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Finding The Second Year Harder Than The First


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I have been having a really hard time lately. With the holidays coming I am finding it really hard to cope. The holidays were really hard last year, but this year it seems so much harder. I have no interest in any of it. If I could curl up and disappear for the rest of the year I would. I know that is not possible. I am just so tired of pretending that everything is okay. This emptiness that I feel is unbearable at times.

Thanks for listening. I just needed to vent and I know everyone here understands the ups and down of this journey.

Thanks, Kat

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Kat - yes, the second year is harder in a lot of ways. You say "I know it is not possible." Family obligations? Ok, maybe - but it's your feelings that have to be acknowledged. I know I probably go against the grain, because I actually like my solitude (most of the time). The second year, although I had invitations for Thanksgiving, I also knew there was no way I wanted to be social. I love my friends, but I just couldn't face hours of small talk. For some reason, in my gut, I knew the emptiness you speak of would be exacerbated by trying to go through the motions. So I cooked the hell out of a 15 pound turkey (for myself!). It's hard no matter what we do - I'm glad you got this out. Hugs, Marsha

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Hi Kat,

Sorry you're feeling sad again this holiday season. It will be the first for me and I've been invited to dinner and I just don't think I can deal with everyone else's normal when my life has been shattered. I realize that I will have to learn to handle these things, but right now, I agree with you--pretending things are normal isn't my idea of how I wish to spend my time. At what point will it even feel okay to be at a gathering again? I can't even imagine. Just trying to have a small dinner is difficult right now, the holiday season is such a huge, long, drawn-out series of social occasions. Nothing is right about anything for me right now. I hope you can get through your second year doing something for yourself that you enjoy. I thought of going to church, but even church is a reminder since it was his church and he and I attended regularly. I did go one Sunday since his death, and I haven't gone again...it was very difficult.

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Thanks everyone.

abergsma, thanks for your suggestion. Last year, which was my first, I did actually what you said. I went to gatherings and when I was ready to leave, I did. For some reason this year, I don't know if I will be able to do it. Maybe when the actually holiday gets closer I will have a change of heart. I hope so.

Thanks again, Kat

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I don't know if this occurs with anyone else, but I have found that the anticipation of an important date has been more stressful than the actual day itself.

I try to come up with a small way to honor Jeff and so far the days (birthdays, anniversary) have been tolerable.

Hugs,

Tammy

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I understand totally what you are all saying. It is my first also.

I was at my therapist yesterday and she suggested I do not close myself off over the holidays and if I have an invitation to go and stay even for an hour then excuse myself.

Hope this suggestion helps.

This is what I was considering, also.

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Tammy,

You are right but for some reason this year it just feels different. Hopefully, I will be able to pull myself out of this mood and enjoy the holidays somewhat, especially for my son. I need to look at the positives in my life and be thankful for all that I have. I received a candle last year which I would light for Pat during the holidays. I will do the same this year.

Take care, Kat

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Just always leave yourself an out by driving yourself so you aren't stuck there when you need to escape.

I do think it helps if we do something special to memorialize the person we're missing, it kind of includes them somehow, you know?

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I am just about to begin the second year of this journey and am already dreading the holidays. I agree totally with Tammy that it is the anticipation that is probably worse than the actual event. That has been my experience in most instances, but even knowing that.. I am still not ready to go on as if my life has not changed.It will never be the same!!

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Dear Kat,

I have heard you and I am sorry that you are having a really hard time lately. I understand, I am as well. I am tired of pretending that everything is OK as well. I so understand the emptiness that you reference. It all just seems so unfair at times. I believe we all do understand the ups and downs of this journey.

I hope it helped you to talk some about how you are struggling. You are not alone.

Courage and Blessings, Carol Ann

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My second year without Michael will begin on Jan 13, 2011. I am taking that week off work, just to be by myself, and give myself over to memories. I was hoping the second year would be better, but from things said here, and also from the book "Widow to Widow", it looks like that may not be the case. Maybe the second year is so hard because there are no longer any firsts.....and every second that comes alone just emphasizes how long he has been gone? I feel I am doing pretty good right now, finding some joy in life, with lapses of course. In another post later this weekend I will tell you all about finding a cassette with Michael singing on it, a country song that he wrote. (funny because he did not particularly like country music) If I can figure out a way, I will put the song on here, at least I can print the words. You can guess that I had a total melt down listening to it. I opened it with my two close friends who are in the same boat that I am in, and that helped.

The holidays this year will all be at my daughters, I doubt I will even decorate. Thanksgiving and Christmas were not favorite holidays of Michaels, so we really did not have special traditions with each other. Halloween was his, and we celebrated the heck out of that one!

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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