How Do I Survive The Holidays?

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 – 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.

8 Responses

  1. Kathy
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    I am five weeks newly widowed, and am dreading the holidays. I hope that having a plan will help me through them, perhaps even enjoy them a little. My son, who is hosting Thanksgiving, has come up with a helpful idea to help me feel more comfortable at the dinner table. Everyone must sit away from their spouse. I have thought of a way to commemorate my husband by lighting a special candle in his honor so that others who feel a need, can say a silent prayer for him rather than mention him, reminding me of my loss. I think these two ideas will help me keep myself together. I am hosting Christmas (planned before my husband’s illness/death), and plan to do the same.

    • Mary Francis
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      Dear Kathy – Those are great ideas about the seating and the special candle. You have the right idea, we have to move forward as best we can and it helps to take it one step at a time.

      Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

  2. Annabelle Gillespie
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    Hi Kathy, I lost my husband 4 1/2 weeks ago like you. It was a sudden heart attack – no prior illness. I have two wonderful grown children and a big extended family, but none of them are Allen. I grieve with you and can’t imagine how I will get through Christmas which was always my favorite holiday. I think your ideas are good and will pray that you find peace eventually.

  3. L
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    My husband died before Thanksgiving last year. We were all so numb and just went through the motions. This year seems more painful even…who will sit in my husband’s chair etc… I think your son will help you through and try to focus on the thought that your husband will be with you. True love never ends.

  4. Brenda Mitchell
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    My husband passed away at home in a hospital bed from last stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and he served in the army and passed away march 2016 then may 14 was his birthday then august 17 was my birthday, October 10 our furbaby passed away 5 months before he did of lung cancer then thanksgiving, Christmas and new years was our 10 anniversary OMG

    • Mary Francis
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      I’m sorry Brenda for your loss. That first year is extremely hard but hold on to family and friends because they love you. Take care of yourself because you matter. Mary Francis

  5. Mary leblanc
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    I lost my husband in April and just lost my sister in November so I don’t know how to go through the season. Hep

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      I’m sorry Mary about your husband and sister. Everyone is different in what makes them comfortable through the season. I went around keeping myself busy by visiting everyone, but that may not be your style. What do you want to do? Stay home, visit, take a trip away or a mix of them all? It all comes down to what you want, so don’t let others guilt you into doing anything you don’t feel up to doing. On the other hand, be careful about burying yourself in the house and not getting out at all (that can add to your sadness). Your decision to make, take care Mary Francis

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