By Blair Drake, MOAA Contributing Editor
Jayne Henley-Davis wants to ensure other surviving spouses have the support they need, especially immediately after the death of their spouse.
“This is the most important time to contact someone,” she explains. “Just to have support from someone else who’s been through it before is a very big help.” This is why, as surviving spouse liaison for the Hawaii Aloha Chapter, she not only contacts surviving spouses during their time of grief but also offers to help with paperwork, accompany them to the mortuary, and provide phone numbers, directions, and other important resources.
“She is a caring and loving person with a willing ear to hear and a tender shoulder to lean on,” says Brig. Gen. John Ma, USA (Ret), past chapter president.
Henley-Davis understands the importance of surviving spouses being active in the chapter as well, so she encourages them to attend and participate in chapter functions. She and members of the Surviving Spouse Committee have organized special events for the chapter, including trips to an orchid nursery in Waimanalo; Coconut Island, home of the University of Hawaii’s marine science/research facilities; a hydroponic farm; and Manoa chocolate factory.
Her hard work and efforts have not gone unnoticed. She recently was selected as the 2019 recipient of MOAA’s Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award.
But Henley-Davis’ contributions to the Hawaii Aloha Chapter extend beyond her support for surviving spouses. She writes a column in the chapter’s monthly newsletter, typically about a timely health-related topic, such as CBD oil, the flu, and nutrient-rich foods. She also plans presentations for chapter meetings. Recently, she arranged for three professionals to discuss end-of-live planning. “These topics affect us all,” she explains. “They aren’t just for surviving spouses.”
Henley-Davis values the benefits of chapter membership. “I enjoy the camaraderie and the opportunities to meet new people,” she says. “We’ve also had a lot of important topics presented at our luncheons. These make us all realize we aren’t alone [in what we face].”