What do widows miss most about Thanksgiving?
Normalacy. The way it used to be. Companionship.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I know a lot of you are hurting so badly.
You may be wondering what you possibly have to be thankful for.
Stay tuned for thankfulness in a newsletter in a few weeks.
But for now: You may ask yourself how you celebrate Thanksgiving while grieving.
First and foremost, I want you to know that your life is not over.
Now it is time to work on what will make a widow happy. You are that widow so only you know. But I would like to say some things that may help you find some moments of happiness on this day that looms around the corner.
It is important to make a plan. With a plan in place, you can tackle the day more confidently.
What did you do for the holiday before your love died? Do you still want to do that? If you don’t it is totally ok. Do you want to change a tradition? Do you want to skip your in-laws house? Do you want to make a taco bar and watch the Lethal Weapon trilogy with your teens like I did last year?
As a widow doesn’t it feel like you have no control over your life? Well, the good news is that Thanksgiving is something you get to have control over this year.
Do you want to run away for the holiday? Book a last-minute trip to Mexico? Drive to your cousin’s, or only eat desserts? It is okay to make new traditions or to simply take a break.
Do something new if you want to. Or don't. Just consider your options. Join the conversion and get ideas from my Facebook page where other widows have chimed in with their plans.
A couple of weeks before my first Thanksgiving after Eric died, this beautiful custom-made reclaimed barn wood dining room table was delivered. Eric had researched this company and chosen the size, the color, the long bench on one side, and the chairs on the other. He even had my chair custom-made so my feet hit the floor evenly. He wanted me comfortable, lingering after family meals. He never got to use the table, but we so enjoy using it all the time.
Eric had always been the Thanksgiving chef and he made a beautiful meal, everything from scratch. I loved being his sous chef.
That first year, as Thanksgiving approached my best friend had been reminding me that I needed to plan what I was going to do. We agreed that a Thanksgiving at home – me cooking a turkey for the first time and the kids and me eating it on that table would be a disaster.
In stepped my people, Uncle Larry and Aunt Chu. They invited us to a fancy dinner and a night at a hotel so we could watch the Kansas City Country Club Plaza Christmas lights turn on. We all jumped at the chance to do something new and fun.
It felt so good to have a new activity that wasn't drowning in memories.
What will you do? Take the question to your people. Remember all those friends who asked what they could do for you? Call one up and ask them if they will host you. They would be over the moon excited to help you, I promise.
How To Say No
I know saying no is scary. Especially when you don't have your love standing behnd you. But only you can advocate for yourself because only you know how it feels to be you.
I miss Eric so much because he would either be brave for me or be my excuse.
You can do it. Here are some words for you. If you don't feel like saying them in person, use the phone or text.
No, thank you.
This is what is best for me (and the kids).
Doing what we usually do is too hurtful this year while I am grieving.
Things are different for me and I can no longer (afford) (get off work) (drive that far) now that my love has passed.
Email me for nerve, to complain, tell me where you are on your journey, or because YOU DID IT! I answer all my emails. email@example.com