Ginger on June 29, 2017, 07:39:15 PM
I thought it was time to bring this post back up to the top in case new members were curious about how Widobagos came about. Just a little history.
Feel free to share your experiences so others may see the benefits that many of us have gotten when we took the chance to venture out of our comfort zone.

Ginger  :)