Got through Thanksgiving

Well, I made it through Thanksgiving. It was very hard and very sad but not as bad as I expected. I went to the cemetery the day before Thanksgiving and cried so long and so hard that I was totally exhausted. I actually had trouble walking back to my car. I must have looked like a crazy woman, all muddy and dirty from cleaning up David's grave, staggering around the cemetery in the dark, crying so loudly. I won't go that late in the day again. (It gets dark here around 4:30.)

I think that I cried so much on Wednesday that I couldn't cry much on Thursday. I did have a few meltdowns but I got through the dinner. We are such traditionalists and it makes it so hard. We did the same thing that we have done for years and years...we (me and my husband and our kids and now spouses and grandkids) get together with our extended sister and bro in law and their six kids and their spouses and's a large group, about 30-35 people. When I walked in and saw everyone, I broke down. And I sobbed out loud when my brother in law said grace. I was the only one who cried out loud and that made me feel worse.

I can't believe that just last year David was here with us and well enough to walk in and get his food and sit and eat, all unaided. It was in November that David first really started to go downhill. He fought so hard and he was so brave and full of courage. It breaks my heart and makes me crazy with grief when I think about how strong he was and how hard he fought and how hard he tried and how bad everything got as the cancer started to take over and the chemo started to kill him. It all seems like I am living in a dream.....a horrible nightmare that I wish with all of my heart that I could wake up from.

My kids all clustered around me at the Thanksgiving dinner and I felt like they were watching out for me. They chatted about casual things and hauled out newspapers and pointed out Black Friday deals that they thought I might be interested in. I ended up going out with them and I even did some shopping. I bought myself a bunch of stuff too. Spent a lot of money that I shouldn't really have spent but I don't care.

I don't think I would make it through life in general or the holidays in particular if I didn't have the level of support and love that my three kids and my sister and my extended family and my best friend have given to me. Even with all the support, I feel like I am barely hanging in there. I keep waiting for it to get easier. I don't feel like it ever will be easier....maybe I will just learn how to tolerate it.

I hope that you others on this board are able to find some peace this holiday season. I'm so sorry for all of us who had to say good bye to our loved ones.

Love and blessings,
Cindy in Salem, OR


  • Glad you made it through

    I was thinking about you over Thanksgiving, and am so glad that you have so much support during this transition time. Thank you for posting and giving us an update, since I know that many are concerned about you and want to lend support.
    Lately I've had the feeling that the grief process is just something you have to go THROUGH, not over or around or under or past, but actually through the whole thing - even when it's the last thing on earth you want to be doing.
    It's hard for me to believe that it's been 5 months since my Dave went home, and it's really just starting to sink in that he's not just away on a really long business trip and will be home someday soon. Both of my kids mentioned to me over Thanksgiving that they just really wish they could talk to him - it's the first time they've really said anything like that, so I think the reality is starting to sink in more and more.
    We didn't end up being together for Thanksgiving, but fortunately we are blessed with good friends and family, so we were all okay, and we are looking forward to being together for Christmas. We are going to meet in Dallas and rent a house with some good friends, and I'm hoping that it will be a good mix of time together and tender memories. Just have to get THROUGH it all somehow, I think.
    I think of you often and you are in my prayers, and I'm grateful for your ability to sustain others even during your own struggles - you are a great example of a mom who loves unconditionally. Love, CindyO
  • BenLenBo
    BenLenBo Member Posts: 145 Member
    Hi Cindy,
    Was thinking

    Hi Cindy,
    Was thinking about you over Thanksgiving, said a little prayer for your family. It seems like one just goes through the motions each day, and never really goes anywhere. I have lost so many members of my family, parents, brothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, every holiday carries some sadness as those members are not there to share our table. What we do is share stories, and build memories in our hearts.
    You wrote about going to the cemetary with flowers, the reaction you had was so normal you would be surprised. David was your heart, it is breaking, the pain will always be there, but memories and his wonderful smile will ease that pain in time. Grieving is a process, it is not over in an instant, it takes time. My parents have been gone over 20 years, I miss them and think of them every day, but I have never forgotten them. My children grew up without really knowing them, but my children know their grandparents through my memories and those around who knew them. We've donated trees in their name, stain glass windows in the church, hymnals etc. Did David have a special charity or organization he loved?
    Taking a vacation may just be what you need, we have many families in our area who vacation over holidays. Wishing you comfort and joy!