GIVING THANKS – AND GETTING THROUGH
It's that time of year…
Normally a time of festivity, feasting and “fat pants”, this Thanksgiving may instead be filled with sadness or gloom or maybe even outright dread. Particularly if this is either your first Thanksgiving without your beloved or the anniversary of their death occurs around this time, you may be feeling like any one or all of the following:
** "What’s there to be thankful for anyway?"
** "Celebrating is pointless."
** "I'm just going through the motions" (for the sake of the kids, the parents, the distant relatives you see only once a year and / or for the world at large).
** Forgetting the whole thing and staying in bed with Heath Bar Crunch ice cream (my personal flavor of choice).
Photo credit: Pamela Marches / Pamela Marches Photography
Believe me, I understand those feelings, because I’ve done those feelings – more than once (hence the Heath Bar Crunch ice cream example). Furthermore, I do not blame you a bit for any one or all of those feelings. However, hiding from a holiday does not make it go away and in fact, attempts at “creative avoidance” can actually make things worse – because you are sitting there, morose, with the Heath Bar Crunch, dwelling on the fact that your beloved is not here...still.
As an alternative to morose, I would instead propose a few ideas to help you not only get through the day, but maybe – just maybe – even enjoy it as well:
** If you are celebrating Thanksgiving in your home and you are the chef, or you are going someplace where you are expected to bring something, prepare a dish that was your beloved’s favorite – or perhaps a dish that they used to make. For example, you know that green bean casserole with the fried onion topping that has squillion calories, no apparent nutritional value (I’m sorry, but you cannot count green beans as “nutritious” in this dish) and is sinfully delicious? It is the dish that my late husband made every single year. So, regardless of whatever else is on the table on Thanksgiving Day, that green bean casserole graces our table as well. It may sound crazy, but believe me, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much comfort something as simple as a favorite dish or dessert will bring to you.
** Just about all families have the tradition where you go around the table and everyone remarks on that for which they are thankful. You can switch this up a little and share a funny story about your love and the holidays. Lift a glass and propose a toast – with their favorite drink of course. Remember too that it is OK to smile and laugh, even if it is through tears.
** If tradition is just too painful right now, do not be afraid to switch it up. If Thanksgiving was always at your house, let someone else host this year. Perhaps going to a favorite restaurant that is serving Thanksgiving dinner is an alternative for you. You may even consider taking a mini-vacation over the holiday period. There is nothing wrong with doing something different this year – or perhaps even introducing a new tradition.
Above all else remember this: Though it may not feel like it this minute, you do have reasons to be thankful. I invite you to take a moment to think about that for which you are thankful – your health, your family, your home, your friends – and most of all, that you knew a wonderful love…something that many in the world never experience.
From our entire family to yours, we wish you every blessing this Thanksgiving holiday.
A FLEET-ING THOUGHT
So many widowed tell me that they are afraid of loving again because they do not want to go through the pain of loss again. I completely get that and I do not relish that thought much either. However, as afraid as I am of losing again, I am even more afraid of missing out on what life has in store. Even though I still live with the fear, I am so grateful that I did not give into the fear or otherwise allow fear to keep me from seeking the life that I am so blessed to be living today.
Don't let yesterday's loss or fear of tomorrow dictate your future of possibilities.
COMPLETE YOUR COLLECTION WITH THE WIDOWS WEAR STILETTOS “WHAT NOW” CD
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 (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.***
CRISIS INTERVENTION AND PROGRAMS
*National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255. Help is available by telephone twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week.
* 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):
* Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA): www.sca-recovery.org.
* Mental Health America (“Cutting” or other means of self-harm): .
SERVING THE WIDOWED COMMUNITY
* The American Widow Project: www.americanwidowproject.org:
* TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)
* Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation at and
* Social Security Administration
* Department of Veterans Affairs (for military widowed and surviving family members):
***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.