What directs your choices in your journey in life?

It is so easy to let things like fear, difficulty and trouble in our lives to direct us on how we handle what we are going through.  We often think we are not going to make it through this journey.  Depending on how low we are, may depend on if we make it through or search for help.

Try not to let fear fuel your choices.  It is so easy to do: 

  • Don’t worry about what other people think. 
  • Focus on you at this point. 
  • Don’t forget to be true to yourself.
  • No matter how weird this sounds, love yourself.

Scripture promises God will help us along the way. In Psalm 37:5 (NLT) It reads:  Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.  Sometimes it is easier to read than believe – but it is true. 

When fear, trauma or difficulty threatens you, try to resist the fear that overwhelms you.  Again, I know it’s easier said than done.   God will carry you through as He promises in Psalm 55:22 as it reads:  Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.  We need to focus on God as His promises and His power to fight on our behalf.  There are times when it is really difficult to keep our focus towards God. 

The book of Psalms has so many promises that God is and will continue to be there for us.  Psalms 145:15 (NLT) reads:  The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it.  Many times, for me personally, I just need to step back and let this settle in me to believe God is and will be there for me. 

While we are going through this journey, it feels like we are going through the wilderness and it can seem so draining, doesn’t it?  Perhaps we need to be in-between for now for us to grow nearer to God.  Before we were married and at some point going forward, we will feel God’s peace.  Hebrews 10:36 (ASV) reads:   For ye have need of patience, that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise.

Take a few minutes to think about your ‘in-between time’.  Think about a time what you were going through or have gone through!   How did you or have you handled the situation?  What did you learn from it?  How did you renew your faith, trust or patience?  In James 56:11 (NIV) it reads):  As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy!

It seems everything we go through in life; we go through for a season.  Sometimes it seems forever and other times it is just for a while.   Remember, no matter what we go through in life, God is there for us every step of the way.  This doesn’t mean it will all be easy but if we can look back at previous times in our lives and see where we have been, it does make it easier.   I pray each of you has someone to talk to about what you are going through.  Or perhaps journaling works for you as it often does for me. 

Paul writes in Philippians 1:6 (NLT):  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.  Another great promise!  However, be patient with yourself!   What you are going through isn’t always easy to go.   But rest assured, if you take a one step at a time and talk with someone you trust, you will succeed with God’s help.

Blessings to each of you.  Remember you are awesome and we are here for you.  

What’s my next step?

It seems we certainly remember going a lot of places when we were married with our spouse don’t, we?  Now that we are alone, in the beginning, it is just easier to stay home than go out alone.  There comes a time when we need to take that next step.

Over time, we will be able to do this.  We had quite a discussion about this at our last coffee.  Some of the new widows thought they would never be able to do this.  However, as we talked about it, they realized how far a lot of our widows had come.  We were able to remind these new to our group that for them, just coming to coffee for the first time was a huge step.  Timothy talks about being alone and states in 2 Timothy 4:16: “No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me.  But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength.”

Be careful though, as it is easy to either become a busy body or become secluded.  You may be thinking it is easier for me to accept than it is you as I have been a widow a lot longer.  However, the reality is that God is with us each step of the way all of our lives.

Often times, we are hardest on ourselves.   Are you able to give yourself grace without feeling guilty?  In Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) it reads: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  This could mean something as simple as being ok with having cereal for dinner.  Or perhaps trying to decide if you will accept an invitation but not sure you are ready to depending on where you are in your stage of moving forward.

Be aware that God’s goodness is with us always!  When we are down and out or second guessing ourselves, we often question God being with us each step of the way. Often times we just need to ask God for His help and rely on His goodness. That’s not to say there may be times we question our decision.  Remember, God is with you each step of the way.

Once we take the first step of getting out and about, it will become easier.  May I recommend meeting up with a widow’s group or a widow within your church, perish or synagogue. 

May I suggest starting with small things first. 

  • Things such as going through the drive thru to purchase a cup of coffee. 
  • Or perhaps going inside the coffee shop with a book and read a bit. 
  • This may sound off the wall but going to a movie by yourself. 
  • Grocery shopping.  I mention this as a lot of times grocery shopping was done as a couple.
  • Or perhaps going for a walk outside by yourself.

Within time, God will reshape your broken heart.  Scripture tells us in Psalm 94:19:  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.  Perhaps allow God to reshape your heart like His. You will begin to do things you never thought you would be able to. Remember to take one step at a time. 

Rest in the Lord that He will be with you each step of the way. 

Blessings to you!

What to expect of your new life?

Oh, how life seems to be changing since the beginning of Covid 19 from a couple of years ago! It seems like many lives have changed regardless if they have become widowed or not.  Life certainly changes a lot with becoming widowed and we seem to feel so alone!  With that been said, our lives all changed on what we were able to do because of Covid. 

If your spouse has died within the last couple of years, you are aware of the how you were or were not able to plan their funeral. Many went ahead and had a small funeral and later on planned a celebration of life for their spouse.  Also, many of the Grief Share groups were not meeting or meeting via Zoom.  Although Zoom works for most people, it is not as personal as meeting together.  At our last coffee a couple of weeks ago, there were about 12 that have not joined a Grief Share Group either because they were new to widowhood or the groups were not available to them when they were ready for it

Each widow who was there, was there for a reason.  Some of us have been widowed for many years and some brand new.   I am working on figuring out how we can put together a Grief Share session soon for our ladies.

For each of you who had a loss, what to expect in your new journey is difficult to understand.  In 1 Timothy 5:3 and verse 5 reads:  Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. Honor widows who are truly widows. … The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.  These verses are so real but when one is going through this journey, it may be difficult to totally understand.  We truly need to have someone who understands this journey to help us along. 

So much of the scriptures talks about how we can rely on God to help us through so many things in life.  If we do believe this, God will put those in our path to help us through this stage of our lives.  Acts 9:41 reads:  He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.

You may have had many events in your life which you have needed to heal from the wound.    Each of us processes things differently even though many parts of our journey are similar.  As you have gone through difficulties in your life, how have you reflected on what did or did not help you?  Some options of hope may be:

  • Meet with someone who has walked down your journey to see how they handled different situations.
  • What is your belief in God?  Do you have a faith that would help you sustain what you are going through?  
  • Talk with your pastor, priest or rabbi where you attend church.
  • If it is medical, speak with the hospital to find out who you can talk with.
  • What about your trusted friends?
  • Perhaps join a support group that helps with what you are going through.
  • I also recommend a counselor to help you through this difficult time.

Remember God is there to be with us each step of the way.  Psalms 68:5 confirms He is with us by reading:  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. I so understand that as you are walking this path, there are times you may not feel this.  Take one day at a time or one step at a time!   You may need to open up to someone you trust to help you through this. 

His promise in Romans 8:38-39 reads:  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Remember, even though sometimes we do not feel God near us, He is!

Please know you are in my prayers.  This may be a tough journey right now, but you will get through it.  I highly recommend you talk to someone on the list above.

Blessings to each of you!!!!!

Loving Yourself

As we learn to live our lives in a new role of being just one, we will learn how to love ourselves as one and not as a couple.  This sort of sounds harsh, doesn’t it?  Yet, the reality is, as we remember what we had as a couple, we may learn to live uniquely by ourselves.  Even though some days may be tough, with God’s help, we can do this!

I just finished reading a book called, The Inner Voice of Love – A Journey through Anguish to Freedom by Henry J. M. Nouwen.  There was a period in his life where he journaled while he was struggling with who he was.  He decided to put his writings into print.  How often have you felt this way and wondered if you were truly loved Do you truly love yourself?  What are you truly feeling about yourself?  Proverbs 19:8 reads:  To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.  At what point do you believe this?!

I’m not saying that by being married or in a relationship you always felt loved.   But once you are alone, one realizes that you were loved most of the time.   Every relationship has its days, but just knowing you have someone to come home to is such a big relief.   We often get lost in who we really are, until we are alone. 

What do we do now?  Many have moved with their husbands and families to a new area at some time in their life.  Then they became widows and have moved from where they raised their children or were married and left family and friends behind.  When they move, they were looking for new adventure and ideas of how they would get involved with others to help with the process of meeting new friends.  This happens more times than not!  My heart aches for those who do not have close family or friends near them at this time in their lives! 

So how do we do this?    Scripture reads:  Luke 21:28 (NIV) When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  When I first read this, I thought there is no way this applies to widowhood.  But it applies to all things in life that we go through.  It is so important to stand tall.  However, it is easier to complain, have self-pity or be overwhelmed.  I am not saying this is wrong, but it is easy to go down that path.  There are many days, it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves no matter how long we have been it has been.

Let’s take this a step closer to who we are.  Yes, God is our healer and totally understands who we are and what we are going thru.  For those of us who have friends and family close by, we know we have support.  Perhaps many of you have a strong faith and that helps.  However, when we go through something traumatic, our emotions go way out of whack!  Many of you have received information from the funeral home you went through for a list of what to do.  If you need to check to see how you are doing, go to:  https://www.widowmight.org/where-to-start/

If you are new to this journey, I would suggest you become involved in a grief group.   You can check out where there are locations close to you by going to:  https://www.griefshare.org/.   Or go to Brighter Days Grief Share at:  https://brighterdaysgriefcenter.org/about-us/.  This facility has grief groups for children that are very good.

Please connect to someone who has gone down this journey.  No one knows how to handle this better than one that has gone through it.  The Widow Might Organization has several groups around the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  They also have a lot of information on there web site.

Please take time for yourself!   Evaluate what stage you are at.   No matter how long you have been on this journey, it is important to take a look at ourselves to stay on track.  Deciding on what you want to do with your life going forward may be difficult to do, but it helps to take a look at where you are at, to move forward.  Reading Ephesians 5:2, it says:  And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Live a life filled with love …

Perhaps remembering the love, you have had with your spouse or significant other, the love of God helps you through this and meeting new friends will help you also.  My goal for each of you would be to get connected with a group of widows who understand what you are going through.  They will be there to hold your hand that first year and help you get through it.  With in time, you will become the widow that is holding a new widow’s hand to help her through it.   This happens time and time again.  For some, the change is in six months to a year.  For others it is two or three years, but it does indeed happen with support of others. 

Within time and with God’s help, you will find you have become confident and truly love yourself! I remind you that it takes time, one step at a time and having someone walk with you down this journey.

May you feel the love of God’s arms wrapped around you.  He is there for each step of the way.  Blessings to each of you reading this.  God does love you and is there for you!

Bored – Sad – Happy

It seems that we are often bored and need to figure out how we are going to move forward.  Just remember it takes time and often we need to figure that out!  Each of us handles this a bit differently.  Being involved with a widow group helps us to work through this.   Job 8:21 reads: “He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”  What a great promise! 

Chuck Swindoll has said, “Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity.”  How do we get to the point that we can smile and have laughter as part of our daily life again?

Sadness is such a big part of grief.  We often wonder if we will ever be happy again. As we think about those we loved, these memories will help us heal and once again laugh.   Proverbs 14:13 reads: “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.”

I am aware that often it is easier to seclude oneself as we are feeling so alone.  My prayer is that you have a couple good friends that are watching over you at this time.  This may also be a good time to journal or keep notes on what you are doing or going through.  If you find you are isolating yourself quite often, I may suggest making an appointment with a grief counselor, meet with your pastor, priest, or rabbi.  Another idea may be to talk with your doctor.   Each of us handles this type of stress differently.  Pay attention to your body.  Our bodies have a way of letting us know that our emotions are affecting our bodies.

For any of you who I refer to as seasoned widows, perhaps keep an eye open to someone who has just lost a loved one.  This may be a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, or a good friend.  God does have a promise for us all.  Proverbs 31:25-26 which reads:   She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.  The day will come when joy and laughter in our lives again!

In my early years of widowhood, I often felt like I had a fake smile.  It was easier to have a fake smile than a sad face then be asked what was wrong.  Ever felt that way?  As I began to heal, I was able to talk about what I had gone through and how I was working through it.  There are a lot of great books on widowhood to read to help you.  These are just a few that you may want to check out:

With time joy, will come in the morning.  Luke 6: 21 promises:  Blessed are ye that hunger now: for you shall be filled.   Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh.  As I often say, be patient with yourself.  We will always miss those we have loved and lost.  The time will come when you will once again laugh, be not so bored and not so sad.

Blessings to each of you.  May you feel God’s arms wrapped around you!

Love – Guilt – Loss?

It seems with the holidays behind us, and spring around the corner (or let’s hope it is really around the corner), this time of year gives us time to reflect.  We reflect on the good times we have had and things we may be looking forward to.  What do you or I want to do going forward?  What are we holding onto from the past that we need to let go of?

When we have lost someone, we love, sometimes it seems we think there was more we could have done.  Or things we wished they would have said more often. Many of you have been blessed with amazing marriages.  Others really had to work at it.  Still others, there marriages seemed like a roller coaster ride.  No matter what your marriage was, we probably all have a few regrets.  Along with a lot of great memories.  Try your best to remember the good times. 

 Micah 7:19 reads: “…He will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Let them go because you have been forgiven.  To me this says, God forgives us no matter what we have gone through in our lives.  We definitely are not perfect here on earth but someday, when we get to heaven, we will be.  We can not undo what we wish we would not have done…

Every once in a while, I ask widows how they handle this.  The answers are different but often the same.  It just depends on their marriages.  One thing I love to hear is when they decide to do things that they enjoyed doing together even though they are no longer together.  Many travel with new friends or alone.  Others will get involved with things that they wished they would have before, but their spouse didn’t like to do. While others get involved with volunteering. 

Something I rely on is found in Isaiah 50:7 which reads: “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”  My thought is, God has been there for me before and will be with me again.   With that being said, that doesn’t mean life will always be wonderful.   I have said many times, just put one foot in front of the other and eventually it does get easier.  We will always miss the loves of our life and that seems to be a given. 

Others have shared with me that their spouse loved butterflies or birds.  It seems when they are missing them or wishing they were close by, all of the sudden a bird or butterfly will be nearby.  A friend of mine, her husband loved yellow butterflies.  If one stopped on a flower on her deck, she would say something like ‘Hey Steve thanks for thinking of me today’ and then go on about her business.

 I totally understand how lonely it can be and there are days it is ok to feel sorry for yourself.  However, keep tabs on yourself as to how often you may feel this way.  It depends on how you are feeling and where is God during these times.  Rest in Christ that he will be with you as he says in Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  He is with us even when we think he isn’t! 

When times are tough, please reach out to someone who has walked down this same journey as you are.  Things may be different between you but they are often very similar.  Join a widow’s group.   If you are not attending a church, may I suggest you find one.  Seek a counselor in your area or perhaps your pastor, priest or rabbi. 

We cannot change the past, but we can move forward by taking one step at a time.    Remember to know that each person goes through this journey at their own pace.  Some ladies go through grief share 3 or 4 times, some only once and some never go.  You need to do what is best for you!

Blessings to each of you my friends…   God loves you and is with you each step of the way.

All things new – really?

As we begin the new year of 2022, during the grieving process, it is really difficult to think of all things new for several reasons.  Each of us is different in how we handle things.  We are also at different stages of our grief.  Each year we think things will get better, but it certainly hasn’t gone that way so far.  Unfortunately, that process is not up to us and we truly need to rely on God for each stage of life.

God promises us all things new!  How do we believe that as we are going through each stage of grief?  One of the blessings is that God puts those in your life that have gone through this journey also.  He has provided those who will walk with you through each stage.  One of Gods promises is in Jeremiah 29:11 ESV which reads ‘ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’  Oh, but at the early stages, it is hard to believe it isn’t it? 

Accepting what we cannot change is hard to do!  However, with the beginning stages of this journey, there are many things we need to do to move forward with all that needs to be done. Unless you have a close friend or relative to help you through the beginning stages, there are those who may find themselves sinking.  Perhaps your minister or a Grief Share group would be able to help you through this.  That’s not to say there will not be those days when you truly miss your husband. 

When I became a widow, there wasn’t much to offer to help with grief.  Grief Share did not start until the early 2000’s.  Most hospitals or churches did not have a support system.  I was fortunate to have had a brother who had lost his wife several years before I lost my husband and he did a great job of helping me with each stage.  We both attended the same church at the time and so we saw each other almost weekly. 

I must say, even with the promises God has for us, we need to take it slowly and believe He truly is with us.  The Psalms of the Old Testament has so many promises.  One for sure is:  Psalm 16:11 (NIV):   You always show me the path that leads to life.  You will fill me with joy when I am with you.  You will give me endless pleasures at your right hand. 

I pray that along your journey, you will sense the prayers that others are praying for you.   It often is just the little things in life such as a cup of coffee, someone opening up the door for you, someone picking you up for an event or to go to church with you.   All of these small things are so helpful and seem to show us God’s love.  It’s amazing as time goes on, you will become that widow to help another widow along the way.

May I also suggest something that may be difficult for you in the early stages of widowhood?  As I have mentioned before, please take care of yourself!  Some days it is difficult to get out of bed, but try taking time to go for a walk or drive thru a coffee place for a cup of coffee even if it is by yourself.  Those may sound difficult in the beginning but they eventually will be the beginning steps to help you move forward.  With God’s help you will find healing in each new step…

Although we cannot bring our spouse back, think about what he would want for you!  Would he want you to sit and be sad all the time?  I do not believe so.  As a Christian, he is in heaven with God and looking down on us smiling. 

For some reason this past Christmas holiday, I have heard or read of several ways that many widows have honored their spouses.  Many have put up their husbands’ stockings and had family members or friends bring notes regarding them.  They then put them in the stocking and throughout the day they would read the notes.  Some were funny stores, things that had been taught to them as they grew up or something thar reminds them of their dad/husband/brother or friend.    Others made Christmas ornaments to put on the tree.  Some have done this for years while others do it for a short time.  It’s amazing how this can be so healing for each widow.

Remember God is in control and with you each step of the way, even though we may not ‘feel’ it.   Another promise in the scripture is2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

As I wrap this up, I realize each step becomes one step closer in the healing process of your journey.   Please know each of you are in my prayers.

Blessings to each of you!

How has my identity changed me as a widow?

It doesn’t seem to take long after we become widowed to discover we have changed or others have noticed we have changed.  How can we not change?  I mean our life have been uprooted.  We were a couple, a pair, a duo and now we are one.  How can things not change!  Now we are one and it’s up to us how we will handle the decisions that need to be made. 

The goal of our grief is not to walk away, move on or find closure.  The goal may be to figure out how we are going to handle the challenges of our ‘new’ changed life.  Keep in mind, the person who we discussed things with or bounced options off of, is no longer there to do that with. I remember times when I wasn’t sure what to do, I would think or speak out loud of what I would think Dan would do.  I’m not saying he always had the right answers, but it would help in thinking things through.

How things changed!  If your spouse was Mr. Fixit, he may have fixed things around the house that you have no clue how to fix.  Now you will be asking someone else, or calling someone who is good at plumbing, electrical or whatever needs to be fixed.

What about those in your life while you were married that drove you crazy but you tolerated.  Depending on the relationship of those, do you need to keep them in your life or can you move on?

Be careful of your behaviors during the early stages of widowhood!

  • It is so easy to binge on foods.
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol.
  • Shopping too much.
  • Or other poor destructive habits or addiction.  

Perhaps we are now at a place we can focus on solutions. 

  • Have you had the chance to think through where you have been or gone through and realize what you are good at?
  • What wisdom have you mastered?
  • What life experiences have you gone through during this time?

What are some things you may be able to do now? 

  • Some things you may be able to do now.
  • What can you do to transform your experience to being positive?
  • What is something you can do that would be powerful for others?

While thinking on these things, what would be key in building a new life for yourself?  As much as we may prefer the old life, it isn’t for us to have any longer.  Let’s consider a couple of things: 

  • Not that we are living our lives based on what our deceased spouse would want, but what do you think he would say.  Perhaps to some of you it may not matter and I don’t mean that in a mean way.
  • God has given you experiences to help you through this time.  Maybe it’s been a teaching or learning time to help others.
  • Your wisdom can be a tremendous benefit to help others going down this journey. 

A great scripture to help mold us is found in Isaiah 1:17 (NIV) which reads:  Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.  God did not allow us to become widows to help others.  Things happen in life and God helps us use these things to help others. 

God certainly has a plan for each of us.  Some of the plans may be similar while others are completely different.  It is all in the purpose for which God has planned for you.   Proverbs 31:25 (NIV) reads:  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 

The time will come when we will laugh again.  Does it mean we will forget?  Absolutely not!  I would suggest you lean on God to discover what His plan is for you.   It may be for you to become a leader or someone to just be there for someone going through something similar to what you have gone through. 

Although we miss the love of our spouse and we will never forget what we had with them, God’s great love is amazing in I Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV): Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.

Perhaps you are dating, thinking about dating or have remarried.  God does not want you to be lonely but it is ok to be by yourself Patience is not always easy but God has a plan for each of us.

Hugs, blessings and prayers for each of you!

What to expect during the holidays!

Well folks– it’s that time of year already!   The time during good times, we look so forward to! We may have looked forward to the holiday with the traditions of the past or perhaps the new traditions we have decided to make.   Easier said than done on making changes, isn’t it?!   So much has happened to a lot of you during the last year or maybe even two years.  Go easy on yourself!  I know I have said this many times, but please just take one day at a time or just one step at a time.

Anyone who has gone down this path, totally understands how tough this time of year is.   One verse that comes to mind is Psalms 34:18 which reads:  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  This verse is God’s promise that He is there for you and I.  This doesn’t mean life will be easy.  It’s a promise that God is always with us.

Let’s take this blog in sections.  Let’s remember what you have had:

  • The vacations you two have had.
  • Your children and grandchildren.
  • The favorite things you did together.
  • The silly things you two have done together.

Consider changing things up such as:

  • Plan and take a trip over the holidays.
  • If you have always done the entertaining, consider suggesting someone else to prepare the dinner.
  • Invite someone completely different for the holiday.
  • Give yourself permission to spend the holiday by yourself.

Ways to remember your spouse at Christmas: 

  • Put together a memory book of your spouse.  Invite others to add memories to this book. 
  • Make or purchase a holiday decoration in honor of your loved one.
  • Donate to a charity of your choice or your late husband’s favorite charity.
  • 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.  As they arrived, put the note in the stocking.  During the down time, share the stories with all.  The stories can be funny memories or something special they remember.
  • Hang onto your spouse’s favorite coffee cup and bring it out for each holiday.

Don’t forget about you!   For those who are mom’s or grandmother’s, it is so easy to take care of everyone else and forget about ourselves.  Part of that maybe we just do not want to deal with the holiday and it’s easier to worry about other’s than it is ourselves.  Consider a few of these:

  • Schedule a massage, pedicure of manicure for yourself.
  • Give yourself permission to turn down events that you are having a difficult time deciding if you want to attend. 
  • Be open with your family and friends on what you are feeling.  Unless they have walked in your shoes, they may not understand your choices.   But that is ok.  For now, it is about you!

Remembering that this is the season of changes from the birth of Jesus through today.  Does that mean life will be easy, absolutely not!  The promise regarding Jesus from the Old Testament says:  Isaiah 7:14:  Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign.  The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.  As with the promise of Jesus birth from the Old Testament to the reality of the New Testament, is we have the hope that we will be able to move forward and see our loved ones again. 

I often get pretty sentimental over the holidays.  I miss the fact my ‘helper’ isn’t here to help.  However, my kids have been amazing on helping out with the holidays. 

Believe me when I say that one day you will smile and laugh again.  God wants you to be happy and smile again!  The reality is, so would your loved one!        

My prayer is that you find God’s peace as you do your best to get through these first couple of holidays without your loved one.  May you feel God’s arms wrapped around you. 

Hugs, peace and blessings to each of you!

Missing love or to love again?

We certainly do miss our loved ones, don’t we!  But at what point do we consider dating again, or do we. If we do, are we disrespecting our late husband?   Oh, how times have changed………   It’s amazing what goes through our heads as we process widowhood and think about the future.  Each of us handles this differently, but many are very similar in how they handle it. 

There are so many things that go through each of our minds.   Many choose to marry again.  Others wait for a year or two.  Yet others begin looking right away or choose to go online for dating.  So much has changed over the years depending on your age.   

Many have been fortunate to have found a new love in their lives.  It’s a different ballgame from when we were teenagers and dating.  Many things change just because we are much older.  Our goals change.   Unfortunately, many women become widows at a young age and have small children or perhaps did not have children with the spouse.   For these gals, there is a decision to make if they want more children.

In talking with other widows, many have no desire to remarry.  Others start dating to soon as they are so lonely.  The divorce rate is high if one remarries within the year of losing your spouse. What are you feeling about dating?  A couple things to consider:

  • Am I ready for dating?
  • Am I secure with who I am as a single person?
  • Am I content with myself?

When or if you are ready to date again, proceed with caution, joy and anticipation.  The Bible does have something to say about remarrying.  In 1 Corinthians 7:39 (NIV) reads:  A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

I would encourage you to take your time – allow yourself to grieve.  Perhaps join a Grief Share group either on line, through your church or through a hospital.  Check online at:  www.grieffshare.org to find a group near you. 

Your financials will change.  I would encourage you to consult a trusted financial advisor to go over your pensions, Social Security, life insurance policies and your late husbands’ pensions.   There may be options out there that you are unaware of.

So often we as widows tend to be vulnerable during this time of grief.  Are we concerned about being loyal to our spouse?  What about his family or even our kids?  There are so many emotions involved!  Also, it often differs because of the age of your children.  If they are young, you may be considering having someone help with raising of your kids.   But then, you may be very fortunate to have close friends or family that are filing in that gap.  Many times, teenagers or adult children are concerned the ‘new’ person in our lives wants to take over.  Keep the communication open or consider counseling for all involved.

One of the greatest fears about getting involved with someone new or remarrying is becoming a widow again.  Be careful not to compare one to your late spouse.  Others may have their own opinion on what you should or should not do.  Remember – this is your life and keep God in control of all decisions.

Pay attention to yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally.  By doing so, you will become aware that you are healing and are ok with being yourself.  That is a great feeling!  God is in control of your life!   By studying His word and prayer, He will direct you down the path He has for you.

Does any of this mean you will not remember what you had with your husband?  Absolutely not!  I have had widows tell me they talked about remarrying with their late spouse before he died.  I do not recall any of them saying this was not a decent conversation!  It was hard to talk about, but it gave them peace.

Just remember that God has you in the palm of His hands and is there for you always.  If you are fortunate to find a ‘new love’, consider it all joy.  If not, God has other plans for you!

Hugs, peace and many blessings to each of you.  This isn’t always an easy topic to share or to talk about.  But God loves you, past, present and always!!!!  

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