Tuesday, October 19, 2021

For Widows Groups---Now What?

Hello everyone! 

A newly formed widows group asked me for suggestions on what they should do after they finish going through my book, Postcards from the Widows' Path. They're finishing up this week, and with the holidays coming --- well, it just doesn't seem right to end yet. 

All groups will eventually end, no matter what kind they are, but for widows it's a great encouragement and comfort to meet through Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. Yet, it's an extra busy time too, so what are some options?

Let's brainstorm: 

Keep meeting once a week. 

1). You could go through the book, "The Empty Chair--Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions," by Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge and Robert C. DeVries. It has 5 short chapters---perfect to fit in with some breaks for the holidays. 

2).Or you could meet more informally. Base discussions on any of these g r e a t ideas!

  • hearing each others' stories
  • Read aloud and discuss short articles or blog posts for widows. 
  • Or have everyone write out some questions about widowhood. Put them in a jar and draw one or two at random to discuss each week. 

Meet for special events.

1). Planning a Christmas party is great fun. Ask for a volunteer to host it in her home. (Homes are so cozy and wonderful for true fellowship!) Everyone bring a favorite food to share for the meal. Or if you don't want a whole meal, do a Cookie Exchange or just appetizers or dessert. Set a dollar limit on the gift exchange if you have one, or do an ornament exchange instead. 

2). Attend an event or two together. Here are some ideas:

  • A church Christmas concert
  • Christmas light show or live nativity
  • Surviving The Holidays by GriefShare. See if a local church will be hosting this wonderful outreach: Just type your zip code in the search box on this website: https://www.griefshare.org/

3). Help out as a group (or just 2 or 3 of you) at a mission or soup kitchen. Going together will be far better than spending the day alone. 

4). Go to a movie or host a movie night in your own home. If you pop your popcorn the old-fashioned way use lower heat and coconut oil---yum!!! (Google for a recipe).  

5). Help each other decorate (for those who want to), some of widows are lucky to have enough desire to plus in the lights for a table-top tree; others find comfort in keeping their traditions---there's no right or wrong way. Maybe have an un-decorating party too! That's a hurdle for many! I powered through my first few Christmases, but wanted to skip it entirely for several years! (I finally did, and it helped a lot, but that's just me. Everyone is different).

Well, I hope these ideas have gotten you all to thinking. What ideas would you suggest? What will you do with the holidays at your house this year? Please be especially sensitive to new widows in your area. Pray for them and reach out to them as God leads you. Holidays can be really hard, but they can also be poignant, sacred, and breathtakingly beautiful.

God Bless You One & All! ❤

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