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What do I do? I just spent Thanksgiving day at the hospital hoping my husband was hearing me tell him how thankful I was to have him. We made it a point of spending Christmas Day and Eve by ourselves every year. We would go to my sister's house one week or so before, but I can't deal with that this year. I can't even stand to see anything "Christmasy" on CNN. I've got no where I can go. Last New Year's Eve I was at the hospital.

I just don't know how anybody gets through this. I've cried so much, my eyes hurt.

Mel

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Melanie,

I do not have any decorations up nor do I intend to put any up. I will be alone here over the holidays. In fact I have so much time saved up at work that if I don't take it I will lose it so I will not even have work to keep me busy. I will find things around the house and yard to do but I will not do anything that is "Christmasy".

I can count on one hand the number of people that knew Lou and I that will even give me a second thought. But really, Melanie, that is ok. They weren't around all that much before Lou died and often then only because they needed something and Lou was very giving. I don't need that kind of "caring" right now anyway.

I'm sure I will be checking in here on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Maybe I'll catch you here!

Take care of yourself,

Rosemary

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Mel - I agree with Rosemary - this is way too soon for you to even think about the holidays. Don't worry about it. In reality, our reality now, the holidays are just another day. Just hunker down, and don't think about it. You know what? Right now, it doesn't really matter. It's just one day at a time. Peace, Marsha

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Mel - I'm not sure - it's been over 5 seconds, so my widow brain has shut down! My Joe was diagnosed with billiary duct cancer in march. this type of cancer is like ovarian cancer for women - by the time it's diagnosed, it's too late - it's terminal. He did go for one round of radiation, but it was only to keep him alive for a little while. The cancer spread to his brain by early April. We were given a death sentence then - one to six months. I'm sorry if I sound clinical, but I've had months to dwell and think on this. In April, when the doctors told us, I literally couldn't believe it - Joe made up his mind to fight, so I went along with his wishes.I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I already told our niece (a nurse) to OD me on morphine if this happens to me - she's now my health care POA, so she better do it! Whoa, here goes my rant again! Mel, if you want, please pm me and I'll be glad to explain it further - marsha

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You guys aren't the only ones without decorations. Just can't do it- too many memories and Tom's not here to put the angel on top. Don't know if I should just buy another tree and make it "pretty" instead of things that mean so much. I know he's saying, "All the years, I didn't want to put up a tree and you insisted and now you don't put one up".

Can't go near the men's section in a store and getting the tall man catalogs in the mail just sends the water falls a flowing from my eyes.

I too will be by myself on Christmas eve. It was OK when I could share time with Tom but Holly (my 17 year old dog) and I may just have to watch a movie and cry.

I may get on here to talk with you too.

I've got an idea!!!!!! Maybe we could find a central location and meet.. Guess we'll just have to be satisfied with here.

Edited by mlg
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Hi everyone:

I also am not putting any decorations on this year. It won't really matter, because I will be in Florida visiting a very close friend of mine and her family. To tell you the truth, the way I feel now, I don't ever want to put decorations up. As far as going shopping in the stores is very difficult for me. I just have a few gifts to buy for my sister-in-laws and my friend who I am going to visit. And they were all bought on-line. I haven't sent any Christmas cards. I probably will do that next year. I usually get tons of cards and it seems that I haven't received but maybe a few. I guess people feel I am grieving and are afraid I will get insulted if they send any. At least we have each other here.

Love and God Bless,

Jeanne

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I think you need to do what feels the right way to handle things. My friend Virgie lost her husband in May and her family is all trying to get her to come home to Texas (we live in Oregon) for Christmas and she doesn't want to. She wants to be home for Christmas, she says she'll feel closer to Jim at home, plus she wants to get the year of "firsts without" out of the way. I am supporting and encouraging her decision to spend it the way she feels is right. Her family may not understand or agree with her choices, but she needs to do what she needs to do to survive. When they go through something like this, they can handle it differently if they want to. To decorate, to not decorate, to go somewhere, to stay home, it's all an individual decision...the main thing is to listen to our own hearts and follow that leading.

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For all of you who are "not celebrating" anything Christmas, you might want to think about coming here (Orlando, Florida). It is going to be around 80 degrees every day this week so I can't think of a place that will feel "less" like Christmas. Especially at my house; No lights, no tree, no wreath and if any parades or Christmas music is on the TV or radio, it gets shut off.

That is one nice thing about being alone, you can do what you want and not worry about offending anyone (at least no one that matters). I actually had someone at work who was questioning me extensively about my plans, tell me that it was not the right thing for me to do (be by myself and not celebrate). Well, since I had not been the one to offer this information until she had gone on and on about it and questioned me I just finally had to tell her to "mind your own business; I am not interested in what you or anyone else thinks is right. I'm going to do whatever I feel like doing".

She left in a "huff" and probably won't speak to me for quite some time. Wonder if I'll lose any sleep? NOT!

Rosemary

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You go Rosemary! Good for you! (Cyber high 5)

IMHO.. it really wasn't any of her business or anyone else's business besides your own how you celebrate or NOT celebrate holidays.

I can't imagine what causes people to think they are experts on our grief or grief in general.

But in my experience whenever I come across someone very willing to tell me I'm doing my grief "wrong"... they usually have not yet experienced a significant loss.

But even if they had.. it doesn't matter.. we are ALL different. What I need & want is going to be different from what you need & want.

I'm happy that you won't be losing any sleep over her walking off in a huff. Poor thing.. just doesn't get it. But probably one day... (unfortunately)

she will.

Until then.. you just stick to what you know is right for you.

And yes you are right Orlando in December sounds lovely.... wish all of you could actually get together!

leeann

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Rosemary,

Good for you! I'm glad you are assertive enough to stick up for yourself. I know people mean well but it's presumptious of them to think they know better than us how we feel or what we should do. If we want their advice, we'll come to them.

KayC

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Rosemary - Good for you!! People tend to project on us what they think - maybe deep down there's a fear that "it could happen to me", so they try to push you so they feel better. Just my thoughts on the subject. I'm in a similar situation as you, and I'm good with it. At least for today! Marsha

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Rosemary,

Your co-worker reminded me of the bank people that came to my office to fix our check scanner. They kept pushing and pushing about what I did that summer. I finally couldn't take it anymore and blurted out, "My husband died two months ago and this is the worst summer of my life." Enough said. They hurried up and scooted out of there.

Good for you for sticking up for what you need to do this season! Some things just aren't anyone else's business.

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Kath,

I loved it, your retort reminded me of when my little sister had her baby that was born without a brain. She was at a Disney on Ice event and the people behind her were commenting loudly on how horrible that she had a baby there with all the noise going on, and how horrible it was that she had her ears pierced, the child should be allowed to grow up and make up her own mind, etc....finally Julie turned around and blurted out, "she doesn't have a brain, she can't hear, and she isn't going to grow up! She'll never graduate from high school and I'll never see her walk down the aisle with her father, and I got her ears pierced and dress her cute to try and bring some semblance of normal into her life!" She turned back and the people shut up, we never heard another peep out of them the rest of the evening.

Incidentally, it was quite a learning experience for all of us...we discovered that the brain is separate from the spirit, because she definitely had a sweet spirit!

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