What do you do when you’ve lost your significant other after so many years of living life as a unit? When Cheshire resident Kris Archmbault’s husband passed away, she began to ask herself that very question. After attending a bereavement group and learning how to deal with loss, she still felt like a part of her life was missing.
“You begin to feel very isolated,” she said. “Most people are very busy with their everyday lives and forget that there are people like us who are lonely.”
That’s when she started to converse with fellow men and women who were experiencing the same feelings of abandonment. She began to notice a need in town that, for the first time, she felt she could do something about.
On With Life (OWL) is a social group, spearheaded by Archambault and Cheshire Public Library’s Deputy Director Deborah Rutter, that aims to bring together adults age 60 and over after losing a spouse to death or divorce. The goal of the OWL club according to their mission statement, is to “provide social options not available elsewhere.”
On the executive board for the new OWL club are Cheshire resident Martha Lape and clinical psychologist Dr. Melvyn Hyman, who both have also experienced loss of their significant other.
“There is a real disconnection between what we’re going through and what the rest of the people our age who are coupled do,” explained Hyman. “‘How do I get back into the public space?’ It’s incredibly hard for someone who has always had a partner to do, and hopefully we can help those who are finding it difficult to reenter the world.”
The club is Cheshire Public Library’s first effort at offering daytime programs, something that Rutter is excited to start.
“We used to have zero daytime programs for adults,” she described. “It used to just be for kids, but as we have slowly started to introduce more daytime events, the turnout has been very exciting.”
While the library does offer a variety of one-time events during the day, such as movies and tech support, the OWL club is the first fully-formed, daytime program to be introduced that will hold meetings regularly.
The OWL club will meet at the Cheshire Public Library on the first Monday of every month at 10 a.m. for organizational meetings, and again on the third Monday of each month at various times for a social event like a speaker, a guided meditation, or a trip to a museum.
“We want people to come to our club and know that they are among like-minded people,” Archambault said. “We are open and accepting to people of all walks of life, regardless of who you are, we want you to come!”
To learn more about the OWL club, visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cheshireowl/. If you have any questions about the club or its events, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.