It's been two weeks since the ball dropped and 2014 was officially ushered in. It didn't take long for me to get back into my routine; I love routines. My New Year's routine includes exercise, a more wholesome diet and dedicated work hours. I traded in my flute of Champagne for a bottle of water. Even though I've stepped it up at work, I've taken some time to decompress in the evenings from the busyness of the end of the year holidays. I've had some quiet time and I've been thinking. (I can hear Marty groaning now. Next she's going to want to talk.)
Two years ago was the first Christmas after my mom died. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's were tough. I was sad. My family was sad and it felt like the holidays weren't ever going to be fun again. Fortunately, we came through the sadness of grief to once again joyously celebrate the holidays. But this got me to thinking about my friends who experienced the loss of a parent or a spouse this past year and how they are going through The Year of Firsts. The first snow fall without his or her loved one, the first St. Patrick's Day alone and many other firsts that sneak up on you and drape you in sadness.
I am suggesting that if you know someone who is living The Year of Firsts that you reach out and connect with them. Invite them to lunch or dinner, plan an outing to a museum or go to an Oscar nominated movie. Any activity that helps you connect and be available to your friend or family member. If they live out of town, send a card, give them a call or better yet, set-up Skype and look them in the eye. Being available may not take away all their sadness but they won't have to go it alone if you are with them. They may want to talk or just "be" with you. but as the tidal wave of grief comes upon them, you will be there to help them ride the wave.
So start 2014 by intentionally reaching out to those going through The Year of Firsts. The world will be a better place for your thoughtfulness.