By Sandra Zunino
Moving on after the loss of a spouse is much like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Each forward motion is a reminder that nothing feels quite right. Chesapeake Bay Singles (CBS) support group in Queen Anne’s County is one avenue for those going through the bereavement process to help find peace with moving on.
“Coping with the loss of a loved one or just coping with being single is one of the most difficult journeys we take in life,” says Madeline Hubbard, CBS’s unofficial facilitator.
Madeline joined CBS last year after going through bereavement counseling at Hospice of Queen Anne’s. She says losing her husband two years ago was the worse thing she has ever endured and found the group very beneficial to the healing process.
“Sharing this grief with others who know how you feel helps through the struggle,” says Madeline. “We know the benefit of talking with others who have gone through the same experience… without the feeling of burdening family and friends.”
Madeline says while the group does not replace the support of close friends and family, it offers a unique avenue that gives the surviving spouse something to focus on. “After a while, you don’t want to be defined as a widow, widower or divorcee,” says Madeline. “You are just single.”
Eventually, whether from the death of a spouse or end of a marriage, the time comes to stop grieving, she says. “You can’t stay in that mode forever.”
CBS is not intended to be a dating group, but instead an opportunity for singles to get out and have fun or do something different from their normal routines. Membership is open to any single adult whether widowed, divorced, separated or never married. Currently members are men and women ranging in age from middle 40s to early 70s.
Karen West of Kent Island originally organized the group, which operates under Hospice of Queen Anne’s. When Karen stepped back last year to care for her elderly parents, Madeline volunteered to help facilitate. “We have been in transition and I’m filling in until we reorganize,” says Madeline, “but this is very much an informal organization.”
Often a member will come forward expressing wishes to coordinate an activity. If anyone wants to join in, the group will facilitate the outing such as their recent excursion to Cassinelli Vineyards & Winery. Community theaters, happy hours, dinners, and/or singles dances are some of the activates CBS has attended in the past.
“What’s really nice about this is group, is there are no membership requirements,” says Madeline, “no rules, dues, minimum attendance or participation prerequisites. You go as much as you want or as little as you want.”
CBS meets one Thursday night every other month at the Oyster Cove clubhouse in Grasonville. After taking a break since March while the clubhouse was under renovation, they will be holding a meeting there on November 18. “Everyone brings snacks and drinks,” says Madeline. “We meet new people and have round-table discussions about what types of things to do next.”
For more information or to join CBS, email Madeline Hubbard at email@example.com or call Hospice of Queen Anne’s at 443-262-4100.