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Widows' group offers fun, companionship

The widows’ fellowship at St. Joseph Church offers social activities for women who have lost their husbands.

Being a widow is something no one wants, but a number of women in Rosemount share the bond of losing a spouse. In February 2013, Lori Hannasch joined that group when her husband, Roch died.

As she moved forward with her life, Lori recognized there was a need for women who share the bond of losing a spouse to connect.

“I always say that we’re all in a group where none of us ever wanted to belong. It’s nice to learn that we aren’t alone in this group,” said Hannasch.

And so, with the help of her friend and fellow widow Chris McLain, they started a widows’ fellowship at St. Joseph Church. The group meets the third Friday of each month. Hannasch said they generally plan an activity and some time for fellowship. The activities have ranged from board games, to speakers, to beauty nights, to movie nights. The activities are chosen ahead of time.

“It’s always so much fun,” said McLain.

While the group’s membership consists of widows, Hannasch said the group is not a grief support group but rather a gathering of women who share a common bond. She said the activities are fun and the goal is companionship.

For McLain, the monthly gatherings replaced what used to be date night with her husband. She said it’s nice to get out and socialize with others who have been in the same situation.

“We’re compassionate towards one another,” said McLain.

The group started meeting last September and has steady attendance of 10 to 12 women. Presently, attendees range in age from 50 to 90. The group is open to younger widows as well.

On the younger end of the age spectrum, Hannasch said she has enjoyed getting to know everyone in the group.

“I love being with these older gals. They have so much to share and are so much fun,” said Hannasch.

There’s no fee for participation except for the cost of the activity. There is also no pressure to attend.

“We encourage people to come when they can,” said Hannasch.

The July meeting will feature a potluck supper from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 17 at St. Joseph Church, 13900 Biscayne Ave.

While the group started at St. Joseph Church, Hannasch said it is open to any woman in the community who has lost a spouse.

For more information contact Lori Hannasch at 952-432-0406 or lhannasch@charter.net or Chris McLain at 612-201-6956 or chrismclain82@gmail.com.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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