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I lost my 21 year old son 5 months ago. How do I get through Thanksgiving and Christmas?  I have a 15 year old daughter and want her to have a great life too. I would love to just skip the holidays but I can't for her. My son loved the family get togethers. He also loved our New Year family celebration with wings and movies. I am just dreading the holidays!

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It's tough at best.  When I lost my husband I didn't want the holidays, it seemed anything but festive to me, but I did it for my children, who were young adults.  My son insisted on cutting a tree down and my daughter roped me into decorating it with her.  I realized I had to do those things for them.  Now, years later, they aren't around, but I continue to put up a tree even though no one is coming over.  My husband loved the holidays, everything about them, and I continue in his memory.  He had such zest for life!  I lovingly put each of his Christmas ornaments on the tree and hang his stocking next to mine.  It's hard in the beginning especially and of course nothing is the same without them but I like to think he's here with me in spirit, and maybe just maybe he sits and watches a holiday movie with me.

I'm so sorry you are facing this.  It won't always feel as intense as it does right now.  I've heard the six month mark is the toughest...my loss was June 19 so my six month mark was at Christmas.  That's just an arbitrary figure though, it could be five months or seven months...the point is, that's about the time when shock wears off, people who were supportive return to their lives, and reality sets in.  Grief continues forever but it doesn't stay the same, it evolves.  Try not to fear it, ride with the waves, it's okay to sit with it and feel the pain.  Eventually you learn to carry your grief inside of you.  And someday you wake up and realize your memories bring you a smile instead of just the pain.  Our bodies are amazing at resilience, even when we think it's least likely.  The part that is forever is the missing them... 




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