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Dreading the holidays

connsteele
Posts: 232
Joined: May 2011

I'm already dreading the upcoming holidays. Was in the local Kmart and there are Christmas stuff out already, This will be our first Christmas without our son...we are now at the six month mark. We were thinking it would be good to go somewhere very "unChristmas like" for the holidays. My nephew lives in Grand Cayman and he invited us down for Christmas. On first look, we thought that would be a good idea...tropical setting, etc. However, we have since learned that it is now turning into a bigger family Christmas "event" as now his sister (my niece) will also be there, along with her two adult sons, plus a daughter inlaw and their baby. Now I'm rethinking the trip...I feel that I will have to put on a happy face for this family Christmas gathering so not to be a "downer" for everyone. Plus, (I know this sounds terrible) but I don't want to be around my niece, who will have two healthy sons with her at Christmas. I lost my only son. I know they mean well, but I now want to get out of it. Maybe I just want to stay at home with the curtains drawn and be in bed all day. We have a daughter who lives across the country and I don't know if she will be able to come due to work

A friend thinks I should go anyway...that it could be good for me. Truth is, I don't know how I will feel at Christmas. I doubt that I will put up decorations..
What have others done to get through the first holiday season?

Connie
Mother of David
2/28/77-4/13/12 ( brain tumor)

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Holidays after the loss of a loved one are hard, but first holidays are especially hard. My children and I spent our first Thanksgiving without my husband with his sister and her family across the country in Oregon. It was sad but we made the best of it. We spent Christmas with my family which is something we had done for years. I did not have a tree or put up decorations at my home. Basically we went through the motions but my heart was not in it. The second year, I moved the week before Christmas so again did the minimum. This will be my third holiday season without my husband. We will celebrate the holidays but differently than when he was here. The holidays will come every year and eventually you will find your way through them. Do what you think will be best for you and your family. It will get easier with each year. Regardless of what you decide, to go away or stay in your home with the curtains drawn, it will be difficult. Maybe a change of scenery would be good. Good luck with your decision. I know it is not an easy one.

chicken2799's picture
chicken2799
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2009

Last year was the first Christmas without my Grandmother who was like my Mom. She helped my Dad raise my Brother and I after my mom passed away when we were very young. It was very hard because the family tradition of getting together Christmas Eve still happened even without her there! It was really hard on everyone, but it was especially hard on her children as well as me and my brother! I also had my little girl to think of as well. I can't say I know how you are feeling, because I would feel the same way in your shoes I believe. I do know that I will be praying that whatever decision you make, you find peace through the Holidays and eventually things will be easier to bare. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Michelle
Mobile, Al
DX: 10/20/09 AA3

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

I lost my husband 2 & 1/2 years ago and I dread the holiday season coming again. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child. Hope you have family & friends to help you through this. I always had Christmas at our house, but now can't have anything. Luckily my 3 kids have had them since My hubby died in 2010. Only have a little tree now as I couldn't bear to put the big one up without him.
Maybe if you went to your daughters it would be a little easier. Guess it just takes time. I also lost my mom right before Christmas in 1989 & my dad right after Christmas in 1990, so holidays have been hard ever since then. Good luck whatever you decide. "Carole"

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

I lost my husband 2 & 1/2 years ago and I dread the holiday season coming again. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child. Hope you have family & friends to help you through this. I always had Christmas at our house, but now can't have anything. Luckily my 3 kids have had them since My hubby died in 2010. Only have a little tree now as I couldn't bear to put the big one up without him.
Maybe if you went to your daughters it would be a little easier. Guess it just takes time. I also lost my mom right before Christmas in 1989 & my dad right after Christmas in 1990, so holidays have been hard ever since then. Good luck whatever you decide. "Carole"

jaycc
Posts: 131
Joined: Jul 2012

The first holidays are very hard. So sorry about your son, I can't say I fully understand how your feel but do appreciate your pains of going with a big group somewhere, and how to get through the upcoming season.
Last year,losing my husband in late Sept, thanksgiving was a challenge. So I split it.
We have thanksgiving with his family, and then I and the kids jumped on a plane and just us went to my cousins house by ourselves. It was a good break, and gave us a chance to get ready for Christmas events ahead.
Maybe you can go for a short while and then go see your daughter.
I found myself 90% of the time wanting to avoid people , actually before the events were the hardest, then once I got there, it wasn't too bad. Still kept it short though, and made sure I had an escape route. Meaning telling a friend or someone, when I've had enough I just need to go.
For Christmas I went route of putting out everything I owned. Got a little help from Heaven on some of the tough days.

Keep trying, do what you can, but only what you want. People around you don't fully understand, but hopefully they appreciate how hard it is.

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

This will be my first holiday without my husband. Last year was so hard with him here. He was so bad at Thanksgiving and was in Hospice by Christmas and gone by January 14th...
I really wish I could hit the fast forward button to February! I have struggled with what to do this Thanksgiving and then when I finally made a decision to have it at my house my kids (grown) ask if I am asking to telling.... I simply said I am saying what I want to do. They apparently don't want to be here because it will be too sad. So instead they want me to go with them to my friend's house whose son just started dating my oldest daughter!!!! That's convenient for her.. But no for me.
I am afraid I won't be up to it and she says I am too sad & depressed. What does she expect!

cindysuetoyou's picture
cindysuetoyou
Posts: 508
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm also having a hard time with the holidays. I just want them to be over. I scheduled a knee surgery for Dec. 12th so I will be on crutches for the holidays. That's one way to distract myself.

I have no heart for it, but I've been Christmas shopping already and have most of it done. This year I'm just buying for my three children (it makes me sick to say "three") and the four grandkids. I'm not getting my Christmas decorations out either. If I get pressure to put up a tree, I'll do it but I'll just buy ornaments from the Dollar Tree and donate them somewhere after the holidays.

I wanted to go out for breakfast on Christmas but my husband doesn't want to mess with crowds. He wants to make it "easy" for me and just have muffins and coffee for breakfast but I know we'll end up doing the big Christmas breakfast.....

I've been trying hard to find things that I still love and enjoy in life. Fall was my favorite season...today I was walking across our church's parking lot and a shower of leaves rained down from some trees, way up high. They were beautiful, so colorful and spiraling and twirling down...it made me feel so alone and so desolate. Things that I love hurt me and make me feel so awful inside. I don't know how to explain it or why I feel that way. It's so painful. I stood there for a long time watching the leaves come down, crying my eyes out. That's how my days go.

love and blessings,
Cindy

cindysuetoyou's picture
cindysuetoyou
Posts: 508
Joined: Dec 2009

Today I went to the cemetery with a bouquet of fall flowers to put on David's grave. It's the second time I've gone. I went by myself (my choice) and I made the mistake of going just before dusk. It was beautiful but so desolate and lonely. I cried so hard that I couldn't see. I felt like I was losing it. Literally crazy with grief. I really hope that this first holiday is the hardest but I have a feeling that Christmas might even be worse. I thought of a lot of things to be grateful for, seeing it's Thanksgiving and all, and I am grateful, but my grief makes me irrational. I need to see a counselor or a grief therapist or someone.

The bereavement person from hospice sent a booklet to me that is for people who have lost a child. I read it and I guess I'm a textbook case. It was like they knew me personally. I have every issue going on that the booklet talks about....uncontrollable emotional breakdowns, feelings of guilt, fatigue, distracted...the whole package. At least I know I'm normal. I guess.

When will this ever get any easier?

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1629
Joined: Aug 2009

The holidays are hard, especially the first holiday season after the loss of a loved one. I asked for prayers in church yesterday for those who had lost loved ones as we face a new holiday season. Each holiday season for me seems to get a little easier. I have accepted that it will never be the same. We repeat some of our traditions, but we,know they are not the same. The sermon yesterday was about being thankful, and one of our retired pastors did the sermon. She talked about the importance of remembering and giving thanks for the memories. She acknowledged that some memories were hard, but encouraged us to seek the good memories surrounding the hard ones - like the people who rallied around or the loved shared. It helped me. That doesn't mean I will always succeed in being as thankful as I should, but I will try to remember and be thankful for the time we did share, the blessings that came to me through that relationship, the love we knew. Blessings everyone. Fay

Cindy Bear
Posts: 564
Joined: Jul 2009

I am sorry for your loss. The first major holidays after my mom passed were dreadful. She was everything to us, our rock, our center.. everything. All I could think of was trying to get thru... get thru Thanksgiving, get thru Christmas.. somehow we did... just kinda of went thru the motions. We knew that's what she would have wanted so we muddled through. Now, I seem to treasure things more... last year I put my tree up early, and left it up longer, My sisters and I baked her cookie recipes, I mailed cards early like she always did, I just seem to appreciate everything so much more. .the food, good company, the music... the first snowfall.. everything has special meaning to me now... things we take for granted....Why don't you tell your nephew you'd love to come out, maybe after the holidays at a less busier time so you can spend more time with him..
Big hugs,
Cindy

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