green and white wreaths Sticky post

11 Ways to Survive the Holidays as a Widow

“I am totally not decorating this year!”

That’s what I said the first time I drove past someone’s festively decorated home the year that my husband died.

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Sticky post

Best Halloween Costumes – Homemade or Store bought?

With the change of seasons, shorter days and presumably colder weather I feel a spike in nostalgia. I try to live in the present and embrace life but these past few days I can’t help but think back on some memories, especially ones involving past Halloweens.

One Halloween I came home from a friend’s house in 6th grade and told my parents I had a great time at the party. We all wore costumes, dunked for apples, had a jack-o-lantern making contest and then used the Ouija board to have a seance.

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silhouette of couple on seashore

Finding love again as a widow

 

I never expected to be a widow. I was a working mom and wife.  My kids had both gone off to college. My husband and I discussed different retirement scenarios.  It was going to be easier now.  We could relax a bit.  Not work as hard and maybe do some traveling.

It did not work out that way for us.

One week after we dropped our youngest off at college, my husband was gone.

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selective focus photography of gift boxes

I’m here for you… Send a care package to a widow this year!

As an overwhelmed and unexpected widow, I had no idea how to respond to the heart given cry “call me if you need anything”.

I, of course, had no idea what I would need or how much my life was about to change.

During the first month or so I was so fortunate to be gifted with gift cards, friend visits and even meals. Being surrounded by loved ones and keeping busy is helpful. But after those first few weeks, most people return to their regular lives and the new widow is beginning to adjust to her new normal.

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Florida house

The new Florida house at Christmas

It’s been a bit of a challenge to decorate my new Florida house for Christmas when it reaches 85 degrees outside some days. So, I turned down the air-conditioner, put the fireplace channel on the TV and told Alexa to play holiday music and opened the green Rubbermaid bins.

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pool paty

Remembering loved ones on their birthday

It has been six years since Mike has been here to celebrate his birthday but I always think of him on his birthday, the fourth of July. He loved having his birthday on the fourth as people always celebrated and had a party on that day, even fireworks! This year he would have been 58 and for 30 plus years we shared those holidays together.

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He’s gone -It’s OK to say their name

After spending the past thirty 4th of July’s together, which was also my husband’s birthday, grief comes back full swing and is one of the more difficult holidays to get through for me.

Year one I made a nice Facebook post with photos. Then I made sure to be away from home. My brother and sister and mom and our kids joined us in Cape Cod for a family reunion. This ensured a good distraction and no one really mentioned Mike. Avoiding pain and sadness was my immediate goal. My family was hopeful that I’d be OK, so I was.

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