10 Must-Have New Year Resolutions for the Widowed


It's that time of year again. 


We are all getting peppered and pelted with those endless ads and commercials designed to help you "start the New Year right" with all of the same old worn-out, been-there-tried-it-gave-it-up resolutions – eat less, work out more, quit this, start that, spend less, save more, get out of debt - but not before you hit the proverbial "one-day-only sale" that seems to take place once a week. 


Understanding that like me, you may be weary of typical New Year's resolutions, I am delighted to present your very own Widowed Resolutions for your Happy New Year; meant to bring you peace, comfort and most of all, ownership of both your Healing Journey and ultimately, your life. Permission to print out and keep in front of you year-round is both granted and strongly recommended:

Photo credit: Pamela Marches / Pamela Marches Photography




1.  Acknowledge that I am still here.  Although I have been through a devastating, life-altering event, it is precisely because I am still here that makes me entitled to a life filled with abundance and happiness; regardless of how much or how little time has passed since becoming widowed.  I do not have to wait any specific amount of time to begin, pursue or further my Healing Journey and accordingly, I will not feel guilty, nor will I doubt or question my pursuit of a life filled with happiness and peace.


2.  Realize that my Healing Journey is indeed mine.  It belongs to no one else.  My Healing Journey cannot be compared to anyone else or to other experiences, including those of other widowed.  It is neither fast, nor is it easy. I cannot "hurry" my grief; even though there may be people around me who wish that I would do so. I will therefore truthfully honor however and whatever it is that I am feeling; rather than let any opinions around me dictate how I "should" be feeling or what I "should" be doing.


3.  Be kind to myself in all respects.  This includes eating when my body asks me for food (and no dear one, Cheetos and Diet Coke do not count as "food"), sleeping when my body needs rest and rejuvenating myself through whatever healthy pursuits will fill my soul.  My self-talk will be faultless and uplifting… and on the days that I don't believe in myself or my ability to heal, I will turn to those who will breathe belief into me; rather than turn to those who attempt to bring me down and keep me there. 


4.  Realize that my identity and my self-esteem have nothing to do with my marital status, my age, what I look like, my career path or any material accumulation.  My identity and self-esteem come from within and I recognize that what others think of me is not half as important as what I think of me. I recognize that not everyone will agree with what I do or how I go about doing it; however, as long as I am not hurting myself or anyone else and all of my obligations and responsibilities are fulfilled, I will pursue the life that I wish in the way(s) that I see fit.


5.  Part 1:  Limit time with Energy Drainers and allow those that contribute to my life in a positive way to help me on my Healing Journey.  As my comfort zone continues to expand, I will accept invitations to lunch or dinner, a movie or offers of help in the household; understanding that allowing others to help is very important to those who are truly concerned about me. 


     Part II: Also be the one who occasionally initiates invitations… for lunch, dinner, a movie or other quietly social activities with those who contribute to my life in a positive way; rather than always wait for others to do the asking.


6.  Accept that I cannot control the fact that I am widowed or the new life that I have been handed – but I absolutely can decide and control what I am going to actually do with the new life that I have been handed. I will therefore make a list of what I would like to do and accomplish this year.  It may be a new hobby, a pursuit or activity that I had to give up and want to resume, trying new foods, meeting new people or exploring new places.  Whatever I decide to do or try, I will do so with the understanding that by exploring new opportunities and experiences, I am not disrespecting, dishonoring or forever turning my back on my past.  Instead, I am taking control of a situation over which I have had little or no control by slowly embracing a future of my choosing and of my design. 


7.  Continue to be proactive on my Healing Journey, rather than simply waiting to feel better.  I will accomplish this by utilizing whatever tools I need that will help me along my Healing Journey; as well as by surrounding myself with the support of others (be they online or in-person) who each understand exactly what I have been through. 


8.  Acknowledge that it is not a sign of strength to try and heal alone, nor it is a sign of weakness to seek help.  This includes consulting with my doctor, a therapist, a coach, a cleric a mental health professional or any other expert(s) that can help me move forward on my Healing Journey in positive and productive ways.


9.  Understand that when I actually pay attention to and effect these resolutions, I will become a more productive and stronger parent, child, sibling, friend, employee / employer…and person.


10.  Above all else, I acknowledge the certain truth that while widowhood has definitely shaped me, it does not now, nor will it ever define me.  I refuse to be defined by tragedy or by a destiny not of my own choosing and with that refusal, I will choose to define who I am, who I wish to become and the legacies that I will carry forward.


Do not wait any longer to either begin or proactively continue your Healing Journey.  Review your Widowed Resolutions often and see how many you can accomplish this coming year.  I encourage you to slowly integrate each and every one of these resolutions into your daily life; for these resolutions can bring you through your Healing Journey and into the life that you so richly deserve.


Wishing you blessings abundant in 2020.

Unlike some whom may have unfortunately
crossed your path...
In this community,
There is no judgment.
There is no ridicule.
There is no disdain.

In this community,
We do not question.
We do not use well-worn, cookie-cutter clichés.
We do not avoid the tough subjects
simply because they are too painful to discuss.

In this community,
we are not afraid to share what we wish
out of fear that others are either
uncomfortable with our pain,
or just don't want to hear about "it" anymore.

In this community,
We do not abandon,
nor do we turn others away.

We just DON'T.

Because we know exactly how all of these things feel.
And we will never treat others in the same fashion.

In this community,
We discuss.
We share.
We lift up the spirits of others.
We create a safe and sacred haven for the bereaved;
particularly those who may feel as though they have
no other haven in their lives.

We teach
We suggest.
We listen.
We meet new friends who understand.
Truly understand.

We cry together.
We laugh together.
We hope together.
We learn together through the uncertainty of today
and yearn together for the brighter tomorrows.


We just DO.

And we deserve it,
As do those who unwittingly - yet necessarily -
join this community behind us.

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"Loss is a Four-Letter Word..." by HCI Books

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Don't miss out on Carole’s bestselling CD entitled, "Widows Wear Stilettos: What Now?"  The CD is a spoken-word self-help CD (NOT a “book on audio") and is provides emotional and practical direction, support and encouragement during the very difficult first weeks and months after the loss of a spouse.  The CD also addresses those who have widowed for a longer period of time, but may feel "stuck" in their grief and need help in moving forward. The CD is an ideal companion to Carole's books and is available for purchase exclusively at www.widowswearstilettos.com (on the "Home" page).


Answers to questions about ordering online and by mail, shipping and return policies, as well as testimonials from other widows can be found on the "FAQs" page. Don’t put off either beginning or continuing along on your healing journey for another minute.  Get your copy of “Widows Wear Stilettos – What Now?” today! 



Included below are resources that you may find helpful in pursuing your healing journey.*** 




*National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255. Help is available by telephone twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 


* Alcoholics Anonymous:  www.aa.org. 


* Narcotics Anonymous:  www.na.org. 


* National Eating Disorders Association: (800) 931-2237 www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.


* Gamblers Anonymous: www.gamblersanonymous.org. 


* Debtors Anonymous (compulsive shopping / spending): www.debtorsanonymous.org 


* Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA): www.sca-recovery.org.  


* Mental Health America (“Cutting” or other means of self-harm): www.mentalhealthamerica.net




* The American Widow Project: www.americanwidowproject.org:


* TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) www.taps.org 


* Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation at www.sslf.org and www.campwidow.org


* Social Security Administration www.ssa.gov


* Department of Veterans Affairs (for military widowed and surviving family members): www.va.gov


***Please note that no suggestion and/or recommendation is meant to replace expert medical or legal assistance.  Carole Brody Fleet, her representatives and / or employees or assigns do not receive any remuneration whatsoever for any recommendations made herein.