Sunday, February 14, 2010

White Doves Fly for The American Widow Project

A member of the White Dove Release Professionals was honored to provide memorial white dove releases at a very special event this past weekend.

A young lady from Texas named Taryn Davis started the American Widow Project after her husband was killed in Iraq when she was only 23 years old. Now Taryn travels all over the country to hold retreats for other widows who have lost their husbands in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. They most recently held a retreat near Orlando, Florida, and included a white dove release ceremony in their plans.

Taryn arranged for the 12 widows to gather on a dock overlooking a lake. One at a time each widow stood in the front and either talked or read from a journal about her pain, and things she wanted to release. Then she was handed a white dove to release. Each one was so very emotional. None of the widows were more than 25 years old.

After each of the ladies finished releasing her dove they released one last bird as a group. They gathered in a semi-circle and each one reached over so they were touching the bird. Some were saying things like, "This is for you, Baby" or "I love you (followed by husband's name)". It was so incredible when they released that final bird together. This memorial white dove release brought a lot of tears, laughter, release and healing to these ladies. It was absolutely beautiful. As a side note, PBS is doing a special the weekend of Memorial Day about these ladies, and a camera man was there filming the release.

The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter………Military Widow to Military Widow.

Taryn Davis, 23, was living the “normal” life; She had married her soul mate, was about to graduate college, and had her future with him to look forward to. That was until May 21, 2007. Her husband had been killed by multiple roadside bombs just an hour and a half after they last spoke. Feeling lost and alone in the new world she’d been thrown into, she began traveling around the country to hear other women’s stories of love, tragedy… and overall survival. In hearing their accounts, she hoped to learn more about the title that been had given to her… that of a military widow.

What began as her own personal journey has expanded into a non-profit organization, a documentary film, and a growing website. She has grasped on and embraced her new life with all the enthusiasm and passion she had when Michael was still alive. Inspired solely off the willpower and strength of the women “in her shoes” she has found that true love is eternal, that the lessons and things her husband said and did still run through her veins, and mostly….she is not alone.

The above excerpt is quoted from the official American Widow Project website.