For months after my husband died the phone was unusually silent. Even the friend I had chatted with several times a week didn’t call. When I  asked her if there was anything wrong she said, “Frankly, I’m afraid of your pain.”
I was angry at what I felt was abandonment, but I understood when a bereavement counselor explained that “someone’s death reminds people of their own mortality.”

Henry, a widower I interviewed, said bluntly, “We shouldn’t be bastards throwing our problems at friends or using them as therapists.” Wary of being seen as intrusive he always begins a call with, “Do you have time to chat?”

That’s sage advice but it assumes you  have your  old friends. Many of us find our social circle dwindling ,especially if it involves couples. The norm has been”two by two’ ever since Noah chose the pairs for his ark.” So often when we suggest an evening our friends dodge with, “Why don’t we have lunch instead?”. This may cover subterranean issues. As a candid widow told me, “Wives know that many men see widows as fair game.” She, herself, she added wryly,  ” keep my necklines and my fantasies discreet.”
It’s easier for widowers,since a single man is usually welcome, whereas a single woman isn;’t .We may even encounter this when our spouse is still alive.  I remember the time a ineighbor nvited Mel and me to a dinner party .I told her I would come but Mel was  ona business trip.”That’s too bad,” she said.”Another time.”
Fortunately not everyone has that conventional view. I bless the memory of Dorothy, a married friend, who invited me for every occasion.. The first tinme she did I told her I didn’t think Icshould come.”Theylre alll couoles and I’m on;ly half of one now,”I said,.
“Arenn’;tyou a whole person?” she shot back.
,But it takes time to feel whole again. It’s a skilll we have to practice.
We also have to learn that accepting offers of helip is not a sign of sweakness. During the first months I refused cliché offers asuch as,”Is there anything I can do to help?” I’d just murmur “Nothing” or lie that I was doing “fine.” (Me Big Strong Woman).But I realized that most people want to help and that they feel better when theylre allowed to. So I began accepting routine offers, such as “Need anything at the supermarket?” But the most appreciated gift was the offer to take the children for the day, freeing me for the wonders of the Metropolitan Museum! Yes it was a gift gjven to me, but it was also a gift I gave myself by not letting pride get in the way
There’s an even more valuable gift that friends can guive– and that we, in tiurn, can give to them. It doesn’t cost any money or take much effort. It’s the willingness to listen – with empathy and jwithgout judgment. It isn’tnecessary to reply or to come up with answers (aret here anyy?) Just knowing that someone really hears s us is the greatest gift and the truest friendship.
New book! “ARISING” available in print and E-version
at BookBaby and Amazon


I feel as if I’ve found treasure when I learn a new word, so I was  delighted to discover sisu (pronounced see-su).  It’a  a word  that’s so important in Finland it’s become part of the national culture.  I don’t know Finnish,  but I do understand – and desire – the qualities the word embodies:  determination, perseverance, courage . That doesn’t mean momentary bravery, but the ability to remain courageous in the face of overwhelming odds.

            This brings  me to my husband.  When he was given a stark diagnosis Mel said , “I don’t like the cards I’ve been dealt but I’ll  play the hand the best I can.” That’s not only courage, it’s what Hemingway famously called “grace under pressure.”

            Is there anyone who doesn’t have to cope with pressure of one kind or another? Some of us fold up under it. I confess that my original reaction to my husband’s illness was a tearful, “Why us?”  He said, ”Why not us?”

            The Finnish soldiers revere the concept of sisu and believe it gave them the fortitude  to  fight the powerful Soviet  army in 1939 and perseverance during months of  dangerous sub-zero weather.

But challenges don’t have to be historic or life-threatening, they can be wrapped in any ordinary moment.  How about the sngle mother coming home from a long day in the office,­­­ ­“too tired toto do anything but crawl into bed,” as a friend put it,  yet summoning strength  to give  her children the undivided attention they need? The Finns understand that as “calling on your sisu.”

            And what about writers who get a discouraging series of rejections? Their sisu isn’t the ultimate publication, but the detrmination to keep going to the computer each day. For sisu doesn’t mean the goal, but what you do to reach it.

            On a far more major scale, what about those of us who have to endure the loss of a loved one? Do we see ourselves as helpless (and hopeless)  victims ­– or do we find  the strength within ourselves to move on?

            Another personal note: Six weeks after Mel lost his valiant battle I heard that one of our favorite poets, Stanley Kunitz, was giving a reading in the public library. In a wrenching struggle I decided to go to the reading for both Mel and myself.  I was numb, could barely hear a word Kunitz read.  But without realizing it,  I was taking a sisu step toward a necessary new life.

            For ultimately sisu means refusing to accept your limits, then willing yourself  to go beyond them.


Latest book: ARISING, available at and Amazon.


There’s a popular cliche that preaches, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Easier to say than to do, I’ve always thought. But an Ohio woman seems to have found the recipe.
Now in her nineties, Judy was given the lemon of widowhood when she was only 55. Her husband had kidney disease and for eight years they’d lived with a “time bomb,” she says. Afterward she saw a “long dark road” ahead of her. “But I learned I could handle day to day what would horrify me if I thought it was the rest of my life.”
Fast forward to this year. Judy recently decided to sell the house she’s lived in all these years and move into an assisted living facility. “There was no choice,” she says. ”My daughter had been living with me and constantly worrying. I didn’t want to limit her life.” What happened next has been a test of her ability to convert lemons! She describes the experience, frequent laughter punctuating her words.
“The first evening I was assigned to a table in the dining room,” she says. “Two women seated across from me were obviously unhappy to have me join them. They put napkins over their mouths so I wouldn’t hear their conversation. A third woman, sitting beside me, didn’t speak at all. ‘Don’t bother with her,’ I was told. ‘She’s a silent one.’”
But Judy believes that “everyone’s available if you hit them right.” Aware that the woman always got to the dining room ahead of time Judy deliberately arrived ten minutes early one day. Sure enough, the “silent one” was the only one at the table. Judy began talking to her, but at first the woman just stared at her. “Then she began to open up. She told me she was from Tennessee and had played the guitar since she was a child. I think she felt more comfortable with no one else listening to us. Later someone told me that the guitar story was a lie. But so what?”
The greater problem was that Judy didn’t feel welcome. “Maybe it had something to do with my being the only Jewish person,” she says. “There’s one woman who won’t even look at me.” Although nothing was said directly a religious tract was left in her room.
“I had to make sure I didn’t close in on myself.” So Judy devised a strategy she’s continued every day. “I make a point of stopping at every table as I come into the dining room and greeting each person . I also try to say something personal to at least one person at each table. I do the same thing again on my way out. ‘I hope you enjoyed your meal…Have a nice evening.’” She was amused to overhear murmurs of,”What a nice lady!” She also started a trend she says proudly. “Two of the women are now doing my greeting routine.”
Advised to join in activities such as Bingo Judy refused. ‘ I studiously avoid being part of a group.” She prefers reading in her room. “But I keep my bedroom door open so everyone knows they’re welcome.” By now she knows everyone’s story.” I wish I were a writer, because their stories are so interesting.” She particularly relishes watching the romantic relationship between two of the residents. ”He’s a sweet man, but she turns into a witch if he even looks at another woman,” Judy says indignantly.
Still , she’s no Polyanna (the fictitious child who was forever optimistic ). She worries about the health of her son, who’s in a different assisted living facility. And as a former English teacher, Judy frets about the grammatical errors in the facility’s fliers. ”I offered to edit them but they’re done by an outside company and I don’t want to seem pushy.”
Although Judy’s realistic about how much time remains at her age she refuses to dwell on it. She does admit she gets a sudden surge of grief when familiar words or a tune on the radio brings up memories. “I get teary but I let it pass. After a while life begins again.”
I tell her about the lemon quote and her exuberant laugh breaks out again. “Lemonade is on the menu today!”

Just published: “ARISING” – Available in print and E-book at and



I’m afflicted with an unfortunate tendency to associate places with people. So my personal geography shrinks when sites I’ve enjoyed become haunted by the absence of someone I loved .

My husband virtually worshipped  the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had hundreds of wonderful times there. But after he died I was not  only unable to go near the  building, I couldn’t go into any museum. Obviously this limited my life. Then during a visit to my sister in Colorado she suggested we see the Denver Art Museum’s new Rembrandt exhibit. “I can’t…,”I   began , but I knew I had to revise “can’t” to “must.” Reluctantly I went,  but when my sister  wandered to the next galllery I stood in front of an exquisite etching, tears running down my cheeks. Visitors must have thought this was an emotional reaction to Rembrandt, but it was that a museum brought up more memories of my husband than I could handle. Stilll it dented the barrier I’d erected  and allowed me to start enjoying art again – for both of us.

Ir  wasn’t only art that paralyzed me. I couldn’t listen to any song we had danced to, or read any poet we had both loved, or go to any plays although Mel and I loved the theatre. But short of moving to another planet, we have to learn to transform memories so they don’t wound us. My son taught me a lesson about this. After his father died, David went to the office and visited his father’s former staff.  I asked him how he could bear to go into those rooms, He said, “I go to old places and put new experiences into them.”

That’s what a widow I interviewed did. Isabel had been married to a  Frenchman and they vacationed in Paris every year .She  loved that beautiful city, but after Henri died she couldn’t imagine traveling without him. Then her daughter showed her an ad for a budget trip to Paris. “It was only four days so I thought  it might be doable.” Isabel said. Still, she was so uncertain that she went to the airport  unable to believe  she’d  really get on the plane. I asked her when she realized she would. ”When I saw my luggage going down the chute,” she said.

But Isabel also armed herself  with a list of sites that she and Henri had never gone to. “I went to an agricultural fair and a music museum that were interesting,” she .said. The trip wasn’t easy but she came home with a reignited love of travel. She choses locales she’s always wanted to see but that don’t have memories, like her recent trip to Iceland

Traveling isn’t a panacea for everyone. Noah, an elderly widower, wasn’t interested in going beyond his zip code. Although he’d always been a loner, he talked himself into joining a local political discussion group. “Each week we solve the world’s problems,” he jokes.  But he’s serious when he adds: “It’s important to do anything that gets you out of the rut.”

There are so many factors that narrow life  beyond our control, let’s not  make memory one of them.

New book! “ARISING” available through BookBaby and Amazon



Guilt is the common cold of the bereaved. I haven’t found one person (including myself) who doesn’t reach for myriad ¬– often baseless ¬¬– things to feel guilty about after a loved one dies. I was plagued by the certainty that death had come for the wrong one. It should have been me, Mel was the better person. Like so many survivors I kept berating myself for the times I’d been short-tempered with him, secretly resentful of the demands on me. “I caused Mel’s cancer,” I told his oncologist. “You must be very powerful,” he said. But even his well-meant sarcasm failed to release me.

I’m hardly unique. The field is overcrowded with those of us who insist we failed the person we loved. I spoke with Martha, a Baptist minister whose faith wasn’t enough to enable her to forgive herself. She had given her bed–ridden husband a bell he could ring when he needed her. She’s haunted now by the times she told him, “Stop ringing every minute, I have other things to do.” She lovingly cared for him for years, but it’s the times anger got the better of her that she keeps reliving.

Sometimes memory is imbedded in a tragic event. Janet said she and her husband usually did the week’s grocery shopping together. But one Saturday when they were expecting guests for dinner, she told him to shop without her, she had too much preparation to do. Hours later he still hadn’t returned, when the police callled. A truck driver had shot through the red light and rammed her husband’s car head-on. When she got to the hospital he was already on life support. Afterward she was submerged in a litany of “if only” she had gone with him, “if only” she hadn’t invited guests, “if only” and so on– and on. Everyone reminded her she wasn’t responsible for the accident, but she clung to guilt as if she needed it. Perhaps she did.

Often we find adroit ways to punish ourselves. Guilt is often termed the “crippler,” and in Bob’s case that was literally true. A former athlete, he began suffering crippling spasms after his partner died. The doctor couldn’t find a medical cause for the sudden onset, but told him, “You seem to have developed the same symptoms Marvin had.” Bob was actually relieved about the diagnosis. “What right did I have to be healthy if I hadn’t kept Marvin alive?”

These are only a few of the many people I interviewed who went the guilt route. But why do we do this to ourselves?
“Guilt is a way of remaining connected to the one who died.” That stunning answer was told to me by a Cancer Care bereavement counselor.
He added,: “As long as you think you could have done things differently there won’t be closure. You have the illusion you could have controlled fate.”

When I began to believe this– and to finally accept it – I was able to resume my life. Janet, the woman whose husband died in the car crash, went through the same struggle. After months of talking to friends who revealed how they had been able to get past similar feelings, Janet finally accepted the fact that even if she’d been in the car she couldn’t have saved her husband. “The reality is that I probably would have been killed, too. Then our children would have lost both parents.”

Ironically, letting go of guilt may feel like another loss. But it can free us to move on.
[Adapted from “Turning Toward Tomorrow.”]


When I left the editor job I’d had for 18 years, my departure was voluntary. I no longer found any pleasure in the work and I knew it was more than time to move on. Fortunately, finances were not an anxiety since my husband made a good salary. All positive, right?

So why did retirement bring a daily case of the blues – dark blue, at best? Why did I feel for months as if there was no solid ground beneath my feet? I had a pervasive sense of loss similar to grief.
I was hardly unique. Many retirees find themselves floundering when their days are no longer defined by a job. Felice, an Ohio school counselor, voluntarily retired after 43 years. Then she discovered that more than work was missing from her life. “I had lost schedule, purpose, and a sense of community,” she says. That trio of losses doesn’t match the idealized images of having time for ourselves to lie in the sun, go on a cruise, be with the grandchildren. Yet the grandkids are busy with their own lives and cruises eventually dock. So many of us ponder, what’s next?
That next step depends on accepting what kind of person you are. “I’m not good at doing nothing,” Felice admits. After months of soul–searching, she found her way back to a school setting – but in a very different format. Every morning she’s a volunteer aide in a preschool center. But these mornings aren’t enough for this energetic woman. Afternoons and even many evenings she’s a volunteer for numerous academic organizations. “My kids tell me I’ve flunked retirement,” she laughs..

My brother-in=law, Norman, was the editor of an esteemed science publication. When he was forced to take retirement he realized he wouldn’t be happy unless he was doing something purposeful. He began teaching English to groups of immigrants, led workshops about anger management in prisons, and became instrumental in setting up an organization to foster Jewish-Muslim cooperation in his home town of Columbus.

This doesn’t mean that retirement should be all work and no play. Even workaholic Felice has enrolled in exercise and yoga classes. You might also develop new skills. Norman joined a glass-making group and created exquisite glass objects that his family and friends were delighted to have as gifts. He also discovered he had the talent – and patience – to do intricate crewel embroidery. The Noah’s Ark tapestry he made for the newest baby is now a family heirloom. I, myself, while starting a new career as a freelance writer, made time to bring a longtime dream to life: learning to play the piano. (I hadn’t even known why the keys were two colors!)

Whatever path we decide to venture on, Felice advises asking yourself how that project would help you move forward. Settling for time-killer activities just makes us feel worse. “And don’t lock yourself into any long-term commitment,” she warns.

We could all take heart from the words of author Anne Tyler: “Sometimes you get to what you thought was the end and find it’s a whole new beginning.”


Has any punctuation ever been debated as often as the apostrophe in Mother’s Day? That small mark indicates that the day is for one mother, not all mothers. As a devout grammarian I would move that apostrophe. Mothers’ Day. Yet it points to an inescapable truth: the holiday doesn’t have the same resonance for everyone.
On one side there are women who have a joyous celebration, complete with corsage, candy, card and/or dining out. The popular image is of a beaming woman surrounded by her loving children. (How the offspring feel about the compulsory show of affection is another story!)
The reality is that many women would like to tear the annual date off the calendar. For this “Hallmark Holiday,” as the cynical among us call it, can have painful weight. There are women missing a parent, or mourning the loss of a child through death or estrangement (which is another kind of death). Women mourning a child who never made it to birth, and women unable to conceive.
So it’s fitting that Mother’s Day began as a tribute from a daughter. A West Virginia woman, Anna Reeves Jarvis, was mourning her mother, Anne Jarvis, a well-known activist in women’s causes, who died in May 1905. Beyond her personal sorrow, Anna wanted a day that would be everyone’s private tribute to their mother. In 1908, she led the first Mother’s Day observance in a local church. Alas for her naive hope, the simple memorial idea took fire and spread rapidly and loudly across the nation. In 1914 President Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday. To the delight of merchants it exploded into the gifts and hoopla so familiar today. Ironically, Anna Jarvis was horrified at what her idea had turned into and fought it – in vain. The genie wasn’t going back into the bottle.
We can add meaning to our own celebrating by reaching out to someone who is suffering some form of loss, and visit (if visits are welcome) or by a phone call. Just four simple words – “I’m thinking of you” – can help bridge the chasm of loneliness.
We should also be careful what we say to anyone we might not know well. A friend told me she’d bought a box of cookies from a new neighbor as a donation to a charity. But she confesses she threw the cookies into the garbage when the woman chirped ,”Your little ones will enjoy these.” The brutal truth was that my friend was coping with the failure of her final fertility effort. “Some people are so insensitive they don’t try to recognize how someone else might be feeling,” she said.
Those of us who are on the deprived side of the holiday don’t have to settle for a solo pity party. We can plan ahead of time to see a play or movie, or attend a concert , either alone or with a friend who’s in the same rocky boat.. My sister used to have an annual date with a childless friend. They’d meet in an elegant restaurant for what they jauntily called their “unMother’s Day lunch.”
The best possible day to all!


“Some of my losses are still walking around.” That wry remark was uttered by a woman mourning the “death” of several friendships. It’s the kind of loss many of us become familiar with, but it seldom nets any sympathy cards .
I discovered this at the ripe age of ten.. My best friend and I had been inseparable since first grade. Then her family moved away and our only contact was by phone. No FaceTime or Zoom in those days, but they wouldn’t have helped anyway. Betsy’s phone chatter was increasingly about her new friends, with zero interest in me. What I felt was – in a word – abandoned.
I was too young to understand that the end of a friendship is a kind of bereavement, and the adults in my world failed to recognize that. I was admonished to “stop sulking.” Or told, ,”You’ll find new friends.” (That meaningless compensation is thrown at the widowed, too, in terms of finding new love.)
Friendships rupture for more reasons that geographical distance, of course. The more benign way is when your interests gradually diverge. But sometimes it’s one person’s spouse who creates a distance.  One of my friendships expired soon after it began, with promised dinner dates for the three of us routinely forgotten .It turned out that the husband preferred to be alone with his wife, without a third person joining in.
A major issue that puts a relationship on life support is lack of respect for each other’s needs. When I began writing my first book I told everyone I had to be “off the planet” each day until 3:00. It was the only way I could submerge myself in my book. All my friends were cooperative except one (a therapist!)\. For years she insisted on calling while I was writing because that was easier for her busy schedule. I was too afraid of losing the laughs we used to have together to speak up for myself. But my resentment and her scorn of what I was doing threw a dark shadow over us. The crisis came when I told her she didn’t have to understand my need, but she had to respect it if we were to remain friends. She couldn’t – and we didn’t.
However, if we’re asking to be respected, we also need to do the respecting. This extends to empathizing with someone’s pain, even if you secretly think she’s better off without the other person. Instead of tuning out we can in tune in, and jettison words like ,“It isn’t as if someone died.” Something did die – a closeness that’s still missed, memories no one else shares.
The hopeful side is that, some broken friendships can be salvaged IF at least one of ypu is willing to risk reaching out. Last year a long-time friend and I stopped speaking due to a miscellany of misunderstanding. After some months of cooling down, I realized how much I missed her and what a good friend she had always been. But how to swallow my pride and risk making an overture? Sometimes a birthday or a holiday is an opportunity. I sent a text to say “Thinking of you on your birthday.” I was afraid she might ignore the message or send an impersonal one-word reply like, “Thanks.” Period. Her answer arrived the next day. “Thinking of you, too.” We were on our way. We’ve met several times since then and have wisely refrained from rehashing reasons for the rift, but with more appreciation of one another.
True reaching out makes us vulnerable, but so do all relationships. The choice is ours.




Since March is Women’s History Month, I looked up some famous heroines and was surprised by how many found new roles after they were widowed. Too often we see the death of our spouse or companion as the end of our own story, too. “Life will never be the same,” is a common refrain. Yet a different life may have its own rewards.

Even the hit show “Hamilton” could use a sequel. After Alexander Hamilton was killed in a duel, his widow went on to have a historic career. In an era when women retreated to the background dressed in mourning weeds, Eliza Hamilton cofounded the Orphan Asylum Society, the first private orphanage in New York. As the Director, she worked ceaselessly for almost 30 years raising funds to maintain the asylum, while also overseeing the education of more than 700 children.

I also get inspired by women who refuse to be defeated by age. The American artist Grandma Moses was a farmer’s wife and a mother for decades. After her husband’s death, she went back to her long abandoned enthusiasm for painting and became recognized as an artist in her seventies. Her highest-paid work sold for $1.2 million! Painting was easier for her arthritic hands than baking, she told an interviewer. When her right hand could no longer function well, she taught herself to paint with her left hand – and continued her career until two days before her 101st birthday.

Women who add new chapters to their lives don’t just exist in the arts and politics. Sometimes they’re quietly nearby. I have a neighbor who was widowed about five years ago. All I knew about her was that she had taught “English As A Second Language.”. Actually after her husband died she didn’t seem very visible. I now know she was making solo trips to places she’d never had an opportunity to visit -such as the Galagagos. But this unassuming woman wanted to lead a more purposeful life. She accepted a friend’s invitation to help organize a program for a university in Cambodia. “I’d never been to a third-world country,” she says, “ but I didn’t think I should refuse the invitation.” She was there for two months. “It was challenging,” she admits.

A new chapter doesn’t have to be that adventurous, which brings me to a personal heroine. My mother worked as a legal secretary until she was eighty, despite being handicapped by severe hearing loss. (For years she refused to wear hearing aids, because she thought they would make her look old.). Widowed and retired, she found that life in her Florida residential hotel was lonely. So she invited the other solitary women to a series of Sunday afternoon “concerts” in her room. At these popular meetings guests listened to opera recordings of her idols, mainly Pavorotti, and my hospitable mother offered cookies – and whiskey..

No one chooses to be widowed and loss is never easy. But we should revise what “the end” means. I confess that I saw my husband’s death as the end of anything good in my own life- unaware that I would go on to write books that help other widowed people.

“Action is the antidote for despair,” Joan Baez said. The choice varies because there’s no one size fits all. But the other side of grief is the opportunity to create a new chapter for ourselves.
Books: “Widow’s Walk” – available through; “Turning Toward Tomorrow”-–; “Come and Go” – ∫; “Ten Women of Valor” and “Role Playy” – Amazon and Amazon Kindle.


The first Valentine’s Day without my husband I told my counselor, “I feel as if I’lll never have anyone’s arms around me again.”
His response? “Put your arms around yourself.”
Cold comfort, I thought, and what does that mean anyway? Doesn’t he understand how alone I feel?

It took a while to see the wisdom beneath his words,. Along the way I discovered three things. The first was that a “two by two” world doesn’t have to depend on a spouse or partner. What about friends, like one who told me,”You need a hug” – and then hugged me with affection and understanding.

Yet sharing doesn’t always come automatically. The second thing I discovered was that if I wanted to be with a friend – rather than have a solo pity party – I better learn to reach out. It’s easy to assume that if no one’s invited you for a holiday or a Saturday night, it means they don’t want to be with you. The reality is that people are busy with their own lives, and it’s not a reflection of us. So with trepidation I began to use my fingers to dial the phone and ask, “Would you like to get together this weekend?” Or even “For Valentine; s Day?” It helps to come up with a specific idea. “Like to try out that new pizza place?” Or, “ I hear that new movie is good.” She might refuse, in which case you’re no worse  off than before you called. You might hear, “That’s a great idea.” Or, if she’s busy, “How about the following weekend?” That doesn’t fill the holiday, but it gives you something to look forward to. Either way you know you have the courage to reach out and can again.

Note: I’m not recommending asking your adult child to be available.  We might scare the kid off if we seem to be leaning!

The  major thing I learned is the “hug” I give myself. This year instead of gazing plaintively through a store window at heart-shaped boxes  of  candy, I’m shamelessly devouring the Godiva chocolates I bought for myself. Other years I’ve  bought recordings of favorite musicals or listened to my old records of comedians.  You can’t feel too sad when hearing Nichols and May, remember them?

Often I enact what I once thought was strange advice. Literally putting my arms around myself I assure the woman within, “You’re not alone.”

Website:   :

BOOKS:: “Widow’s Walk” – available through; “Turning Toward Tomorrow”-–; “Come and Go” –; “Ten Women of Valor” and “Role Play” – Amazon and Amazon Kindle.




she can’t – with or without an excuse – but she might not. You might hear, “That’s a great idea.” Or, if she’s busy, “How about the following weekend?” True, that doesn’t fill the holiday, but it gives you something to look forward to.
If you end up with just rejection, you’re no worse off than before you called. You also know you had the courage to reach out and can again.
Note: I’m not recommending asking your adult child to be available. We might scare the kid off if we seem to be leaning!
The major thing I learned is the “hug” I give myself. This year instead of gazing plaintively through a store window at heart-shaped boxes of candy, I’m shamelessly devouring the Godiva chocolates I bought for myself. Other years I’ve bought recordings of favorite musicals or listened to DVD’s of comedians. You can’t feel too sad when hearing Nickols and May, remember them?
Often I enact what I once thought was strange advice. Literally putting my arms around myself I assure the woman within, “You’re not alone.”
Website: :
BOOKS:: “Widow’s Walk” – available through; “Turning Toward Tomorrow”-–; “Come and Go” –; “Ten Women of Valor” and “Role Play” – Amazon and Amazon Kindle.