Tips to Help Widows
To Reach Out:
Please say “I remember.” We love to hear tender, funny, and just interesting things about the one we lost from your perspective.
Let go of your expectations: yourself and others.
Invite us out to anything. Be specific example – do you want to go with me (date and time) to the new Arboretum exhibit, new breakfast restaurant, etc. Ask if there is anything in particular we’d like to do with someone joining. Just keep asking and inviting if we’re not ready or able to. It’s nice to be asked.
It’s OK to say that you just don’t know what to say to encourage us. That’s way better than saying “I know how you feel… my cat/dog/goldfish died last year…”
Be willing to flex from traditions. Changes are not necessarily permanent and things will be different anyway.
Guard your heart from your ears. You will hear people say things that you shouldn’t take personally.
Prepare for the unexpected, both positive and negative. Remembering a favorite dish that does not need to be prepared, an item that needn’t be purchased, an empty chair, will occur when we least expect it.
Make a memory. For example, for Christmas, create an ornament with the persons name and a word that describes them, or simply a picture.
Try something new, light-hearted, and fun.
Sign up to a service project this season. You will hopefully meet interesting and kindhearted people as you serve along side them. A side benefit is seeing we are not the only ones struggling.
Find a light holiday series of books and read through them all. Nighttime can be lonely and a great book can be a little comfort. (I called this going to Mitford)