Q. My late husband and I used to invite friends over for dinner occasionally, but I haven’t “entertained” since he died. Part of me wants to try it, but the rest of me feels overwhelmed at the thought. Any suggestions?
First realize that it’s natural to feel daunted. You’re no longer part of a couple, and everything is different. Yet you’ve somehow handled many new situations since your husband’s death. Entertaining solo is just another step forward in building a new life—and it takes courage. Your husband probably shared in at least some of the planning, preparation, and possibly the cooking at a dinner party. Even if he simply greeted the guests and took drink orders, he was an extra “hand.” Although you’re on your own now, you can take control and ease into becoming a hostess again with these steps:
Plan to ask guests for help, too. Someone can pour the wine and/or mix drinks at a party, allowing you more time to circulate or introduce people to each other. If you’d like to try a barbecue without being tied to the grill, you might (in advance), draft a willing guest to pitch in. Or consider hiring someone for grill duty. The point is to relax for a few hours with people you enjoy. You’ll feel empowered, and also open the door to reciprocal invitations. We widows need to be proactive in building a social life for ourselves.
If you have a question for Florence, please email her at email@example.com.
Florence Isaacs is a freelance journalist, author — and a widow herself. Her books include My Deepest Sympathies, When the Man You Love Is Ill, What Do You Say When and Just a Note to Say...The Perfect Words for Every Occasion.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons / John Taylor