Dr. Alisha Reed is Creating a Community of Healing for Widows

The FLY Widow podcast is helping others learn to live well after loss.

Dr. Alisha Reed, The FLY Widow
Photo: Courtesy Green Still Photography

For years, pharmacist Dr. Alisha Reed inspired women to live their best lives through her blog, Nola Bougie. "Women are often told that once you're married or have kids, your life is no longer for you; your life is over," says Reed. "I didn't believe that…I wanted to encourage other women to not buy into it either." She shared everything with her followers, from hotel stays to wellness tips. When her husband unexpectedly died of a heart attack in December 2019, she opened up about her experiences as a mourning widow too. "I wanted to share my journey of grief and let people know that you can grieve and still be happy," says Reed.

"A lot of people don't believe those things can coexist." She started a support group for other widows in March 2020. Their conversations were therapeutic, and in an effort to share these insights with a larger audience, Reed created The FLY Widow podcast (FLY is an acronym for "First Love Yourself"). She launched it on December 23, 2020—the one-year anniversary of her husband's death. "I thought, 'Christmas will forever be a reminder that my husband isn't here, so I want to do something that'll make me happy around that time,' " she recalls.

For Reed, hosting the podcast and talking to other widows has been healing. "Everyone thinks that self-care has to be a spa day or massage or pedicure," she says. "But it's doing whatever you need to do to feel like you again."

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