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Hello all,

I visit here and read the posts. I generally see that I've come a fair ways but tonight it feels like I've stepped back 15 months.

Tonight I'm having a difficult evening. I never cared too much for Christmas (thanks to the abusive stepfather).

Anyways, this morning my daugnter asked me if I would go to my mom's church with her for Xmas Eve Service. (I'll get back to this part later on)... I said I'd get back to her around supper time because I was able to pick up some furniture that had come in for me last week and I had to have a friend help.

This is a special piece of furniture as it is from where my mom comes from. I couldn't pick it up last week because I found out customs wasn't open Saturday after being told by the logistics people it would be. I thought no worries, and I'd pick it up this week if possible and otherwise next Monday when I would have the time. I think my mom had a hand in this that I got it Christmas Eve.

Being European decent when I was young my family always used to celebrate Christmas Eve. The last 10 years it was whenever my siblings could manage that it did not interfere with their respective spouses families. For five of those years I didn't go because my brother and I had a serious falling out (he had young children and I elected to be the odd one out rather than all four of them). I knew how much it ripped my mom's heart out that we were not talking and that our family was fragmented. The last few years we've been able to spend it together but it has been very very hard for me. The dynamics from earlier years always resulted in serious fighting so it was difficult to mingle with my family - always on edge because who knew who was going to hurl an abusive remark - generally it was almost always my stepfather towards myself or my daughter. Last Christmas it wasn't so bad because we all missed my mom so much and we were all glad we had one another because we were all suffering terribly and at long last we did not have to put up with my abusive stepfather and our adopted sister who has FAS accompanied by serious mental and drug addiction problems.

My daughter has a new boyfriend, which I am glad for her, but of course she's done the falling off the face of the earth - not answering her phone or emails etc. So after a week she contacts me today - seemingly out of the blue and asks me to attend my mom's church with her. She never attends church but is a religious person. So we were starting to plan to attend the 7:00 pm service when she finds out that there is an 11:00 pm service. So you can guess what's in store... yup, she wants to go at 11:00. I've had an exhausting couple of weeks and advised her, but she expected me to attend the 11:00. I attended the 7:00 pm.

So this is the really difficult part. I get to church and I sit where my mom and I always sat (I took her to church the last 4.5 months of her life). The first few moments were so terribly painful. I had tears welling up in my eyes. The service got started and there were a few things that it happened again where I had a few silent tears. But almost at the end of the service there was a version of Ava Maria sung by the choir. I was expecting the traditional one - it wasn't. It was a version that was on a CD I purchased of a boys choir of songs that I wanted to play at my mom's funeral but of course another falling out happened so I just waited until everyone was gone at her memorial and played several songs on the CD to her. She would have loved it because we both loved classical music and we would go once or twice a year to cultural events. When the pianist started with the piano I didn't recognize the tune immediately, however, when the choir began to sing it I almost started weeping in church. I took a big breath and ran for the bathroom. I could feel it coming out and I was physically stiffling the noise from my mouth with my hand while tears tumbled down over the back of my hand. In the bathroom I broke down completely. it took me a few minutes to compose myself. I had then walked back to the sanctuary. The minister was saying a prayer. I listened for a moment, but turned around and looked up towards the vaulted ceiling. I started whispering to my mom. I thanked her and God for getting the furniture to me today. I also told her how much I miss her and that I am so desperately all alone. I asked her and God to help me. I'm not a spiritual person. I think I went to church more for her than I did for me. Her church is very friendly and this one fellow was very kind to me - I think he may have recognized me from when I brought my mom to church and in the very brief conversation I found out that he too has lost a parent. This man is very tall (I believe he is at least 6'8") and he can see above everyone so I'm sure he saw that I was quite alone. Although he was with his family and I know he has lots of friends at the church, it was nice that he took the time to ask me who I was, to wish me a Merry Christmas and to invite me back to services. Even these small kindnesses make such a huge different on such difficult days.

I know that some people think of me and the few friends that I have are VERY kind. It still does not take the agony of losing my mom. My heart still aches. Time has made things better but for me this season is the hardest. Christmas, and my birthday is in January and mom's birthday is in February.

On Sunday I went out to her grave and brought her a candle that I picked up at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I lit it and talked to my mom for about five minutes. That was all I could stand in -45C.

There are days when it would be nice to have a medicine to take the torment of grief away. I know I will have this for many years to come. I do know it will get easier as time marches on, it's just the few days in each year that I feel ripped back to the months after my mom first died. There are days when you think how many years will it take for the pain to lessen to a bareable extent. I know it will never go away, but I know it will lessen. I can talk with strangers about my mom - but I still can't talk to family about my mom I break down in tears.

Despite all my moaning, I do want to send my best for the holidays to all of you and I sincerely hope that your grieving will be short and you heal quickly, but your memories of your loved one will last your life long.


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It took me a few days to come back as I just wanted to keep it together. When I come here I read many posts and half the time I take a few steps back but it genereally is very helpful because it helps me to realize something new.

I appreciate your messages and empathy. It really does go a long way.

I went to my brother's for Christmas and it was one of the nicest Christmas' in many years. The only thing that would have made it absolutely perfect would have been for my mom to be there. We were all relaxed because we didn't have to deal with the stepfather or the lunatic adopted sister and her son.

Yesterday I visited my aunt and uncle. It was really nice seeing them. We talked about all sorts of stuff including my mom and there were a few tears, but that's only natural for me.

I sure hope that you have all had the best Christmas you possibly could have and that the new year will help you in your grief journey. If someone told me a year ago I would be at this point, I wouldn't have believed them. I still do experience these desperately agonizing times, but they do get fewer between. I remind myself that my mom wouldn't want me this sad, but that doesn't always help. I have eczema right now on both my eyelids and so crying actually is difficult. I've been careful not to cry so it heals. The more I cry the worse it gets. But it will heal in time as well.

Thank you once again for listening...


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I just want to wish all of you some peace through the holidays and long after. It hasn't even been a month for me and my loss and every day, just getting up is difficult and watching everyone around me seemingly doing just fine. We all grieve in different ways and I think we can all gain some strength from each other by visiting here and feel like we are not alone. My family and friends are very supportive, but until it is 'you' going through this...they really don't understand. I am just taking each day as it comes and I hope that some day, I won't feel quite so empty inside.

Take care everyone and have a safe New Year. I wish you peace and comfort

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