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Loss of the mother ship

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I know this is an extremely strange post for me to write, but the analogy came to me and I can't let it go.


When I lost my DH, I felt that my link to Mother Earth was severed. My life was turned upside down. I couldn't relate to the happenings here anymore and I felt like I was floating through space...untethered to the mother ship.


A few months into the fog, a young woman I will be forever grateful to, gave me a stack of books and the corner of a small piece of paper with YWBB.org written on it. She was a widow herself and said "This might help you". How right she was.


From my first days of just reading, to my days of posting, I was gradually able to reconnect with life. I did it through YWBB and finally felt tethered again to something real, to something meaningful, to a place where I was understood. 


Time passed and I began to take the mother ship for granted. It never entered my mind that it wouldn't be there. I grew up in my widowhood there. I met many wonderful friends, I learned who I was as an individual and met and married my most amazing Chapter Two love there. How could it be gone?


Soon after I learned of its loss, I reacted in a very similar way to other losses. By no means does it match the unfathomable loss of my first love, but as a secondary loss, it has still taken its toll. As with other losses, I have tried to save relics of what it meant to me. I've reread posts and responses, private messages and laughed at some of the crazy things we did. I've mourned those who are not even here to witness this. I've cried real tears.


So the mother ship is gone. I must now move forward without it. Thankfully I feel able. But it is not without feeling tremendous loss.


Take care, Bluebird


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Just left a long post on about this in the General section. Don't want to repeat it here. But anyone can go there and read the various thoughts if they like:




But I like the imagery of "mother ship", it was that. Rescue  vessel from the alien world of widowhood.


I found few people on the YWBB who had the same ideas about grief as I did but enough that I felt confident to strike out on my own path.



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Continuing your imagery...  From Mother Earth, to the Mother Ship, I would like to think that maybe we are taking steps on a new planet and can walk out into this brave new world that we have discovered. <3

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This is harder than I wanted to believe it would be.  I talked about it with my counselor on Wednesday, and he smiled at me when I said I had pretty much gotten past my initial anger and was accepting of the reality that the board was closing down..  He could see right through my wall, I guess.  It should be my decision as to when I bury my dead, right?  I wasn't ready.  I'm in tears as I sit here typing.  It feels like another nail in Barry's coffin, another shovel of dirt hitting the casket with a thud, watching as shovel after shovel of dirt fills the grave, making it ever more clear that he is dead.  It brings back memories of seeing John's body on a funeral home gurney and then signing cremation papers.  He wasn't supposed to die like this!  John was my second chance at love and happiness...and I can't just go and drive by the place we met and reminisce any longer.  The place has burned to the ground. 


I ache today.  I know that many others do, also.



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Several months after my wife's death I posted:


"I now live in a cold, hostile, alien world."


And for a while that was true. But YWBB would soon come to feel like home, and I would soon view those posting there as family members. It is very sad that our old family home, our mothership, is no more. And that so much had to be left behind. Hopefully, what we took with us, which is mostly inside, will be enough for the rest of our journey.


--- WifeLess

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I ache today.  I know that many others do, also.


Exactly that.


I confessed to dear friends last night that I've not missed jumping on YWBB a single day since Day #2...2,164 days. For the last many months into couple years, it's probably been more habit than necessity, but it was a comfort. Over time I'd wander a distance but look back just to make sure it was there, sometimes running full-speed back when I just needed to drop back in. Last night before I clicked out for the very last time, I took a few screen shots, captured a few posts, and then pulled my first post from April of 2009 and my last post in July of 2014. A much stronger and more resilient person wrote that last post...the story that was told in between is what takes my breath away.


I am very glad for Widda, but today I am holding YWBB close to my heart and remembering. It will always hold, out there in the somewhere, the very essence of my deepest pains, my most intensely felt joys, the stumbling steps I made forward, and the renewal of my life. The incomparable k a gill, beloved Kansas City wid, had a bit of a lyric in her sig line coming from a favorite Beatles song, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." A lot of love was given and received on the Mother Ship.


YWBB was an comforting, challenging, sometimes frustrating, often entertaining, confounding friend. But it was a friend. I'll miss it quite a lot.


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Thank you for capturing our mutual loss in such beautiful words! When I read the title, your analogy immediately resonated with me. Like you, I also felt totally untehered, as if floating like a lonely leaf torn from its tree, blowing aimlessly through the air, without control or direction, and at the mercy of a mighty overpowering force. I felt so lost and abandoned, without any sense of belonging, without any guidance or support, and desperately searched for answers everywhere. I turned to books and other grief literature -  looking for SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to help me from going over the brink and falling into an abyss of insanity and despair. But the words written by "grief experts" only intellectually resonated with me, they were not able to convey any sense of comfort, no solace to calm my soul. They did nothing to soothe my brokenness or diminish my deep sense of isolation.


Then one day, through fortuitous happenstannce, I found the YWBB site, and something began to shift. For the very first time I felt that I had a place to go to - a home, where I was welcome, unquestioned and united in solidarity with other lost souls looking for answers. This new-found mothership warmly wrapped its arms around me, spoke soothingly to my wounded heart and broken spirit, and held me close, much like a mother would comfort her distraught child. I felt like being safely embraced in a warm cocoon when on the outside a ferocious wind howled and the world was dark and cold.






During that time I had written the poem below:



'A lonely Leaf'


A lonely leaf in the wind -

I have been blown around

Just drifting along


Floating in the air

A weightless particle

No more inner home


Landing on water

In an ocean of darkness

A sea wide and deep


I cannot see land

The horizon is empty

No focus in sight


Tidal waves pull me under

I can't come up for air

Nothing to hold onto


This force is so strong

It won't let me go

As much as I fight


It has tossed me around

Thrown me against harsh cliffs

I'm bloodied and bruised


Then it pulled me back out

Into the tumultuous water

With a ferocity so strong

It leaves me breathless


A small, lonely leaf -

Destined to perish at sea,

Or will it reach land?


I hold onto hope

Against all fear and reason

Will it be worthwhile?





In the Mothership I had formed a close bond with others in exile who had been expatriated from their lives. Somehow that place helped me to hold on when I wanted to end it all. It gave me the strength and courage to fight for another hour, another day, because there were others, deeply wounded and bloodied as I, and we clung tightly together. It was the place and guardian that held my safety deposit box of raw emotions, the pouring out of my soul's deepest despair, the depository and record keeper of small triumphs and nascent hope, and close bonds forged with fellow travelers.


Therefore, its abrupt disappearance feels like a significant loss that I mourn. I will always be thankful for what it gave me when I stood on the edge of a sharp cliff looking down into a deep, dark abyss. It helped me to survive!


"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;

for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves!"


~~ Anatole France






But now we have found another refuge here -

A new bastion of safety and comfort.

So, let us thankfully soar with the Wind of Hope!



When the world says, "Give up,"

Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."


~Author Unknown


Upward and onward in Hope!


ATJ  :)


With thanks to @Jess @Justin @wadmin and all others who have helped in bringing us here and safeguard this place!


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Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts here as well as on other threads about the loss of YWBB.


@ATJ - Oh my...so beautiful. Yes, we were expatriated from our lives and thanks to YWBB and now WIDDA.org, we are here, moving upward and onward in hope.


@kmouse, beautifully stated. I too hold YWBB near and dear - forever grateful for its place in my journey.


@WifeLess - my love, you have become who I think of as the "archivist"... The person many of us came to when we were looking for "that thread". We often gave you scant information and you found what we needed anyway. When you completed what would likely be your last search of that treasure trove yesterday, the feeling of loss deepened. We do carry a lot with us, but you helped many of us with your contributions, those that you authored and those that you retrieved on our behalf.


@Wheelerswife, I'm so sorry for the additional pain you feel with the closure of YWBB....to have lost the mothership early in grief must brings its own special sadness. Hugs my friend.


@Mangomom, that's a wonderful way to think of this change. Many of us are more surefooted as a result of the growth and support we received at YWBB, it will serve us well.


@anniegirl, thank you for directing me to the thread in the general section and your post. The ability to step back, to share the lessons you have learned is invaluable to me, and I'm sure others. Thank you.

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Guest tableforone

Beautiful post.


I have struggled with this the past two weeks and finally decided to not try to save any of my posts.  Reading that others from my same timeline and before feel equally upset makes me feel less alone. That is what ywbb always did most for me; it made me feel less alone.


I will grieve its loss for awhile.  As always, I am comforted knowing that I am not grieving alone.

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Thanks Bluebird!  I'm surprised by how much this has impacted me - especially with my decidedly mixed feelings about YWBB.  I am grateful for this new site and it comforts me to see that I am not alone with my feelings about YWBB closing down.

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Beautiful post.


I have struggled with this the past two weeks and finally decided to not try to save any of my posts.  Reading that others from my same timeline and before feel equally upset makes me feel less alone. That is what ywbb always did most for me; it made me feel less alone.


I will grieve its loss for awhile.  As always, I am comforted knowing that I am not grieving alone.


What a wonderful way to put it.  I too was surprised how upset I was when I learned of YWBB's demise. At first I thought, "I'm about to move in with my new fiance.  I'm getting married again next year, so while I'll miss this little community, I don't think I really NEED it anymore."  The more I thought about it though, the more upset I became.  After a couple of hours of thinking about life without my young widow community, I was in a full-on panic the likes of which I haven't experienced in months. 


When the wonderful MrsDan texted me to tell me about the new site, my relief was just as intense as my panic.  The mothership might be gone, but I have high hopes for this new rescue vessel we've all piled into.  The crew cares a hell of a lot more and is much more present and supportive.  I think I'll grow to love it here just as much.

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Guest TooSoon

This is a great metaphor.  About 15 years ago I had to let go of something that was very much a core part of my identity at that time.  It wasn't an actual death but a loss certainly.  I never thought it would be whole again.  But time proved me wrong.  And time is proving me wrong again that my husbands death is a life sentence that will define me forever, as I was sure it would two years ago.  Were it not for ywbb I might still be in that mindset.


Did I want to let go of that record of my first two years, that memoir of my grief and slow recovery and the loving friendships I've made and the sage advice I was given, no.  Its closure derailed me, too.  But last night I read the one thread I needed to read one more time and logged off.  I didnt feel compelled to copy, paste and save it.  I just wanted to see it one more time.  So I logged off and let it all go, confident that I can anchor in this new port whenever I need the mother ship and find familiar and empathic voices to hear me out and help me along.  Not an end, just a transformation.  We widowed are good at transformations!

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Wow. It does hurt to see a page full of meaningless words rather than the volumes of shared grief and history. Ouch. It's cold. I still feel it could have been handled much better. But that's my 2 cents.


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Final update from THE founder, Lauren, in case anyone is interested:


Today I say goodbye to the nonprofit website I founded in 2001. The bulletin boards at ywbb.org helped young widows connect and provided support and friendship to many when they felt most alone. Amazingly, I can count on at least 2 hands (maybe some toes, not sure of the actual number) the number of young widows who met their second spouse on this website and remarried. This was before match.com and Facebook created online dating and social networks. The 501©3 was at a crossroads and we either needed to fundraise or dissolve. Since there are so many online groups now, and our technology was a bit dated and we were low on funds, we decided to shut things down. I guess all good things do eventually come to an end, but also every end has a new beginning. It was started out of need and continued out of love. I want to thank everyone for helping me on this journey - especially Carol Shafran Young. Carol is a truly special person and it's because of her that my idea became a reality. Thanks also to my unbelievable board of directors Teal Thawley, Dale Huntley, Nicole Bonasera LaMarca Waters for their dedication and wisdom. And thanks to some of the early group - Ed Murphy, Ann E Beauchamp, Abbe Salowe Favocci and Caroline E. Crawford for getting things rolling with 'bagos and Chapter Two. (Does anyone have a copy of the TV piece that was filmed during the first big NYC 'bago?!) I was only one person but it took everyone to make this happen. Best of luck to you all and I hope our journeys will bring us together again. Here's to Chapter Three!!

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"The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark."


~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Bluebird's beautifully written, mournful commemoration about the loss of our former "mothership" deeply touched me and has been in my thoughts since I responded earlier today. She expressed so well how many of us are feeling, and the many heartfelt responses confirmed it. But from all of this I have also gained a sense of comfort through the expressed solidarity and feel a rising sense gratitude for being able to say "Hello again" after the mournful "Goodbye".


Thanks to the enormous efforts and hard work of the 'Builders' and the MANY efforts of the 'Search and Rescue Team', whose mission it was to "leave no man behind", the numerous Guardians of this new place who keep it safe, the ones who sowed the first seeds with their posts to encourage others to follow, the ones from many years ago (even before my time) who returned to let us know that they still care, and countless others who quietly worked behind the scenes - owing to ALL of them we have found another "Mothership". Together we have weathered another difficult transition on this long widow road. Life is in constant flux, but when we stick together, we can somehow make it. 


This experience has newly restored my faith in humanity, which I had intermittently lost along the road.


So, here is a BIG Hug to Bluebird, for expressing what has been in our hearts, and a HUGE Group Hug to all other fellow mourners who have made it to our new "Mothership". Welcome Home!






A Tout Jamais 





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Thanks for sharing that anniegirl.


Here's a few things that don't sit right with me.  If it was an issue of funding or dated technology why not first offer up to the members an option to contribute financially for specifically what would be needed to keep going.  Several people offered to help out, why not take them up the offer?  Obviously we had members willing and capable of doing so, they created this new home for us in lightning speed.


Lauren and the other board of directors have every right to move on to their chapter 3, change is part of life.  I can't imagine that any of them willfully caused pain to so many of us but not handling it a way that treated the members with respect to our fragility was reckless. 

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John was my second chance at love and happiness...and I can't just go and drive by the place we met and reminisce any longer.  The place has burned to the ground. 


I ache today.  I know that many others do, also.



Oh, Maureen. My heart just broke for you. <3 and peace.

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The place has burned to the ground.


It was a real place and now it's gone.


I met my second husband there too.


A pivotal turning point in my life, deliberately erased. Not easily reconciled. Even with my mixed feelings about the board.

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I would rather have not read what that arrogant Lauren wrote. Just makes me angry again. Wow, that pompous arrogant ass has some nerve. Bully for her and the other board members 'moved on'. Who cares how the internet has developed since YWBB was founded. We were part of YWBB and was never given a chance to keep it going.

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I believe it rings as disingenuous because it is made up garbage.

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Guest AC

I 100% agree with regard to the statements made as to why the ywbb closed down.  For me, I don't much care why things actually happened the way they did.  When someone harms me, intentionally or unintentionally, I personally like to think that it is either because they simply don't realize the actual impact of their behavior or they do realize but must act in a harmful manner anyway for some perceived greater good.  I may be deluding myself, but I am OK with that.  The statements released "explaining" the closure of the board have made it far more difficult to delude myself in this case if in fact that is what I am doing. 


However, for me, the key here is this:  for whatever reason it happened and it went down the way it did.  I don't think I will ever know exactly why and quite honestly I may well not want to know the real reasons.  I am sad for all that has been lost but am confident that we can take the most important parts of the ywbb - the parts deep inside each of us - and use that to build an even better resource moving forward.  I see that happening all around us. 


On the fourth hand ;) am I completely over it?  No.  In fact, it may always sting in certain places as any major loss can.  I would like to move forward in the way that I believe is best for me.  For me, part of that is to believe  that the closure was necessary for some reason and that whatever that reason may be it needed to be done in a very heavy-handed manner.  Maybe that is just a delusion, maybe not.  Either way, I want to believe it.  In the end, for me, it doesn't really matter as the end result is what it is, so why not cling to the belief in the goodness of others and of humanity?  I personally hope Lauren is done talking about it publicly as it really has not helped me to read her words and I do feel ready to move forward with much hope while at the same time recognizing and honoring what has been lost.

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I contemplated for awhile  about sending Lauren a message, and I finally did.  Now I regret that I sent the message.  This one line is what I think I needed to say most:  "Yes, we will all survive this transition, but as grief counselors, you should have some sense that this could have been done better."  Lauren responded, but there probably wasn't anything that she could have said that would have made a difference.  Somehow, I wish I'd just kept silent.  That is one of my life lessons I still haven't learned well enough...spending enough time in my anger and frustration before I decide to speak.  Sometimes, speaking just doesn't offer an improvement to the situation.





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I am sure your correspondence with Lauren was written in a dignified manner. While it may not have had an impact on Lauren, it must be a relief for you to say what you needed to say. You wore the words many of us wanted to. Some of us don't know how to get in touch with her. Don't beat yourself up.


I had an opportunity to confront someone who wronged me. I was building up resentment over what they did. They moved on and stuck me with a huge problem. It was liberating to say those few sentences and tell them thy totally screwed me. Now the resentment has dissolved. It was worth it.


I hope this helps you,




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I am still totally confused about "non profit" and needed to fundraise to keep it open???


No one was moderating Ywbb much...I just thought it was created and would just exist forever.


Do these forums cost money to run? Like monthly expenses? Honestly...not being sarcastic I have no clue. I have always steered away from all the FB..."Widow foundation" stuff and even "Camp Widow"-Some love it...but it just seems all too opportunistic.


I would be happy to donate to this site. But I honestly don't understand where the money is going to how forums, etc work?



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I think my problem with the professional widow and foundation thing is this.... we've all been dealt a shitty hand....But don't use it to promote yourself/cause. Reason being-Your dealing with raw vulnerable human emotions. You make a life long career out of it...eventually you heal and move on....forget why you started this is the first place....are looking at the business side of it....then change "careers" or decide not to be a professional widow anymore...and leave the newly widowed in the dust.


I would rather wids write a book (not crazy about that either)...But it's a one time fee...newbies read...process...put it away. But this stuff gets more emotional for some and the way this was handled was so not cool.


Here's a breakdown of what I have seen of the foundation/professional sites


Years 1-3...Excitement heart is in the right place...working on growing expanding...really feeling like they were called from the heavens to do this


Years 4-7. sites/non profits peak...Morw established, growing, good base of people, good ideas...(I joined ywbb in 2008-). Ego is getting stroked by founder...narcissism starting to peak through...


By year 8-10. burning out... Frustrated...healed, moved on....business side taking over, passion lost, ey


After year 10 (or before) crashes and burns. Leaving vulnerable people in it's wake. But it's been so long for whomever creates what...and they have been removed or detached from loss...they don't think the sting will be bad for others. And of course....this is a notch now in there belt or resume to add to life's accomplishments and "look at me" --Lauren whomever the creator showed us all that...listing accomplishments. (And you veterans know there are dozens more "Lauren's" with sites/foundations out there.


I just honestly thought ywbb was different. I know Widda.org will be!!

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