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Hi Gail, it was just to check the ages of your children ( sorry if I have asked before) Also to say, that I am feeling alot like you do. my main question was around Christmasstime...Have you thought about it..how different it will; be..we cant pretend its not there as we have children and families..What are your thoughts on coping with the holidyas?

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Erica and Gail,

I remember all too well my years of "firsts without" and the holidays are very difficult. I did my birthday without, Thanksgiving without, Christmas without, New Year's without, Valentine's without, and by the time Easter began to approach, I rebelled! I told my kids I was canceling Easter, I skipped church even and I stayed home and treated it like any other day. I had my kids up for a special "non-Easter" feast the following weekend and it went much better than if I'd let myself go into the melting pot of pressure. George and I had been so close and done everything together, I just couldn't bear doing yet another holiday without him. I'm a little more used to it now, it's my third year. I've remarried but don't see my new husband much, we aren't able to live together yet because of jobs situations, and it may be quite some time before we can because he's wanting to start his own business and I have to be patient. So even though I remarried, I still have to do most things alone and nothing is the same as it once was.

I'd have to say, give yourself permission to NOT do something if you don't want to or to do it different or at a different time. I didn't want a Christmas tree but my son insisted on getting one and my daughter decorated it, and as long as I didn't have to participate, that was okay with me. I didn't feel very festive that first year. If you don't have kids, I think it's okay to forgo these things if you want to. I also didn't send out cards that year and I haven't gotten back into shopping much because I don't have the money. People have to understand that things are different now. I still dread holidays.

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