This year I have a widows group meeting during February, so we will try to go through it together. I think I will invite them over for a "tea party" luncheon. I'll ask them all to bring something to share for the meal, and also a momento to tell a bit about their husband. It won't be mandatory, but I think widows need to talk and this is a natural opportunity.
Do you think you'll want to mark Valentine's Day this year? It's a hard holiday to face alone! Let's admit it can be a challenge, but there are some ways to deal with it. Keep reading for some ideas, and please add your own in the comments.
First, you might be able to transform it by thinking ahead and planning to do something different. If you want to pretend the day doesn't exist and not acknowledge it at all, that's okay too. I often find that people deal with sorrow in two different ways:
- remember/memorialize it
- or choose to leave it alone. It's in the past, its been dealt with, and its time for the next chapter.
If you'd like to memorialize the day or give yourself something to look forward to, here are a variety of things that might be meaningful for you:
- Visit the cemetary and leave a message of candy conversation hearts to melt into the snow
- Tie a home-made Valentine to a helium balloon and let it fly away to heaven
- Collect old Valentines and love letters and put them together in a decorative memory box keepsake.
- Create a collage of photos and frame it to hang on a wall or stand on your dresser.
- Buy a package or two of school Valentine cards. Send them to your own children, nieces & nephews or other family members. Write a little love note on them.
- Or send Valentines to various groups--nursing homes, children's hospital wards, missionary kids you pray for, your childrens' ministry leaders, your Bible study group or group leaders . . .
- Offer to babysit for a married couple so they can enjoy a romantic evening out. Prepare a lot of fun things to do with the kids so you don't end up bored and feeling sorry for yourself.
- Invite other widows over for tea or coffee and snacks, or a carry-in lunch or supper. Give them an opportunity to share their stories and send them home with a love verse from the Bible.
- Plan something nice for yourself: learn something new, like . . . Sign up for Zumba lessons or Jazzercise. Take piano or guitar lessons (or take that first step and visit your local music store and ask about them); then rent a flute, violin or whatever and practice to audition for the local orchestra! Ask about singing with your church group or community choir. Volunteer at a food pantry or ask about a part-time job at something that interests you. Take a course at a community college. . .
--hey, I'm getting carried away here, but you get the idea. Plan some
some love and kindness.
And if you want to skip it altogether? THAT'S PERFECTLY OK TOO! Sometimes that's the best way to be kind to yourself and it has nothing to do with that over-used and often misapplied word "denial." Don't worry about it.