It’s that time of year again when the weather changes and we start to see the first Christmas season lights and decorations.  Sometimes, people who have experienced loss find this a hard time of year as usual traditions and habits change and we must  accommodate new ways of celebrating or just getting through the season.

As a community of widows and widowers, we’ve had some experience on maintaining balance through difficult anniversaries or annual celebrations and festivities!

First, we’ve found sharing a meal with others is one key to lifting spirits. This recent article from the New York Times “For Many Widows The Hardest Part is Mealtime”  discusses the impact of loss on the simple pleasures of eating and reminds us again that being together and sharing a meal boosts our spirits and our health. As members of our group know, Widowed Friends hosts multiple dinners and events each week – if you haven’t been out for a while, please join us!

Second, we take comfort in our friends. As this article from the Guardian, In grief I have found unexpected comforts points out, it’s the little things we do with friends that sometimes makes a huge difference.  A smile from a stranger or the quiet thoughtfulness of an old friend or a chat with a fellow Widowed Friends member can go a long way to brighten a day.

Third, it’s best to take time after loss before venturing into new relationships. Dorothy contributed this post, of interest especially to widowers entitled Is This as Good As It Gets? that reminds us that we can’t replace what we’ve lost with a new person, until we’ve resolved what we want and who we are now in the face of loss.

Most of all, we’ve learned to try, as much as possible to be empathetic, understanding, caring and compassionate. We never really know what someone else is going through or had to endure, so at this time of year, as we approach the festive season, let’s support each other and come through the holidays looking forward to a new year with hope and kindness.