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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Widows of Opportunity's Kimberly Richardson: Sharing Happiness After Loss

by Cyrus Webb

The traditional marriage vow, taken from the Book of Common prayer ends with this: "To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part." On what is seen as the happiest day for couples you choose to focus on the good that is coming to your union. No one wants to think that dark clouds can roll in and the one you want to spend the rest of your life with is gone forever---but this is just what so many have to experience.

In 2003 one of those individuals was Kimberly Richardson. After losing her husband she went through years of experiencing the darkness that can come from loss, however, in 2011 she began an organization called Widows of Opportunity as a support group for others that had lost a spouse. It would prove to be a defining moment for her.

To date she has gone from helping women in just her local area to traveling across the country and even seeing the birth of a chapter in Zambia all because of her persistence and dedication.

"It's been a blessing and an honor that people are taking it in," Kimberly said to me this year as we talked about Widows and what it was accomplishing. Though she is appreciative for the attention the organization is getting, she knows firsthand how difficult the road can be for other widows. It took time to share her story and move forward, and now she is impacting the lives of other people and helping them to do the same.

"My whole goal was to help 1 widow," she told me about Widows' beginning. Kimberly wanted her to know that it was going to be ok. Now her goals have grown and so has the support of the organization.  "I am proof that there is happiness after a loss," she says. "I'm not giving up on this journey. I want to get the word out to as many as I can."

What keeps Kimberly going? The answer came quickly. "Getting messages from the widows." Also helpful is to remember that where she is today is not where she was some ten years ago. "I was in a dark place. I wish someone would have came at that time to help me." She is thankful and appreciative now to be that someone for others.

Other than inspiring widows, Kimberly has used the platform that is social media to share encouraging message daily with those that she connects with. By doing so she is recognizing the power that all of us have when it comes to the words that we speak (or type), never knowing how it might affect others.

I couldn't have a conversation with Kimberly without bringing up faith, just because I knew that it had to play a role in the way that she has gone from a shy, quiet woman who didn't care for the spotlight to the bold spokesperson of hope that she is today. "I've always had faith," she told me. "God was the only way for me to get through this loss. Because of Him I'm here. That is the reason why my faith is so strong. Because of Him I do everything that I do."

Stay connected with Widows of Opportunity and see how you can show your support on their official website www.widowsofopportunity.com.

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