Tag Archives: holidays

Holiday Helps

It is 2:43 a.m. this morning as I write this post. I woke up and could not get back to sleep so I decided to get out of bed, light a virtual fireplace, and do some work on this blog.

There is a new page on the menu – “Holiday Helps.” It is filled with various articles, websites, music and book recommendations to help you get through the holiday season. There is something on this page for everyone, whether you are grieving or just stressed out from all the chaos.

There is also a sub-page, “Joy Filled Recipes” that contains links to unhealthy but extremely delicious recipes.

I will add to the pages as I find more resources or recipes that you will enjoy.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

One Way For Widows (and others) To Get Through The Christmas Season

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl.  But it warmed more than your body.  It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. 

~Bess Streeter Aldrich

Three months from today is Christmas Eve.  Have you started your shopping yet?  If you are a widow and this is your first Christmas without your spouse, have you started making plans for how to survive the Christmas season?

Write It Down

One of the best ways to get through the season is to start a gratitude journal.  It will help you focus on the blessings in your life.  It may not feel like it but there are numerous blessings even though you are feeling pain and sorrow. 

Start it now so you are well into the habit when the Christmas season gets into full swing.

Encourage everyone in your family to have their own journal and sit down once a week to compare notes.  Each journal will be different and no one’s journal will be better than the rest.  You are all unique individuals so what you are thankful for will be unique to each of you.

The grief monster does not like gratitude.  He wants to keep you miserable, depressed and seeing only the bad things in life.  So lay the smackdown on him by being grateful.

Bad Moments

Yes, even though you keep a gratitude journal you will still have bad moments.  But hopefully that is all they will be – moments.  It is in those moments you most need to get out the gratitude journal and start writing.

Not Just For The Grieving

By the way, you do not have to be in the midst of a grief journey to do a gratitude journal.  The Christmas season is a chaotic and hectic time.  What better way to calm your mind than to take some time writing in your gratitude journal while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate.

Your Minimum Daily Requirement

Get our your journal, steno pad, or legal pad and start writing – just 5 a day.  You do not have to stop at 5 so feel free to write as many as your heart desires. Then carry your new habit over into 2014.

Today I am grateful for everyone starting a gratitude journal, especially the widows who are using this as a tool to work through their grief. 

P.S. I have added a contact form so you can send me a private message if you wish or leave your thoughts in the “Express Yourself” section.


40 + 2 Days of Joy Intro

Welcome to the introduction to my special holiday series 40 +2 Days of Joy.

While designed for the widow who is experiencing her first holiday season without her spouse, the tips and advice are general enough anyone can apply them to their lives.

You will find posts Monday through Friday and the words to my favorite holiday songs on the weekends.

The Most Important Advice

I was listening to a career webinar today and part of the discussion centered around taking ownership of your job search.

Well the same advice applies to your grief this holiday season and through out the years ahead – take ownership of it.  God will give you the strength.

Taking ownership of grief means you will tackle it head-on!  

You will not bury your grief deep down inside where it slowly simmers just waiting to get hot enough to erupt like a volcano.

Someday’s you will lay the smack down on it and some days it will lay the smack down on you.  When it does smack you around this holiday season, give into it.  The sooner you embrace it and get the tears out, the better you will feel.

So are you ready?

You have to want to get through this holiday grief and be willing to do the work necessary, which means taking chances.

The first chance I am asking you to take is to write down 1 thing you are thankful for this morning and before you go to bed tonight.  Then tomorrow write down 2 things you are thankful for, the day after that 3 things every morning and night and so on and so on.  I bet once you get started, you will keep doing it after the 40 + 2 days are up.

Imagine how much Thanksgiving will be filling your heart come January 1, 2013. 

Coming tomorrow – A Special Thanksgiving Post and yes Rommie makes an appearance – see you then. 

Today I am thankful for: Friends & Family