It seems like everyone is celebrating, happy and carefree this time of year. What we sometimes miss is the undercurrent beneath the celebrations of people living with loss, illness and loneliness.

Finding comfort in the face of loss or hardships is difficult for many widows and widowers, so we offer a few warm thoughts on how to manage as another new year begins.

First you have already taken positive steps by joining our welcoming community. If ever there was a group of people who understand when you may be feeling a little bit low, it is us.

Second, be sure to come out regularly to events – whether it is a widowed friends event or another organization or interest group, getting out and about is an important way of reconnecting with the world and finding your way forward. Even though it may be cold outside, coming out of your home and joining a group at dinner or bowling or whatever your interests are can help warm you inside and out.

Third, is a tough one. Give yourself a break. Be patient with yourself. We know how difficult going through loss and change is and we all do it in our own unique and individual ways. You may feel like you’ll never recover or that you need to be different or more upbeat than you feel. However you feel is ok. It will get better with time and you can’t rush it or change it, so be kind to yourself.

At Widowed Friends of Halton we are committed to enriching each other’s lives through understanding and being present for all our members as we continue on our life journeys. We wish you the very best and brightest New Year in 2017.