The Dreaded Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for family and social gatherings.  But for many widow it’s looked forward with sad anticipation, sometimes even dread.  How can we celebrate Peace On Earth, when there is no peace of mind?

Here are a few tips for some holiday peace of mind:

  1. Plan ahead and keep your entertaining plans simple.  Do what you can in advance so you can really relax and enjoy your company.  Have an exit plan so you can leave early if the party is at someone else’s house.
  2. Delegate, where possible. Get kids to help with gift wrapping, decorating, baking and the list goes on…
  3. Beware of over indulgence as a way to handle your grief.  Alcohol can lift your mood, but then drop you lower than before.  Also, too many sweets will probably make you feel lethargic, tired and even more depressed.
  4. Please stay within budget.  If it makes it easier then give out gift cards and stay out of the holiday stores.  This may be a good time to think of a “family gift” for everyone in the same household.
  5.  Remember that this holiday season needs to be about you and what you want.  Develop new family traditions if you find the old traditions are too hard to do without your husband.
  6. The message of “family togetherness and joy” may feel empty because of your grief.  That message is in harsh contrast to what society seems to “expect” us to feel.  It’s normal to feel at odds with social events so it’s okay to limit involvement to the events that really matter to you.
  7. It’s okay to talk about your late husband.  Your stress will only increase if their memory isn’t honoured and everyone tip toes around it.
  8. Lastly, seek support and don’t try to do it on your own.  Many communities offer support groups for people who are grieving or you could seek out private counselling.  You could also share with a family member or close friend who understands how you feel and won’t judge your lack of holiday joy.

3 Responses

  1. Susie Peters-Komar
    | Reply

    Mary: Bless you. Bless you . Bless you. These suggestions are and will be life saving for me.

  2. Cathy Esposito
    | Reply

    Hi Mary, its the 3rd christmas and i am still struggling, can’t find it in me to even decorate my house, your suggestions are helpful i don’t want to feel this way every year just need to know if it does get better as years go on.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Yes Cathy, it does get better. Different than past Christmas, but not as painful as it currently is. Your broken heart will heal, but it will never be as it was. You will find your balance and start making new memories as the years go on, but it will happen as you become open to it and not before. I know that everyone is different and it took me a few years to find myself. The grandchildren help me to enjoy Christmas and I appreciate the blessings they bring. Take care, Mary Francis

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