Thank you, Michele Neff Hernandez!


Michele Neff Hernandez Keynote

Michele Neff Hernandez giving Keynote for Camp Widow, Tampa

For National Women’s Month I want to tell you about an inspirational widow who had turned her sorrow into something amazing!


Michele Neff Hernandez was a young woman with three children when her husband, Phil was tragically killed while out riding his bicycle in 2005. When she couldn’t find a community of people like her who could offer understanding and support she created one. A big one!

As their website says, Soaring Spirits is a widowed community, “that offers widowed men and women understanding, friendship, inspiration, and encouragement as they learn to live without the person with whom they intended to spend the rest of their lives.”

This community offers an online forum, a widowed pen-pal, blog library, regional social events and research. They mail resource packages free of charge to anyone requesting them.

One of the biggest events they host is Camp Widow©. This is a weekend retreat held annually in Tampa, San Diego and Toronto. This motivational weekend host sessions on multiple topics to help attendees ‘recreate the future, while honoring the past.’ Surrounded by peers, widowed people attend sessions for newly widowed to people who lost their love decades ago and keep coming back. (Yes, it’s that much fun!) Speakers address topics such as finance, rebuilding your social life, dating, remarriage and blended families. There are keynotes, workshops, round table discussions and yoga. There’s a chance to dress up for the dinner dance and a chance to dress down at the Widow Dash 5K.

From the first time Michele got a group of widowed people together to support each other her vision has grown into a huge international community.

Yes, one person can make an enormous difference in the world. Michele Neff Hernandez has. When she couldn’t find the support she wanted, she created it for others. She turned her tragedy into a lasting legacy of support and resources.

Happy National Women’s Month, Michele! You’re an amazing, inspirational woman!


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