It’s the holiday season, whoop dee doo, and you the newly widowed find yourself engulfed in mistletoe and smiling faces. Everyone’s singing a happy tune – Everyone but you – You wonder, how will I get through this holiday season without Him?
I’m here to tell you, you can. And you will.
While I can’t change your circumstances, I can offer 5 mistakes for you the newly widowed to avoid this holiday season which will help turn your sadness into gladness.
Here they are:
Wearing your heart on your sleeve -
Moaning, whining, groaning is no way to spread holiday cheer. Beat those blues - Go shopping! Bake bread! Dust homemade brownies in confectioner’s sugar. Plastic plate them, wrap everything in see-through wrap, then stick a bow on it.
No. Not for you. For someone you don’t know.
You need not be rich as Rockefeller to honor that responsible receptionist who smiled brightly that frosty morning you were late escorting Him for that dreaded doctor visit, or to make that next door neighbor who prepared spaghetti dinner for you after the funeral feel appreciated. A home baked goodie from your kitchen, a box of inexpensive chocolates from the corner drugstore wrapped in foil and tied in fancy ribbon with your hand written note complimenting a job well done is bound to win praises and melt the iciest of hearts - Yours!
Performing the simplest act of kindness at this time of the year is life’s greatest gift, to you. I promise you will feel great and you will make a friend.
Showing too many tears -
Not a good thing, especially this time of year. Yes, you the newly widowed miss your life partner. Life sucks without him. And, you hate every freaking light on that tree. But don’t let it spoil your holiday.
Instead, honor your man. Let His spirit fill your senses. Go to church, light a candle; make a donation to a favorite charity in His name. Heck. Toss 4 quarters in that metal kettle, the one with the white-bearded guy dressed in red suit standing next to it. Let the klink of silver-coated copper coins fill your brain as they bounce to the bottom. Then raise your eyes to the heavens and thank Him for watching over you and helping you get through another holiday.
Getting caught with a frown -
Greet friends, neighbors, and family members with a great big smile. Hold your head up. Make eye contact. Flash those pearly whites. Say in your brightest cheeriest voice, “Happy Holiday! Happy Healthy New Year!”
You will be amazed at this infectious behavior. You will get a good chuckle at friends’, neighbors’, and family members’ reactions, expecting you the newly widowed to behave differently. I realize we can’t be the life of the party, but we sure can have a good time trying.
Dressing down -
Dress for success sounds trite. But it’s true. The simple act of cleaning up, putting on a pretty face, and donning a frilly outfit will work wonders for your self esteem. You will look good and you will impress others.
So go to your closet, pull out something red. Pair it with that black silk skirt or pair of black velvet slacks you stashed away thinking you’ll never wear this again. Open that jewel box. Oh, c’mon. Ain’t a lady on planet earth what doesn’t own a holiday broach or string of pearls. Okay, so they’re not real. I won’t tell. I promise.
Making it too complicated -
Widows get a bum rap. Don’t be deterred if your former friends don’t include you in their annual house party. The one you used to attend in a former life.
Throw a party of your own. Invite the dear women and gentleman you met at bereavement. Ask everyone to bring something good to eat or drink. Betcha 4 commemorative quarters you’ll win the mending hearts and respect of those widows and one widower. And, you’ll be one baby step closer to eking out that niche in your new life.
Being depressed –
It’s the time of year that brings out the best in us; the worst in us.
But here’s the kicker. On this one, we have a choice. Make it positive. Think happy thoughts.
Missing a life partner, especially this time of year, is normal. Being sad, is normal. No matter our culture, our religious belief, or our holiday traditions, we share grief. But if you pay attention to my 5 mistakes to avoid this holiday season (outlined above), you just may find yourself with an ear-to-ear grin and caroling a happy tune, too.
We have only to look to Rudolph, that flying red-nosed reindeer, for inspiration. Against all odds, look what he did.
Linda Della Donna is a freelance writer. She supports new widows through the grief process. Receive a copy of Della Donna’s FREE E-Book, Mourning Joy. Just visit her web site - http://www.littleredmailbox.com - and subscribe to her mailing list. Learn more about Della Donna by reading her blog - http://www.griefcase.blogspot.com - Need an interview? Perhaps you have a different writing assignment. Feel free to contact Della Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org . She’s waiting to hear from you.