I don’t remember much about the first Christmas after my husband died. It was only about three weeks after the accident, probably two weeks after the funeral.

This was supposed to be our Christmas card that year. You can almost see a second-baby bump.

I do remember two things:

I had written a letter to my family and friends to tell them that I was two months pregnant with our second child, and they were received shortly before the holiday. It was such a strange time, because people weren’t sure whether to feel sorry for me, about to have my dead husband’s baby, or be happy for me, even though my husband had just died. And I wasn’t sure how to react to either of those….reactions. I was happy to be pregnant, but also angry about what had happened, overwhelmed at the thought of being a single mom of two, and probably about 17 other emotions, all at once.

The other thing I remember from that first Christmas is the gift that my brother’s family gave me. My brother had made a wooden box (sort of like a jewelry box) and put a picture of my husband and I on the lid. I was so touched by that gift, because it was made with love, and through grief, and was intended to hold my special memories.

The following year was just as hard, because it was less fresh and I was no longer in that haze of surreal, intense, immediate grief. And each subsequent year got just a tiny bit easier, until I was finally able to enjoy the holidays again.

I know what it’s like to try to get through the holidays after losing a spouse, and also what it’s like to feel incredibly alone during that time. That’s why I’m hosting this link-up for Hugs for the Holidays, to allow those who’ve lost a spouse to find and share support with others. Feel free to link up a blog post, a Pinterest pin, a Facebook status, anything that you want to share on the subject.

Link up your url below, and if you can, visit the others. Help them through what is an especially difficult time, find others in a similar situation, provide support for each other.

There are also other bloggers hosting, for other kinds of grief:

If you have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or loss of an infant link here: fourplusanangel.com

If you have lost your mom link here: sandiegomomma.com

Your dad link here: mamamaryshow.com

Your sibling link here: myinnerchick.com

A child link here: aninchofgray.blogspot.com

A friend here: kimtracyprince.com