show support for military families

In addition to Veteran's Day coming up, the President has declaired November as "Military Family Month".  Whether you're a surviving family member or just want to offer support to the families of deceased or currently deployed service men and women, here's some great non-profit organizations you should check out: 

T.A.P.S. (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), is an outstanding organization that provides 24/7 support and resources for military survivors of all ages.Their home page offers several options for bereavement support, as well as services and resources for grieving survivors.

National Military Family Association.  In addition to a survivor resources page, this site offers good resources and ways to support the families of active military.

Military Family Support. This site suggests a variety of simple, cost-free ways to support military families.

We encourage you to check these out.

Please let us know about other sites you've discovered!


vacation options for men and/or multigenerations

In Vacationing Without Your Spouse/Partner, we covered the emotional issues that arise when planning a vacation without your late spouse/partner. In Tips for Women Travelers, we explored some travel options for women travelers.

Now we’ll offer some travel experiences that include men travelers and situations where you may want to bring along your kids or grandkids.

Men Travelers

While some men are comfortable traveling on their own, others may prefer not to. One option is to ask a friend or relative to share the experience.

A less conventional option, if you’re a man between 40 and 68 who enjoys dancing and socializing, is travel on a cruise ship as a “Gentleman Host”. With greater numbers of single women taking cruises, there’s a steady demand for eligible single men to provide dance partners. Aside from the opportunities to see the world at little cost, being a Gentleman Host offers numerous on-board benefits. For more information, visit the Gentlemen Hosts Page on the Compass Speakers site. .

Some Great Vacation Experiences for Everyone

Road Scholar Educational Adventures is program through the non-profit organization Elderhostel that combines learning with travel. Tours throughout the U.S. and the world are conducted by experts knowledgeable in the subjects you’re studying. Road Scholar offers numerious tours that can selected according to interests, geography and activity level.

Smithsonian Journeys , is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and also offers a wide range of worldwide educational travel experiences. They have several tours for specially designed for families. Once on the site, look for the 'Find A Tour' menu, go to 'Types of Tours' , and navigate to 'Family Programs'. There you'll discover a wide rang of local and international adventures.

Discovered other travel ideas? Please share them with us.

Bon Voyage!


tips for women travelers

In our post, Vacationing Without Your Spouse/Partner, we talk about some of the emotional issues that can arise as you plan a vacation following the loss of your spouse/partner.

If you are a woman however, there can be further concerns about traveling on your own. Feeling vulnerable both socially and physically and steep supplemental charges if you don’t want to share a room or cabin, may make you reluctant to venture out on your own.

However, according to a March, 2009 Reuters report, the CEO’s of the two leading international companies reported that six in 10 travelers today are women – up from five in 10 in 2007. In addition, 30% of female travelers today are booking their trips as solo travelers, traveling either alone or with women friends, despite their marital status.

To encourage solo travelers, these top travel companies now offer free or low cost single supplements, a free roommate matching program, a 30-day risk free guarantee at booking and more. Learn more.

Check out Wanderlust and Lipstick (wanderlustandlipstick.com), a wonderfully informative travel site packed with tips, information and tour options especially for women (some include men as well).

Or look into Women Travel Tips, (womentraveltips.com), another site primarily for women travelers.

In our next post, we offer travel options for both men and women as well as vacation adventures you can share with your kids and/or grandkids.


reflections: quotes for getting through the days; part 11

1) Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver.
- Sophocles

2) Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don't give up.
- Anne Lamott

3) Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
- Dorothy Bernard

4) Worries go down better with soup than without.
- Jewish Proverb

5) Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
- Sir Winston Churchill


finding the best support group for you; part 1

In our last post, we looked at some of the concerns many of you may have about joining a widowed support group.

If you’ve decided to take the next step, consider the following:

Many hospitals, hospices and places of worship offer free or low-fee non-denominational support groups. Contact the Social Services Department at your local hospital and/or look for listings in your community newspaper.

If possible, select a group(s) specifically for the widowed. “Bereavement” groups tend to deal with all types of loss, such as parental, child, etc.

Finding the right support group is like finding anything else that’s a good fit. Ideally, you should shop around a bit until you find the most comfortable group for you. Most groups will let you sit in for a session before you make a commitment to join.

When you sit in with a group you’re considering, watch for how respectful the members are of each other and how well the leader manages time issues.

The most important thing is to gage your own comfort level. Expect to be nervous at first, but after a few times, that should lessen.

In our next post, we'll suggest key questions you should ask about any prospective support group.


beat those valentine's blues; part 1

Part 1
It’s all around you: painful reminders that you don’t have that “someone special” with whom to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Although your spouse/partner isn’t here to share the day, consider expanding your definition of what the word “love” really means.

This year, remind yourself that “love” isn’t just limited by the type of relationship you shared with your spouse/partner.

By widening your scope a bit, you can embrace all the other relationships in your life where you give and receive affection. This can mean including relationships such as family members and good friends.

In our next post, learn easy ways to express your appreciation of these relationships.