Oh, what a year it has been! It seems like I have brought that up several times this year. However, if you are someone who lost a spouse it has been even more difficult. Many of you were only able to have small groups at the burial. Many of you are waiting for this pandemic to pass and have a memorial service down the road.
There are others that have made it past the first and second year and are beginning to feel as though they are coming to terms with their new normal without their spouse. Do we ever forget? Absolutely not! Do we stumble along the way – absolutely! As we grow and learn how to handle this – we are there to help others along the way.
Perhaps we learn how to come up with new traditions. One promise I have relied on is from Psalms 147:3 which reads: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Keeping some of the old traditions are almost a must. However, we can add new ones along the way
For me, I needed to make new ones the first year as it was difficult to keep all the old ones. Some options may be:
- If you have been the host to holiday’s in the past, suggest to one of you children or other family member host these first few holidays.
- Invite another person to your holiday who is also alone.
- Perhaps this year is just too difficult to be with others, give yourself permission to spend it alone.
There are options to share memories with others or just keep for yourself. Many of these ideas I received from other widows. Here are some options to keep your husband’s memory alive:
- Put together a memory book of your spouse. You may also invite others to add memories to this book. This doesn’t need to be just for the holidays but can be for all year long.
- Make or purchase decorations in honor of you loved one.
- Continue to hang the stocking of your loved one. Let your guests know ahead of time to bring a written note of your loved one and put it in their stocking. Take turns pulling the memories out of the stocking and read them. Hopefully, you will have some happy memories that will make you laugh and sometimes cry.
- Donate to a charity of your choice in honor of your loved one.
Please remember to take care of yourself! As many of us are mom’s or just being women, we often feel like we need to do it all. But we do not! Take care of you! You may have to sort through your feelings about the holidays. Take time for a massage, pedicure or manicure or even read a book.
It took me a long time to understand this verse Jeremiah 29:11 which reads: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I often thought if another person quotes me this scripture I was going to scream! But as time went on, and I reflected on what has/had happened in my life, I realized that God does have plans for me! He is going to be there for me during tough times and also the good times.
I often get sentimental over the holidays. I found a picture of my family at Christmas time in 1992. My kids always made a big deal of how I always wanted a family picture taken. Amazing as time goes by, they love the old pictures.
Blessings to each of you. I so look forward to the time we can meet together as a group to laugh and cry together. And to enjoy each other’s company!