New Year’s Letter to the Newly Bereft

I’ve been corresponding with a fellow who lost his life mate/soul mate a few short months ago, and after the holidays, he emailed me, telling me how unimaginably difficult it was going into the new year without the love of his life.

I wish I had comforting words to say to him and all the others who are new-born into the world of grief, or a bit of wisdom to help them get through this terrible time, or even a pat of encouragement, but I have no comfort, wisdom, encouragement. All I have is the truth. As I wrote to this new friend in grief:

Yes, it is unimaginably difficult. There is no way to sugar coat it. All the firsts are going to be hard — the first Christmas, the first New Year, the first Valentines day, etc. etc. etc. And such days will always hard.

I wish I had something more to offer than simply a validation that what you are feeling is normal and right and to be expected. Doesn’t help with the pain, though, does it? Sometime this year you will go through a period of peace. Savor that against the long haul. Because it is a long haul.

Wishing you a new year of health and peace.

Whether you are looking forward to a new love or looking back to your lost love, I wish you all a new year of health and peace and renewal.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

5 Responses to “New Year’s Letter to the Newly Bereft”

  1. Terry Allard Says:

    But you write the truth with words of comfort, wisdom, and encoragement! Again, I wonder about applying your gift of writing to a line of cards which also could feature your lovely painting and photography. When a person is in deep grief and gets a “usual” birthday card it hurts more than helps…what the public doesn’t know is that is still true three years later! We need something different. Just an idea which I humbly restate and won’t repeat a third time for fear of becoming a pest! Wishing you another lovely walk 🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      You can keep reminding me of your idea. It’s a good one, and I tend to forget it because even though I could do the cards, marketing is almost impossible for me. Always has been. Besides, I hadn’t realized you meant cards for all occasions. That would be hard. What does one say to a person on their birthday three years in? “Have as happy a birthday as possible even though you’ve lost the love of your life. I’m sorry you’re alone.”? Apparently, I need to think about this more.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It just dawned on me — I’ve been missing a great opportunity. At Christmas, my “What Do You say to Someone Who is Grieving at Christmas” gets thousands of views. I could add a link to Christmas cards for the bereft, though I’ve always hesitated at making money off grief.

  2. Terry Allard Says:

    I would glady purchase a card to give a grieving person compassion and understanding for their circumstance during their birthday,wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Easter,Christmas,New Year…ect.
    I would not feel the card’s creator was in anyway taking advantage of another’s misfortune,actually quite the opposite. I have never marketed anything but I bet there are websites instructing how to get your “at home business” flourishing. Perhaps you know the steps but don’t have the dedicated interest, energy and/or confidence to do it… which is fine. Another avenue would be to approach a greeting card company with the idea and some samples. The Life is Good Company has a line of cards and their mission statement seems consistent with the concept of this type of card. I copied it for you.
    That’s why the Life is Good community shares one simple, unifying mission: to spread the power of optimism. Optimism is not irrational cheerfulness or “blind” positivity. … The Life is Good Superpowers can help you overcome obstacles, drive forward with greater purpose, and enjoy the ride of life.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’ve tried to market many things, most recently my books. Years before I became published, I owned my own businesses and helped Jeff with his. I don’t know if I have the desire to start a real business, but it might be a challenge to figure out the sort of card one can send for the various holidays to people who are grieving. I’ve been researching ways of selling cards, and places like would work. They make most of the money, of course, but it would be a start. Approaching Life is Good and other card companies is a possibility, once I have the cards done. If I get the cards done.

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