I am the founder and President of Widow Confidential. At Widow Confidential, we are working to create an online and physical community which provides widows, fiancé’s, girlfriends, and domestic partners who have lost their romantic partner, with a dedicated and confidential support community focused on providing an opportunity for our members to leverage a renewed passion for life. Within Widow Confidential’s online platform, we are building the backend capabilities which include: original pertinent information articles and editorials, regional friendship opportunities, instant messaging capabilities, and more, all within a membership forum which contains widows (and the like) only. Within Widow Confidential’s physical community, we are working to create local chapters, allowing widows to regularly engage with like-minded widow’s in their immediate physical location. Additionally, we will host various regional events which will bring widows together in a supportive and healing environment. Each regional event will have a community service component which will allow attendees to commemorate their lost loved ones through acts of kindness; allowing their legacy to carry on.
How did you get into this profession?
As a junior in high school, I felt a greater calling to serve in the military. I joined the Army as a Combat Medic immediately after my 17th birthday. When I was in Combat Medic school, I met my future husband, Ryan Baum. Ryan and I dated for several years until we married were married in a humble court ceremony in Colorado. Ryan’s assignment as an Army Ranger took us to Alaska. It was from there that Ryan received orders to deploy to Iraq in October 2007. Just 3 weeks prior to Ryan’s deployment, we unexpectedly learned I was pregnant! Ryan scheduled his mid-tour leave to come home for the birth of our daughter. He never made that flight home. Less than 24 hours from his departure time, and 3 days from my due date, Ryan was killed in Iraq by an enemy sniper. Bereaved, alone, and confused, I attempted to navigate the treacherous waters of grief. I had not only lost my husband, but I lost the father of my child, my career (I was required to leave the Army after Ryan was killed), our home, and the life we had built together. After I came to a place where I was ready take my next steps, I began to search for resources to help me through my dark time, and found several available – solely because my husband was in the Army. In the 9 years since my husband’s death, I have come across countless widows who do not have access to the resources I was so fortunately offered due to my husband’s death in Iraq. The greater population of widows are stuck alone in the crippling stages of grief with nothing foster growth and nowhere to turn. It is through meeting these women that I saw a need – a need to create the support system for them what the military widow organizations were for me. It is from this need that I created the non-profit Widow Confidential.
How does being organized help you in your work?
Being organized is crucial to achieving my goals for Widow Confidential. I started formulating my ideas for this non-profit over a year ago. With zero experience in business creation or non-profit management, I began taking baby steps to make my dream for the widow community a reality. Since then, I’ve generated, edited, filed, and submitted hundreds of ideas and forms. And because Widow Confidential has no hired staff yet, I am consulting with various professional peers to assist me along the way. Each consult and conception requires a framework, implementation, and follow up strategy.
In addition to creating a non-profit, I am a full-time Psychology student and single mom. Being organized is the only way I am able to give 100% of myself to my family, my academic career, and Widow Confidential.
What do you do to help your clients take control of their life?
The ability for our members to engage within Widow Confidential, provides widows, fiancés, girlfriends, and domestic partners with the comfort of being genuine and honest, without fear of outside judgement. When the fear of outside judgement is removed, women are able to open up to their authentic emotions. Furthermore, Widow Confidential provides face to face support opportunities which will open doors to like-minded friendships, unique healing experiences and ways to apply comfort and meaning to a tragic loss. While the creation of Widow Confidential came from my personal experiences, I don’t want Widow Confidential to be ‘Amber and Ryan’s story.’ I want Widow Confidential to be the story of every woman who has taken control of her happiness and well-being since the loss of her life partner.
Sappari Solutions is founded on 7 core values, which one speaks to you?
- Problem Solving
- Continuous Self-Improvement
- Always looking up!
- Knowledge Transfer
Compassion profoundly speaks to me. Compassion has been an important element of my entire grief journey. In the first few years of my grief, I lacked compassion for myself. I was unsure of- and sometimes disappointed in many decisions I made. Not because they were ‘bad’ decisions, but because I was living and parenting with a broken spirit as one person instead of the family unit I had built my dreams off of. There was no option to take time for myself when I was in need of self-care; I was the sole parent of a newborn and had lost every part of the life I knew. It wasn’t until I was able to find compassion for myself and my self-imposed deficiencies that I was able to start healing. I see that very same compassion struggle in every widow I meet, regardless of if she has kids or not. If it’s not kids, the struggle permeates into personal and professional relationships. Within Widow Confidential, I hope to help widows find their self-compassion.
How should people contact you?
It’s time to get out from underneath the clutter. And it is not just physical clutter that is holding you back from living the life of your dreams but the clutter in your schedule and your mind. The focus for you right now needs to be on identifying the issues, finding their source, letting go of that stuff that is holding you back. You need to set goals and prioritize around what it is you are trying to achieve and why that is important to you.