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About Us


About Widowed Persons Service of Grand Rapids

Our local presence and efforts are unique to the Greater Grand Rapids area.

While Widowed Persons Service was established in 1973, specifically in the Grand Rapids area in 1978, many chapters have closed or become informational organizations only. Our organization and our services are special because of our focus on newly widowed people and helping each other get through one of the most difficult transitions in life, the death of a spouse or life partner.

Widowed Persons Service is a registered 501 c3 nonprofit organization. Governance and oversight are provided by a Board of Directors. The board meets monthly and includes widowed representation. Several board members are local business people who share working relationships with widowed men and women in the areas of finance, insurance, funeral planning and legal matters/estate planning.

More Than Just a Widow Group

Widowed Persons Service offers each grieving individual peer-to-peer support based on the belief that a widowed person is best helped along his/her grief journey with the help of other widowed people who have had similar experiences. 

And while a widow is defined by someone who has lost their spouse, we have many participants who have lost their life partner. You don’t have to have been married to experience this type of loss. We know many individuals who have lost a fiancee, partner or special friend they shared their life with. That is unique, and we are here to help.

We have experienced loss ourselves. Our support groups and social activities are led by and filled with people just like you. And while everyone handles such a profound loss and grief differently, and on their own timeline, we are here to tell you that it can and will get better. Let us show you how.

Program Policies

We have carefully created detailed Organizational Statements and Program Policies, formally adopted October 2011, with further information regarding our approach to services.

Participants, Not Members
WPS is not a membership-based organization and no dues are collected. Therefore, those who benefit from primary services are deemed “participants”. Those who have moved through the primary service portion of programming are deemed “alumni”. Participants and alumni are not qualified to vote on organizational practices or be involved in governance and oversight.

Primary Services
Widowed Persons Service offers support groups, social activities and the Growth Through Loss Seminar. These services are intended for individuals who are actively grieving. Widowed Persons Service holds to the view that once a person is dating or remarried, they are through the grief journey and therefore no longer need the support or social activity services that we offer.

Intended Audience or Participants
Primary services are intended for people widowed up to five years. Support groups address topics of interest for those widowed two years or less, designed for those who are actively grieving. Social activities are designed to provide a community for those actively grieving who are currently attending support groups or who have transitioned away from support groups recently.

Safe & Welcoming for All
Widowed Persons Service meetings and social events are intended to be safe and welcoming for all who attend.

  • All personal information (name, address, phone, email) gathered will be kept private by the facilitator or coordinator and will not be shared with anyone outside of Widowed Persons Service staff for the purposes of the organization.
  • Widowed Persons Service staff and volunteers are charged with ensuring the comfort level of all who attend, and therefore are empowered to address concerns either as part of the specific gathering or following it. If it is determined an issue cannot be resolved, the individual(s) whose behavior is in question will be asked to refrain from attending future meetings and events, or until the issue at hand can be resolved.

Board Members

 Meet Our Board Members