Next to her mentorship, and her advocacy for widows and families affected by suicide, Widows To Windows was formed.

Facts

With 12.8 million widows, the United States has the third largest group of widows behind China (43 million) and India (42 million). Widows, especially suicide widows, are often forgotten, disinherited, and stigmatized, and they feel depressed and isolated. 1-in-5 Americans live with a mental health condition. and every year in the United States more than 45,000 people take their own lives; many of whom leave behind loved ones. Meaning, a vast community of widows and other suicide survivors trying to sort out the grief, the blame, the shame, the guilt, the anger, the what-ifs, and that vague dark cloud of being stigmatized because of it.

Our Approach

Widows To Windows is dedicated to working with organizations and individuals to ensure widows and suicide widows have access to the resources they need to live again.

Our Outreach

We help widows thrive by:

Speaking at large scale events like Camp Widow.

Collaborating with Institutions like Samaritans Hope and Call2Talk.

Advocacy by working with local, national and international government officials.

Our Vlog "Breaking the stigmas of being a widow, and to the suicide."

Our International Philanthropy Network Podcast.

Widow Virtual Meetup.

About The Founders

By June 2015, Cynthia had built a successful life as a serial entrepreneur in Miami. She had a 26-year career in radio, was organizing major musical events in stadiums, and was promoting political outreach into the Caribbean community.

But a phone call she received 7 years ago led her to steer her life in a different direction. Her husband, while on a visit to Israel, had taken his own life at age 52. Cynthia never spoke publicly about how her husband died. While trying to continue life with her young son she befriended other widows and offered them support and assistance. Cynthia kept his suicide a secret for 7 long years not only because of the negative stigma related to being a widow, but because of the misunderstandings related to mental health and suicide. She had difficulty dealing with the pain of losing her husband. She felt guilty, embarrassed, and betrayed by him especially since she was not able to attend his funeral in Israel or access any of their assets in Israel. She did not have any money in the bank. All she had was one credit card he had given her during their marriage for survival. The people she knew could not relate with what she was going through. They would never believe she
was in such a situation.

So she kept her frustration and shame inside. She had learned from her mother who had left Haiti to go to the Bahamas and was forced to return to Haiti seven times. Her mother went into hiding in Haiti so that her family who were depending on her would not know she failed. On her eighth attempt she was successful, and also established her life and business, gave Cynthia and her siblings a good life, and then arranged for all of her family members to join her in the Bahamas and then the United States. Cynthia’s mother taught her courage. Cynthia’s mother taught her to make a way out of no way and to never give up.

During the outbreak of COVID-19 Cynthia’s work with widows increased. In May 2020 along with her husband Charles, also a widower, founded  Widows to Windows. They knew the lockdowns would affect widows and suicide widows. So, they began providing food, financial relief, and emotional support to them.

Cynthia has chosen to confront the reality of what happened to her and her son. She has transformed herself from a grieving suicide widow and mother, to being married again and a pageant queen who is using her voice for people who struggle daily to deal with loss and its effects…and for suicide widows who are in hiding.

Together, Charles and Cynthia are advocates, benefactors, and one-on-one grief mentors for widows and suicide widows everywhere. They are committed to helping them embrace their strength and courage, to transform their grief without shame, and to live and thrive fully.

About The Founders

Cynthia and Charles MacLean founded Widows To Windows in May 2020 in response to the Coronavirus epidemic that swept the world.

Both Cynthia and Charles lost their spouses, in 2015 and 2018 respectively. They connected over their shared loss, found love again within each other, and started this organization in order to help other widows during difficult times. 

Happily married again now, her journey of healing and coping from that moment has become her mission to be a voice and hands on leader for women who are experiencing the same situation. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 presented them with that opportunity. Since Cynthia and her husband know first hand the challenges of being a widow, they feed, give gas money, clothing, and mentoring to women who are in the widow stage and who can fall into depression so that they can find a window of freedom, air, sunshine and light again in their lives.

Without support I have witnessed first hand how a grieving mother and her children can spiral into depression, anxiety, alcohol and even into drugs

Cynthia

A Life Of Philanthropy

Having always been community-driven, Cynthia has received numerous awards and recognition from corporate and governmental officials. She has been featured in numerous news articles for her community service and empowerment efforts. In 2003, in partnership with the City of Miami, Cynthia founded the Little Haiti Summer Youth program, which kept Little Haiti Youth off the streets by providing them with free enrichment activities, lunch, and snacks. She later volunteered with several church missions and youth departments, taking her to Indiana, New Orleans, South Florida, Haiti, and the Bahamas. As part of her mission trip to her family home of Haiti in 2011, she helped establish programs and activities at an orphanage to brighten the future of numerous Haitian children. In 2015, she served as executive director of the Little Haiti Football and Soccer Club, serving a diverse population of underserved families in Miami.
Cynthia is currently the cofounder of Widows to Windows, and a global advocate for widows and suicide widows. She is also the vice president of the Framingham League of Women Voters. Additionally, most recently, Cynthia was crowned Mrs. Massachusetts International 2022. She uses her platform and her organization Widows to Windows to raise awareness about the traumatic impacts of being left a widow, especially a suicide widow, and a widow’s need for love, support, and an encouraging community, while also creating understanding around the topics of mental health and suicide. She understands the challenges of surviving and then thriving following the death of a spouse. Cynthia is married to Charles MacLean, an attorney. Together they have three children and four grandchildren.

RESOURCES FOR WIDOWS AND FOR INDIVIDUALS AFFECTED BY SUICIDE

Soaring Spirits

Soaring Spirits builds community. We create, and maintain, innovative peer-based grief support programs for widowed men and women that serve a worldwide population. Based on the powerful connections created by shared experience, we endeavor to ensure that no one need grieve alone.

Global Fund For Widows

The Global Fund for Widows is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering widows and female heads of households to overcome poverty through skills-based training, job creation, and micro-finance. Ultimately, our goal is to help widows achieve financial stability, self-sufficiency, and importantly, become a role model within her family and community.

Modern Widows Club

WELCOME TO MODERN WIDOWS CLUB. We’re here to help you transform your grief after loss into a positive, purposeful future while embracing your own strength and courage. Join us to build new friendships and community as you walk this path with your wisters (widow + sisters).

Widows For Peace

Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD), founded by Margaret Owen OBE, works to make sure widows of all ages, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, caste, age or nationality, are protected from violence, marginalisation and can enjoy their full human rights.

FOR FAMILIES AFFECTED BY SUICIDE

Samaritan Hope

Samaritans provide life-saving suicide prevention services throughout Greater Boston and MetroWest Massachusetts. Our services are free, confidential, and nonjudgmental.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The grassroots work we do focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.

Request For Support

We will carefully review every request and then determine the type of support that may be provided.

© Copyright 2022 Mentor Cynthia. All Rights Reserved.