12/27/21

we're taking the rest of the week off - happy holidays!


We'll be back next week with more tips and advice.

In the meantime, please check out our earlier posts for support and information.


Happy Holidays to all!


Laurie and Ruth

12/23/21

reflections: quotes on facing the challenges of a new year



1) Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

2) You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

3) Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


4) Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


5) It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again.
- Vince Lombardi


12/20/21

how you and your pets can help each other




How can you and your pet(s) help each other through the mourning process?

It’s important to recognize that pets also feel grief and express it in their own ways.

To better understand how animals mourn, read our post, Is Your Pet Also Grieving?

There’s also an informative post on Psychology Today’s blog by Marc Bekoff that looks at scientific data about animals and grief.

Declaring “Grief in animals: It's arrogant to think we're the only animals who mourn”, the author goes on to say, “There is no doubt that many animals experience rich and deep emotions. It's not a matter of if emotions have evolved in animals but why they have evolved as they have. We must never forget that our emotions are the gifts of our ancestors, our animal kin. We have feelings and so do other animals.

Among the different emotions that animals display clearly and unambiguously is grief. Many animals display profound grief at the loss or absence of a close friend or loved one.” (Read More)

Our pets can also provide invaluable emotional support for us in our bereavement. For more about this, read our post Pets As Support, where we discuss the various studies that reveal the ways animals are able to show empathy and affection to bereaved owners.

We’d appreciate hearing about your own experiences with your pets.

12/16/21

can't stop crying



That might sound like title of a country western song, but it’s all too real an experience when your spouse/partner has died.

After my husband’s death, I felt like the tears would never stop.

I remember being at work, in social situations, or just driving and finding myself unexpectedly tearing up. Caught off-guard and often embarrassed, I’d head for the nearest private place (like a restroom or quiet street), to try to pull myself together.

I realize some people consider crying a form of self-pity.

But I’ve learned that tears are nature’s way of helping us release tension. The best way to do the mourning is to do the grieving. And that means every tear helps.

So trust yourself. Your mind does have a shut-off valve.

Look for tips about the best private places to grieve in our next post.

Ruth

12/13/21

reflections by deb edwards: what i know for sure about being a widow

Back in 2009, we were contacted by Deb Edwards, a visitor to our lostmypartner.com website.

She emailed: "I lost my husband last year, and have done some writing about it. I would like to share my experiences with other people who have had similar losses, in hopes that I could reach out to them and touch them in some way that would help them through their journey." 

Thanks, Deb, for sharing the following timeless reflections :

What I Know for Sure About Being a Widow
I hate the sound of the word "widow" so much I can barely say it out loud
When I think I can't cry anymore...I do
Grief is something you can't get around...you have to go through it
That "hole" will never be completely filled
You find consolation in very unexpected ways
The car and the shower are good crying places
No one gets to tell you how to feel...whatever you feel is OK
You never know what could trigger the grief...it could be something as obvious as the holidays or as random as the cereal aisle
You get to feel the way you feel until you don't feel that way anymore
Anyone who says "I know how you feel"...doesn't
You do find laughter amidst the tears
People say it gets easier - don't know - I'm not there yet
Having "no regrets" will help you find peace in your heart
They are always with us...but never in the same way
Life does go on...but never the same way.
Take care of yourself...and remember to breathe. Deb Edwards

12/9/21

fa la la la lost my partner


This time of year it’s all around us: holiday music.

From shopping malls to television to our computers, we’re bombarded by holiday tunes and jingles.

If you’ve recently lost your partner, these seasonal tunes can stir up happy memories as well as tears of remembrance.

Because it’s everywhere, holiday music and the bittersweet recollections that bring on tears are hard to avoid.

Rather than fighting it, we suggest you try to “go with the flow” and, in the privacy of your own home, allow a few tears.

By giving yourself permission to grieve, it will be easier to get on with some of the pleasures of the holiday season.

12/6/21

holiday greetings dilemmas






Here's useful tips on handling an uncomfortable holiday dilemma.


1) Those Who Don't Know About Your Loss

You may receive some holiday greetings that still include your spouse/partner in the address (learn more about the whole issue of being caught off guard by people who don’t know about the loss in our earlier post, Encounters of the Awkward Kind; When Others Haven't Heard About Your Loss).

If there are some friends or business associates who haven’t yet heard about your spouse/partner’s death, you may be wondering about notifying them during the holidays.

It’s okay to do what feels most comfortable. While some people prefer to wait until the stress of the holidays is over, others choose to include a separate notification along with their customary holiday cards or messages.

Not sure how to break the news?

In the notification itself, you can give a brief description about what happened.

Then add a short update about how you and the family are coping.


2) To Send or Not to Send Holiday Greetings

If you usually send out seasonal cards or messages, you may feel uncertain about doing so this year. For many, this annual ritual is an important part of the holidays, and some may even feel guilty about not sending cards.

It's important to keep in mind however, that under the circumstances it's okay to skip this or any other holiday ritual you don't feel up to because you're mourning.

Others will understand.    

12/2/21

best ways to get through the holidays during covid 19


With Christmas and New Year’s arriving during the current pandemic, we thought you might appreciate some additional support right now.


Best Ways to Get Through the Holidays During Covid 19:

Dreading the upcoming holidays? Especially with Covid restrictions making everyone feel more isolated?If you’ve recently lost your spouse, the  can feel as unwelcome as Marley’s Ghost. Here are some tried and true strategies for facing the holiday season:

1) Think ahead and try to anticipate how you’ll feel on each holiday.

2) Even if you don’t join in virtual family gatherings, don’t remain alone all day. Spend some time chatting with a friend by phone using Facetime, if possible.

3) Considering your loss, don’t expect yourself to be as upbeat as usual. Expect some sadness as you take part in any social interactions.

4) To lessen the chance of emotional “sneak attacks”, make some time to grieve, either on the holiday or just before it.

5) If you do choose to join in online family holiday activities, feel free to limit how long you remain online or become involved in the conversation.