For the New Widow -- When the Whole World's Ho Ho Ho-ing and You're Thinking, SO WHAT!

by Linda Della Donna - Date: 2006-11-30 - Word Count: 623 Share This!

With the Holiday season fast approaching, and everyone you know, and wish you didn't, is making merry...

While you, the newly widowed, are thinking, Bah, Humbug...

Is it any wonder you want to scream, "Stuff a sock in it!" to that man on the corner dressed in a red suit, with a white beard, ringing a bell?

I want you to know, you're not alone.

Though the upcoming holidays without Him may bring you down, here are four new tips for you, the newly widowed, to make it through:

1. Make a New Memory!

In your mind's eye, you see His image reflected everywhere you go -- In every ornament and light on every Christmas tree you see. And that empty space on the mantelpiece where his stocking once hung doesn't help.

You, the newly widowed, may be wondering how you'll ever get through the holiday alone with all your memories.

But don't worry.

Because there's no time like this holiday to begin anew by making a new memory. One you will look back on next year, next week, tomorrow, five minutes from now, with mourning joy.

Just ask yourself who do I know? And where can I go?

Then flip that clam cell phone, or sign onto the internet, and turn on your heart light.

I'll bet you know someone, somewhere, who can fit one extra chair at the table and make you feel at home.

Okay. So it's not your first choice. But, it's a start at your new life.

Find out which member of your family is making dinner.

Stand in front of a mirror. Repeat after me, "Can I join you?"

Then ask, "What can I bring?"

Get going!

You, the newly widowed, have things to do. Like shop for red wine. Or, is it white?

2. Make a New Gift!

There is nothing more healing to a battered soul than an act of loving kindness.

You, the newly widowed, know what I mean. We know what it is to lose at the game of life. We feel it with every Christmas card we receive. It can be a gloomy day without Him at our side. But don't let it.

The simple act of giving a new gift from the heart helps us forget about ourselves.


Fill a new basket, a new bucket, a new Tupperware bowl -- With fresh navel oranges, green Grannie Smiths, some ripened Chiquita bananas, a circle of dried figs, and a crinkled bag of nuts. Wrap it in cellophane, tie a bow around it. And deliver it to a local nursing home, hospital, homeless shelter, or food pantry. Let the staff decide who receives your bounty.

You'll brighten a stranger's day, have a good time doing it, and it will have gotten you out of your house.

3. Make a New Holiday!

No family? No friends? No one to call?

Give yourself permission to be by yourself.

Sleep late.

Order in.

Take in a movie.

Do the something special thing you've been meaning to do for yourself and haven't had the time for "Until today."

4. Make a Church Visit!

Statistics show that women who attend any type religious service on a regular basis live longer.

The act of getting out, seeing other members, promotes community and reduces stress.

You'll feel good about yourself. You'll meet people. And you'll feel at peace.

I know it's a lot to ask when the man you love is not here to share the holidays and you're thinking you can't do it without Him, and I'm saying different.

But I'm here to tell you, you, the newly widowed, can do it.

And you will.

Because it's time.

It's your time.

Think new time.

If you follow the four tips outlined above, before you know it, you will have created new memories that will last into next year, the year after that, and the year after that.

And as that crazy lady with a fancy ankle bracelet likes to say, "That's a good thing."

Related Tags: holidays, grief, widow, stocking, sad, lonely, linda, della, donna, sclier, edward, mourning joy

Linda Della Donna is a freelance writer who supports new widows as they process their grief. You can learn more about her work for widows at her blog - - and visiting her web site - Got a writing assignment? Contact Linda Della Donna at

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