As widows we often wish that we could avoid the whole holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year Eve’s) by going away or sleeping through it! You may even feel under a great deal of pressure to “get into the spirit”. Sometimes we even feel guilty if we do go out and have some fun!
During the holiday season grieving is even more difficult so here are a few tips to help you:
• Be open to exploring your creativity and look for new ways to celebrate.
• Start a gratitude journal. It requires you to find something to be thankful for.
• Today, do something kind for someone else and don’t tell anyone that you did it.
• Buy a gift in memory of your loved one and give it to the charity of your choice.
• If you are feeling overwhelmed by a long shopping list give everyone a gift certificate.
• Make a list of things to do and rely on your notes to keep you focused.
• Just because everyone used to come to your house doesn’t mean that they have to.
• If you are too tired to create your famous recipe than ask someone else to make it.
• You don’t have to go to every party that you are invited to.
• Keep what traditions you can and be willing to start some new ones.
• Keep the lines of communication open with all the family members.
• Do what you are able to do and eliminate the pressure of doing what two people used to do.
Often there is a fear that saying the name of the deceased person will somehow cause more pain for those around you. Don’t hold back from talking about your loved one.
Get support from others that have suffered a loss and will understand how you feel. If you are a widow you will find the “Community Forum” in the The Sisterhood of Widows website helpful – http://sisterhoodofwidows.com/community/. This area is a safe place to talk to other widows and share your own tips and advice. It helps to face the holidays with those that understand your journey.