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Christmas or not


mik

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It's been one month since Mom left us. The Christmas season is here. My brother's are in Pennsylvania and I am living with my husband in South Carolina. I expected to have Thanksgiving and Christmas here in our new home. Me my husband and my Mom. Moms in heaven now, so it's just me and my husband. Mom has always been a part of the equation since Dad passed almost 3 years ago. I don't want to celebrate any holiday here at our new house. I also don't want to go home to PA. I am stuck in limbo.  On one hand the support of family might help, but my brothers have their own lives. My aunts and uncles have theirs as well, as do my friends back home. I haven't lived here long enough to make friends. My husband is trying to be supportive but really was not close to his family and doesn't get my sadness, anxiety or depression. We have been arguing a lot. The problem is I don't know what to do to get through this holiday without Mom. Going back home is also a financial burden at this time. Airline flights are practically non existent. There are more compelling reasons to stay put than returning home (I keep saying home, meaning Moms home before we came here) but HERE is my home. I can't stand seeing others happy celebrating the holiday. It was Moms favorite.  It makes me feel bad that I find their happiness painful. I am jealous they have their Moms. I keep asking God for direction...

 

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Kim, my dear, feeling as alone and isolated as you do, this might be a good time to explore what in-person bereavement resources are available in your community. Especially at this time of year, many hospice organizations, churches, or funeral homes offer special community-based grief programs to guide participants in navigating the holidays. This might be a wonderful way for you to meet others and establish some friendships . . . 

Lots of ideas here: Coping with The Holidays  ❤️

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I did not feel like doing Christmas when my husband died, but I had two young adult children home for the holidays that wanted to go out and cut a tree down and wanted me to help decorate it.  It was hard, my heart wasn't in it...but when I hung my husband's stockings and put his ornaments on the tree, something happened...it became a way of honoring him.  He had never had a stocking before I made him one, he'd never had an ornament before I came into his life either.  We had precious memories made together and with each one I put up on the tree, I knew he was in it.  My mom has been gone since 2014 but I put the white dove she gave me near the top of the tree, along with the other ornaments she gave me over the years.  There's the one that I bought George that looks exactly like his beloved fishing hat, there's the measuring stick one with a fish on it, also his, the hugging snowmen for our first Christmas and the skating bears also our first Christmas, the one we bought when we went to Crater Lake, etc.  I bought him another one that year.  We put notes to him in his stocking.  

I've gotten older (I'll be 70 next year!) with falls and injuries (11 to my hands the last two years, no strength, continual pain) yet I pushed through and did it.  I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this, but I'll continue trying.  This is a memory tree, memories of friends and family now deceased, but it's not a sad tree, it's a tree of good memories.                                        

DSCN1267.JPG

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Not saying you have to do Christmas, just stating what transpired with me...that first Easter I rebelled and said I am NOT doing Easter!  I stayed home from church, treated it like an ordinary day, didn't fix a spread, the NEXT Sunday I did and my kids made no mention of Easter that year.  I just couldn't do another "first without."  So I didn't.  And Easter had always been the day with the most significance to me!  Maybe that's why it hit me harder.

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

It was hard, my heart wasn't in it...but when I hung my husband's stockings and put his ornaments on the tree, something happened...it became a way of honoring him. 

Kay, the tree and story behind it are just beautiful! What a way to do honor to a special relationship. 
 

The resources on holiday coping are so helpful during this really difficult time; much appreciate, Marty.

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I know, she's my mentor and I consider her a friend, I have learned so much from her over the years!  It's lent meaning and purpose to my grief/loss, which is so important.  Dr. Phil talks about that, I don't always like the content of his shows but I do love him and think he gives sound advice.

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