The Full Story
How it began
In November of 2008, Andrea's husband Matt was killed in a tragic accident when their children were just four and eighteen months. Soon afterward, she learned about a new organization called Soaring Spirits International that brings widowed people together and became deeply involved by volunteering in several different capacities for over twelve years until beginning grad school.
From 2016 - 2019, Andrea served as president of The Matthew R. Row Scholarship Foundation, Inc. which she co-founded with Matt's former colleagues. Also in 2019, she launched a small business, Malas by Andrea, creating handmade Malas for meditation. An ordained minister and Usui Reiki Master, she also became certified in Grief Reiki.
Recognizing the growing need for more secular therapeutic grief support groups specifically for spouse or partner loss, she established a program that addresses the unique needs and issues widowed people face. In addition, she published a journal that is also used as a guide for the program. Andrea has been facilitating this program since 2022, receiving very positive feedback from participants and is now being recommended by mental health professionals from Hospice, school districts, and private practices across the Western New York area.
How it's going
Andrea is currently working toward a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling specializing in grief, loss, and trauma. She is now accepting individual clients as a supervised counseling intern while facilitating the ARROW Grief Groups.