Skip to Content

Two Bayside women create fashion brand Widow Is A Five Letter Word to help people process grief

KIFI

By James Groh

Click here for updates on this story

    BAYSIDE (WTMJ) — Ilana Cabrera had it all. She was living in Bayside and married to a loving husband and caring father.

“He was the best dad ever,” she said.

Cabrera was madly in love with her husband.

“This was the best day of my life, and I remember almost every single second of it,” she said while holding a photo from their wedding day.

But life can change in an instant.

“And he died after actually falling down our basement stairs.”

While carrying furniture downstairs, he slipped. He went into a coma for about 50 days. After those nearly two months, Cabrera decided they had waited long enough and tried everything they could. Doctors took him off life support and her kids said goodbye to their father in January 2021.

That was tough to handle. So, Cabrera joined a grief group for widows. That’s when she met her friend Lisa Coffman.

“(My husband) was funny and smart and he was also an incredible father,” Coffman said.

Coffman’s husband died from late-stage muscular dystrophy in May 2020.

“I’m not sad when people talk about him. What makes me sad is the thought that he might be forgotten,” Coffman said.

process grief

Two widows from Bayside created a fashion brand and organization called Widow Is A Five Letter Word to help people process grief. By: James GrohPosted at 5:08 PM, Jul 05, 2023 and last updated 10:46 AM, Jul 06, 2023 BAYSIDE — Ilana Cabrera had it all. She was living in Bayside and married to a loving husband and caring father.

“He was the best dad ever,” she said.

Cabrera was madly in love with her husband.

“This was the best day of my life, and I remember almost every single second of it,” she said while holding a photo from their wedding day.

But life can change in an instant.

“And he died after actually falling down our basement stairs.”

While carrying furniture downstairs, he slipped. He went into a coma for about 50 days. After those nearly two months, Cabrera decided they had waited long enough and tried everything they could. Doctors took him off life support and her kids said goodbye to their father in January 2021.

That was tough to handle. So, Cabrera joined a grief group for widows. That’s when she met her friend Lisa Coffman.

Photos of Dead Husbands Ilana Cabrera and Lisa Coffman Lisa Coffman with her husband Mike (left). Ilana Cabrera with her husband Dave (right). “(My husband) was funny and smart and he was also an incredible father,” Coffman said.

Coffman’s husband died from late-stage muscular dystrophy in May 2020.

“I’m not sad when people talk about him. What makes me sad is the thought that he might be forgotten,” Coffman said.

Recent Stories from tmj4.com

The two bonded over their trauma and grief. They would go on walks together and talk about their emotions as widows and single mothers.

Then they came up with an idea.

Introducing – Widow is a Five Letter Word. It’s a fashion brand and organization designed to help widows through the grief process. It launched in April 2023.

“This is a way to say I want to talk about my loved one. I want to talk about how I’m feeling like truly like not just hi how are you great I’m fine,” Cabrera said.

Some shirts are serious and others are comedic.

“For instance, you know, wearing a shirt that says I kissed a corpse, you know, like it’s silly enough that I hope if I’m out in public wearing it you might laugh,” Coffman said.

Other shirts say Good Mourning, Plot Twist, Widower Strong, Feeling Extra Griefy, Dead Dads Club, and more.

“We’re all dying, and if you’re married unless you die together, flip a coin one of you is going to die and one of you is going to be left with grief,” Coffman said.

It’s hard to know what to say or how to approach someone about such a dear loss. These shirts help open up the conversation.

“Try to normalize grief and provide some comfort while expressing yourself through clothing because sometimes you don’t always want to say it out,” Cabrera said.

You can get involved by going to the website. Each shirt costs $28. Along, with the shop Cabrera and Coffman write a blog detailing their journeys through grief.

Life changes fast, so it’s important to confront the uncomfortable – whether it’s by talking about your feelings or wearing them on your chest.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content