The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program, formerly known as Widow Match, can connect you with a peer with whom you can share the ups and downs of the widowhood journey. You may choose to connect by email, phone, or whatever feels comfortable.

Peer support can be an invaluable resource for widowed people of all ages. You might talk about things other people don't understand, air feelings that are overwhelming, or just discuss what happened during your day. Most of all, you will know that you are not alone. Note: Peer support does not take the place of professional counseling, is not a forum for spiritual guidance, or financial or legal advice. These friendships should not be a burden on either party.

The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program is the only program like this anywhere, with a track record of outstanding friendships since 2009. The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program is just one of Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation’s innovative and lifesaving programs for widows and widowers. Our other programs include:

Here’s how The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program works:

  1. Sign up on our secure site. Widowed Pen Pal registration is integrated with WidowedVillage.org, our online community and you will automatically be a member there as well. (You are not required to participate).

    When you get to this question: "Would you like to sign up for The Widowed Pen Pal program?" click "Yes!"
  2. Within a day or two, you should be "verified" and ready to go. Members outside the U.S. and those with incomplete applications may take longer.
  3. Within a week, you will receive an email that includes the names and e-mail addresses of up to three people who answered the questions in a similar way to you. If you don’t receive this email within a week, please inquire at contact@sslf.org. The most common problem is simply that our message may be “stuck” in your spam filter.
  4. From this point on, you and your match are in charge. Please send an email introducing yourself to one or more of the individuals. Make sure you mention that you received their name from SSLF’s Widowed Pen Pal program!
  5. We will also add your name to our database as a potential match for people who sign up in the future. This means in addition to your first matching opportunities received from SSLF, you may receive a note from another widowed person who will really appreciate your response.

Our custom software will select individuals who we think you are likely to benefit from corresponding with, based on the factors that widowed people have told us they care about.

If you do not receive a response, we ask that you please not take it personally. In many cases, connecting can be emotionally stressful. Sometimes a person you contact may no longer wish to meet new people. If you do not hear back from folks... or you don’t “click” with the people you meet... please let us know at contact@sslf.org. We will be pleased to provide you with a new set of names. Finding a person to correspond with may take more than one attempt, but we know for experience that the experience of bonding with another widowed person is worth the effort.

Likewise, we ask that if you are no longer interested in receiving a new name once in a while, you let us know: contact@sslf.org.

The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program, formerly known as Widow Match, has helped create some incredible, life-long friendships that continued “in person” and endured through the next stages of life, beyond grief. Please check out the range of programs Soaring Spirits offers. We welcome your feedback, your time (most of our programs are volunteer-run), and your financial support. The Widowed Pen Pal program and most of our programs are free, and making a gift will never affect the services you receive.

Read on for a few comments about how being a part of The Widowed Pen Pal program has impacted our members’ lives...

"I cannot begin to tell you what my match through The Widowed Pen Pal program has meant to me. I felt like I was the only one out there, and finding the Pen Pal program has been a godsend. My match and I exchanged e-mails and it seemed that immediately there was a bond, we are often on the same page. I can say things to her that I cannot share with anyone else, because she understands. I live in Kansas and she is in California, but someday I would love to meet her in person. I just cannot say enough about how my match has helped me learn to live again." –Monica, CA

"I live in Kansas and was matched with a woman in northern California. We both lost our husbands in June. We are similar in age, have children similar ages, and similar circumstances. We have exchanged e-mails on a regular basis and now visit on the phone. She has been the best support for me, because she knows exactly what I am going through and I understand what she is going through. We are on the same page! It is so wonderful to have someone who really understands and relates to me. I can't thank you enough for this match!" –Theresa, KS

"I am very new to the SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program, but have greatly appreciated the care and support I have received from the two ladies I have been talking to. One is in TN and the other in CA. They both have a little more time under their belts than I do. Both are close in age to me and one has a similar situation to me. I have friends who have tried to be supportive but they can't possibly understand what I am feeling. I have really appreciated the friends I have made through your program. Thank you so much for creating The Widowed Pen Pal program." –Teri, ND