Need Friends Who Care ...Especially During the Holidays!
(as posted on OPRAH
anniefwo - author of For Widows Only!
11/20/2006 at 10:40am (2082
Do you look forward to the
Most people do,
but...for many people, such as widows,
the holidays loom as a horrifying period they will be required to
They can run; they can hide, but the holidays will still arrive
and cause them incredible pain.
If you know a
widow facing her first or second set of holidays alone,
maybe you can find a way to help her through the next month.
Just beware: she (or he--widowers hurt, too) may be touchy and
unwilling to let you help.
Don't take that personally; she is in a very different place than
you are at this time.
you try to help?
Learn as much
as you can about the experience of widowhood.
Invite her to
have coffee/tea with you...or just phone, and tell her you want
but that she will have to tell you how, because you know she is
in a pain you cannot understand.
Ask if she
would like you to shop with her or for her.
Ask if she
would like to join you for a meal. If she prefers not to, ask if
you might bring her some food.
If she prefers
to walk the beach or drive in the country, ask if she would like
Give her a nice
plant... not a holiday one. A nice planting of spring bulbs
would be my choice,
giving her something to look forward to after the holidays.
If she agrees,
send your son or husband over to shovel her walk or help with
other outside chores
her husband used to do. Every such chore is a grim reminder of
Frame a picture
of the couple in happier times, wrap it beautifully and present
it to her.
Include a thoughtful card, expressing your concern and your wish
to be of help.
Give her a
small card with your phone number--
"to be used day or night, in case you suffer an anxiety attack,
or just need to talk."
find a widow support website like my own...
with a list of phone numbers of people who can be called when
things break or go awry:
a plumber, carpenter, electrician, landscaper, car repair
service, painter, financial consultant, tax advisor. Think of
jobs your husband does around your house, and jobs her husband
used to do.
This might also help you appreciate your husband more.
The secret is
to imagine yourself in her place, as best you can,
and try to imagine what help you would need someone to offer.
Be kind to a
widow; no one needs your thoughtfulness more than she does.