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Oh, no the festive season!


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Here we again. 😢

You know, over here where we are all mainly of the catholic religion, today 8 December, marks the official start of Christmas, even though for years now they start selling panettones in the supermarkets in October!

Haven't bought one and am not going to. What for? To celebrate what? The birth of Jesus, o. K., it's not his fault. But I am disappointed, angry and let down and have not got the courage to participate in this gratitude and devotion that we're all supposed to join in. I will encourage my son and daughter to go out and enjoy themselves with their friends, they deserve it, and their loving father would've wanted this. I don't even want to see a tree or any of those christmassy things. If I can't share it with the one who shared my life for 26 yrs, gave me 2 fantastic kids and literally made it all happen. We wouldn't have all we have, if it wasn't for him, and we have learned so much from him. We have inherited all his knowledge, wisdom, know-how. I realise that when my kids and I talk about resolving practical problems or making official decisions, I say to them: 'Wow, we are able to solve this problem because we're reacting just like your dad would have  done and we know all this stuff because he taught us! 

I recommend listening to Celine Dion' s  song:'Because you loved me'. One of many songs I dedicate to my love, every single word is exactly how I feel... ' you were my strength, when I was weak, gave me faith, saw the best in me, you have been my inspiration. I'm everything I am because you loved me.' 💔Claudio, you will be by my side and in my heart forever,until we finally meet again and we will be 'one' like we always have been. 

Enza. 

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And you have every right to handle this the way that is least painful for you, sometimes that's the best we can do.

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I agree. It's OK not wanting to celebrate Xmas this year, or the next one or ever again. It's OK to feel angry at God/Jesus/ and feeling no gratitude or devotion. You are grieving. Traditions will always be there when the moment comes and you may feel able to participate in celebrations again. Our advise would be not to be pushed by the need from others to fix you for the Holidays (ps. They mean well, but they may not be able to understand the extent your pain). Be kind and vocal at the same time about your needs and wishes. And even if you change your mind at the very last minute and you need to take part in them, go with it. Whatever you do, should be your own decision. 

 

 

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Oy vey! I cannot tell you how conflicted I am about the holidays. 

This week is my personal week from hell, where my birthday, anniversary and Annette's birthday all fall, and it's during the Christmas season. It used to be so wonderful, but now it's just triggering. I cannot stand ANY Christmas music whatsoever. Just going to the grocery store and hearing a tired old chestnut makes me feel like I want to set myself on fire and run out. I hated Christmas songs from years of working in retail anyway. Why anybody wants to hear the same dozen songs over and over, just by different artists, boggles my mind. But now, the sentiment of the lyrics just cuts and guts me unbelievably. To me, they're the most depressing dirges imaginable. 

It's also difficult because my mother and brother always get a tree and want to watch Christmas specials. I don't mind having a tree, and last year I was able to enjoy the holiday as a family gathering because I hadn't been here for it for so long. But now, the loss of Annette and her father (I was able to visit him during the season last year) make Christmas a dreaded chore. Plus, Christmas shopping is easy when you're dead broke. My family is all about presents as substitutes for actual affection, and even they are only able to get a few gifts this year. 

Annette was never about getting presents. She knew the true meaning of the day and was happy with watching me open what I got from my family. In better years I would get expensive, rare records and CD's (stuff I've had to sell in the lean years) from my brother and always felt bad that she didn't want me to get her much at all. She was happy just listening to Elvis Christmas songs (which I will play this year for my family, because Elvis is the exception to every rule) and being with me. We couldn't afford a tree usually and she understood.  

All I want for Christmas is to dream of Annette. 

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I hear your last sentence loud and clear, James.

V.R., I can only add to the same advice.  This is your journey so whatever you feel and choose to do is up to you.  There is no wrong.  Only what is right for you.  That your kids feel some spirit is a good thing too.  Right for them having lost their father.  They grieve in other ways.  
 

I don’t believe in god, but I’m very angry my love was taken from me.  I know the circle of life.  But still, I’m human and in pain from it.  Will carry that to my last breath.  Not doing a thing for Christmas either.  I feel nothing but the pain now.  I tried for a couple of years.  Beyond ordering a couple gifts to be delivered, that’s all I can do.  Not doing anything feels bad too.  It’s one big trap.  😢

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21 hours ago, scba said:

Our advise would be not to be pushed by the need from others

This!  For sure!

17 hours ago, nashreed said:

This week is my personal week from hell, where my birthday, anniversary and Annette's birthday all fall, and it's during the Christmas season.

Oh my gosh, that is a LOT!  My anv & bdy are together, George's bdy & death together, but at least Christmas separate, I can't imagine all 4 in one month!  I'm so sorry.  Handle it however you feel even if it means holing up for a month or running away!  :wub:

17 hours ago, nashreed said:

All I want for Christmas is to dream of Annette. 

And I hope you get it. ;)

Honestly, I wish I could sleep until this is all over.  Other's expectations feel oppressive.  We have winter advisory warnings coming in and it's not looking good, starting today, winds and snows...

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Re: Italian style draconian covid regulations. 

I know we've all had enough of hearing about rules and regulations to follow. I'm sure we all understand now how serious this pandemic is, and our human nature and common sense will enable us to behave appropriately and take all the necessary precautions. However, I just wanted to share with you the ridicoulessnes of our southern region(Campania), and the latest regulations ordered by our regional Governor. (In Italy, each single region controls its own health system). Anyway, I, personally don't care, I am happy to remain in my comfortable home, going into town only for necessary shopping,but I feel sorry for our young adults who will suffer for this. Our governor has said:no drinks, alcoholic or non alcoholic (only water) can be consumed standing outdoors, you have to sit at tables in bars,or where possible, tables outside. During the peak evenings,e. g. 31st Dec., bars will only serve water(even if you sit down). Can you imagine? Face masks at all times, inside or out. I always do this anyway. 

More vigilance, no mass gatherings outdoors, and in other words, it means more excuses to distribute fines to increase the regional income. I can just imagine how my husband and I would have been talking about this and laughing it off. Oh, he is so close to me, I almost feel him sometimes,or maybe it's just my enormous desire to reach out and hug him tightly. Sigh....

Hope you're all doing well. 

Enza

 

 

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I don't understand that thinking, you'd think they'd prefer people be outdoors as the air circulation is better and chance of passing this is greater INSIDE but I guess they don't want to promote loitering or drinking where it's not controlled/supervised, it could open a pandora's box.  And no non-alcoholic drinks (barring water) outside?  Wow.  Doesn't even make since.  They won't service WATER during non-peak hours?  Gosh, people NEED water, ALL throughout the day!

I guess we shouldn't complain about our gov't, but alas they leave us much to complain about.

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Sorry kayc, I didn't explain myself well. Luckily, water will be served and you can drink it anywhere you like.Still nonsensical. What are the carabinieri (Italian military police) supposed to do? Stop a person with paper cup in their hands and ask:"Can I taste that to check that it's only water?" A great way to catch the virus..... 🙁

 

 

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People will gather to drink, alcohol or not, in their private places, in squares, in closed door places.

That's not the way to face a crisis.

At the same time, the lowest paid workers (those in the service sector who depend on tourism, bar tenders, hotel workers which are not protected by the welfare system) and their families will suffer their loss of income when prices are rising at the moment and they will continue in this direction. They will get to get a glass of water instead.

And I'm someone who follows the rules and advocate for them. But they should be well planned and governors should prepare their cutizens in advance. Its the second / third year of winter with Covid. What they have learned? 

people perceive these measures as punishment now. And this is very dangerous. 

 

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It seems to me you can smell alcohol without putting your nose close to it.  I guess if they want to police everything...

It seems we're all losing some personal freedoms.  They can also decide if/when we gather to worship or not.  Some places say you cannot even enter a restaurant or store without being vaccinated. 

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Hello, everybody, haven't written for a while, just feeling so down lately. I was wondering to myself this morning(it's actually a thought that's being going thru my head for days), if any of you have experienced feelings of not leading a 'normal' life anymore, feeling out of place and no longer belonging to this world. It seems like all that was familiar at one time is now so strange and different. My mother and father want me and my kids at their house on Christmas Day, I said no and I won't change my mind. I feel sorry for them, but I just can't, I want to stay in our home like we've always done. 

These feelings of numbness and this sense of feeling estranged from everything, are things I can't share with family or friends, they just don't understand. So I feel relieved I am able to open up with you all here in this group. 

Thanks for listening, all the best to everyone. 

 

 

 

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V, you are so not alone in that feeling. For 40 years, it was "we". We did everything together and depended on each other, no one else. For 8 years now, it's been " I". It's like being a fish out of the water. A couple of years after losing my husband and daughter, my brain had this plan to get in my big truck with my big dog and travel the country. Then reality dawned that I was not financially able or nearly independent enough to do that. We had traveled the country a lot, always on the go. It was a big challenge to accept that those days are gone. Now age and failing health has slapped me in the face. My life is completely upside down from what it once was. If he were here the problems would still exist, but we would face them together. I would still be the old me. Not sure who I am anymore.

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VR:  You are not alone at all in your feeling you're in a different world.  Your normal world is changed.   The first time just weeks after my husband passed, I was invited to  lunch by friends along with another couple that were friends we'd as a couple  would socialize.  As we all sat down at the table the space where my husband should be sitting was so obviously  "empty"....... it hit me I was not in that world where we all enjoyed being together laughing, eating, having fun.  That life was no more.   I kept in touch with the friends for a short while but it quickly faded away.  I realized trying to be part of that life was impossible for me.  Through the years even being with his cousins, gradually faded.  Their families grew and they became busier with limited contact with me.  There were a couple of times I was invited to a neighbor's home at the holidays and each time I  still felt that big cavern of loss.   I eventually decided I was happier staying in my home alone cooking a small dinner for myself.  This year I will spend Christmas eve with my son and his family only because I live just a few feet from his front door, on his property.  I understand how you must feel wanting to be with your children where the warm memories remain.  You have to do what makes you feel strongest.  I am sure your parents will understand.  Dee

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Yes, this can be numbing, shocking, overwhelming, can even cause physical symptoms!  
 

Along the lines of this thread's topic:

I got this in my email today:

image
 

After a Death, the Holidays are a Secondary Loss

Holiday grief triggers are everywhere, we don’t have to tell you that. Opening that box of decorations is difficult enough. If you felt some combination of overwhelm, tears, nausea, and numbness when you found your deceased family member’s Christmas stocking, you’re not alone. It is one of those intense reminders of your loved one’s absence. And then you’re left with the flood of questions: what do I do with my a dead loved one’s stocking? Is it okay to hang a dead family member’s stocking? Is is okay NOT to hang a dead family member’s stocking?

We’ll start with the simple answer – there is no right or wrong answer to holiday grief traditions. It needs to be whatever works for you and your family. That said, what “works” doesn’t mean it won’t still be hard and painful. It just means that it will hopefully bring some small comfort that can exist alongside the pain. With that in mind, we have a few suggestions, many of which have been shared with us over the years.

Creative Ideas for the “Empty Stocking”

Ideas if you’d like to keep and hang the stocking

1. Put out a pen and paper and ask people to fill the stocking with their favorite memory of the person. These could be holiday memories or any memories! Read them privately or as a family.

2. Fill the stocking with gifts you would have bought and given your loved one. After the holiday, take the gifts from your deceased family member’s Christmas stocking and donate them to a local charity or shelter.

3. Fill the stocking with your loved one’s favorite candy, cookies, or other treats. Bring them out for everyone to enjoy while opening gifts or during dessert.

4. Fill the stocking with gifts you would have bought and given your loved one. Give the gifts to other friends or family members who you know would also appreciate the gift with a note about why your loved one would have loved it.

5. Put out a pen and paper and ask people to write down one “gift” (physical or not physical!) that the person gave them that they will always remember and cherish.

6. Fill the stocking with notes to the person written on “flying wish paper“. Light them in the evening, on New Year’s Eve, or at some other meaningful time.

7. Use the stocking be filled with shared family gifts (gifts that will be for everyone). This is especially good for a deceased family member’s Christmas stocking in families with kids who have lost a parent or sibling, though it works for an all-adult household too.

8. Turn their stocking into your stocking. You can choose to leave their name on it (if the stocking had a name) or you cover it with fabric and write/embroider your name on it.

9. Use the stocking to fill it with gifts “from” the person. Now, this one is ideal if you have young kids, to fill with gifts “from” their parent, sibling, or grandparent who died. This can also be a nice place to put gifts for yourself “from” your loved one. If you know your partner or parent often bought you jewelry, video games, etc, treat yourself to those things and put them in the stocking for Christmas morning.

Ideas if you’d like to part with or repurpose your deceased family member’s stocking

10. Create a keepsake from the stocking. Cut out a small heart, star, or other shape from the deceased family member’s Christmas stocking and put it in a frame or turn it into an ornament. You can make several of these to share with other family members who might

FROM WHAT'S YOUR GRIEF
image

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11 hours ago, V. R. said:

Hello, everybody, haven't written for a while, just feeling so down lately. I was wondering to myself this morning(it's actually a thought that's being going thru my head for days), if any of you have experienced feelings of not leading a 'normal' life anymore, feeling out of place and no longer belonging to this world. It seems like all that was familiar at one time is now so strange and different. My mother and father want me and my kids at their house on Christmas Day, I said no and I won't change my mind. I feel sorry for them, but I just can't, I want to stay in our home like we've always done. 

These feelings of numbness and this sense of feeling estranged from everything, are things I can't share with family or friends, they just don't understand. So I feel relieved I am able to open up with you all here in this group. 

Thanks for listening, all the best to everyone. 

 

 

 

Your post hit me, as I am struggling through the season like never before. Last Christmas (the first after Annette passed), I still had the novelty of being home with my mother and brother after 9 years, so I could enjoy it for what it was. The novelty has passed, and it's just not doing anything but making me miserable. Honestly, this month I have been thinking so much of how I could end it all, just to be with Annette- but I can't because of my Catholic fear of it preventing me from going to Heaven, and that's the whole goal, to see Annette again. That's all I think about. It will be the happiest day of my life. 

I absolutely cannot talk to my family about this, and have no one to tell this to except the good folks here. I talk to Annette every day, but I don't like to be too depressing- I still don't want her to worry. I feel so disconnected from myself, and a part of me is still waiting to be able to get back on a mythical flight back to my old life, to our home. It's amazing how one single person was everything I needed- I have never been so bored with life and disinterested in it. I could just sit around and watch TV with Annette, and it was wonderful. Now, I just want to go to bed and hope that I can dream of her (but I rarely do). 

When I was a kid, my Mom probably sent and received 100 Christmas cards a year. This year, she's gotten 7. I can't pretend I'm a kid anymore and Christmas holds no magic. It's easy to shop when you're dead broke, but I managed to get 3 gifts each for the 2 of them. I should be happy that I have my family. I worry constantly about how many Christmases my Mom has left (she's 85). She gets around fine and has no health problems besides a chronic cough she's had for years (food allergies, she won't stop eating bread, pasta, etc.). 

I hope everyone here at least finds something to be thankful for and gets something nice as a gift. I cannot recommend enough NOT listening to Christmas music. 

James

 

 

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You aren’t feeling anything I haven’t for years.  As Karen said, I don’t even know who I am anymore.  Just waking today the emptiness was waiting for me. Engulfed. It happens everyday.  I don’t have to deal with grieving children or parents that want to see me.  I’m totally alone as far as those connections.  It’s hard, but I can see how it would add more focus on your grief.  I just get asked by outsiders what plans I have and say none.  Then that hits me of how empty that is.  There’s nothing about the holidays that is easy.  No matter where you find yourself.  We are all haunted by past good times we created and TV and others reflect back to us they still have. I’m glad you have your kids to be with.  2 different kinds of grief, but you all understand why.  Your parents love you and their grandchildren.  Naturally they want to be with you.  But you have to follow your own heart.   It’s going to be a rough day for everyone in some way.  In that sense, you are not alone.  ❤️

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6 hours ago, kayc said:

After a Death, the Holidays are a Secondary Loss

kayc:  Thank you so much for sharing this article.  Just a couple of days ago I opened up the box of our Christmas Stockings.  I immediately closed the box telling myself I can't deal with eliminating the red felt stocking just now.  I can remember when I had sewed the red felt stocking resembling a hunting boot.  I don't have a fireplace or I would hang it now.  I can remember how he seemed to delight in secretly filling everyone's stockings as soon as we were out of sight.  Dee  

 

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I hang ours on our bedroom door, a tradition from when my kids were growing up...everyone's was on their bedroom door.  I have a wood stove so no mantle.

This Christmas I would be happy if I didn't have to shovel snow.  When you go to the hourly and add it up we'll be likely to get 3 ft. this week, I sure hope not!  Don't know how Kodie will do his business, we won't be able to walk in it, too much!

https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-122.41158872593141&lat=43.802891161925544

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On 12/21/2021 at 6:26 PM, nashreed said:

Your post hit me, as I am struggling through the season like never before. Last Christmas (the first after Annette passed), I still had the novelty of being home with my mother and brother after 9 years, so I could enjoy it for what it was. The novelty has passed, and it's just not doing anything but making me miserable. Honestly, this month I have been thinking so much of how I could end it all, just to be with Annette- but I can't because of my Catholic fear of it preventing me from going to Heaven, and that's the whole goal, to see Annette again. That's all I think about. It will be the happiest day of my life. 

I absolutely cannot talk to my family about this, and have no one to tell this to except the good folks here. I talk to Annette every day, but I don't like to be too depressing- I still don't want her to worry. I feel so disconnected from myself, and a part of me is still waiting to be able to get back on a mythical flight back to my old life, to our home. It's amazing how one single person was everything I needed- I have never been so bored with life and disinterested in it. I could just sit around and watch TV with Annette, and it was wonderful. Now, I just want to go to bed and hope that I can dream of her (but I rarely do). 

When I was a kid, my Mom probably sent and received 100 Christmas cards a year. This year, she's gotten 7. I can't pretend I'm a kid anymore and Christmas holds no magic. It's easy to shop when you're dead broke, but I managed to get 3 gifts each for the 2 of them. I should be happy that I have my family. I worry constantly about how many Christmases my Mom has left (she's 85). She gets around fine and has no health problems besides a chronic cough she's had for years (food allergies, she won't stop eating bread, pasta, etc.). 

I hope everyone here at least finds something to be thankful for and gets something nice as a gift. I cannot recommend enough NOT listening to Christmas music. 

James

 

 

Hi James. I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for the loss of your soulmate. I'm not sure that anything I would say would be of comfort to you, as I'm not in anyway religious and don't hold the same beliefs, but I can feel through your words just how spectacular your love together was and although that is the reason for your unbearable pain, it is still and will always be a beautiful thing. I hope the fresh air of spring comes around quickly for all of us struggling with winter and the holiday period. Take care of yourself x

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