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I Want To Skip Christmas


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My mother and my son are in my living room decorating the tree. I set it up, but I cannot put a single ornament on it. I woke up thinking of him this morning. The last day he was conscious was running through my head. I keep trying to find something I could have done different that might bring him back. I know that can't be done, but it doesn't seem to stop my brain from searching down those corridors of my memory bank.

I think it is cruel to have to have a tree. My son moved here from Ohio to be with me, so I don't have to be in the house alone. He wanted the tree, so I said okay. I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't know how hard. I hear them making comments about the ornaments. "Oh, this one came from Greer." We bought most of the ornaments together. They mean something to us. US!

How do I survive? I how about WE. I am struggling with I. Desperately sad.

Yesterday, a friend told me that when couples are very close, as we were, the second one often dies within six months of the first. I sincerely hope she is right! This world is not the same place without my honey bear.

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Dear Debbie,

I am so so sorry. This time of the year is so hard and I totally understand about the tree. Does your son know how hard it is for you to have it? It is hard to avoid Christmas...it is everywhere. And I know having it right in your living room is just making it tougher. Maybe your son needed it for some reason. No, the world is not the same without our soulmates and neither are we the same. Everything looks and is different. I did the same search in those corridors of memory, as you call it so nicely. I finally came to terms with it and know I did all I could for Bill. At the time I did my best and no, it was not enough but it was all I had to give, believe me. I am sure you did the same.

Again I am sorry about the tree. I am not putting one up...I do not care about Christmas. I will light some candles and put out the creche perhaps but no tree....maybe next year. who knows. I am glad your mom and son are there....does that bring you any consolation. I wonder if you can speak to them about YOUR needs and your son's needs and see if a happy medium can be met. Like putting the tree in a room you don't go into often...

I will carry you in my heart

Mary

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Debbie, I've been saying that for 6 years. We always went and picked a fresh tree. We had so much fun searching for the perfect one. Since Larry's death, I couldn't bear it. I tried a couple of years ago to have an artificial one, I put some decorations that my friend had because I haven't been able to open the boxes of our items. I took it down the day after the holiday. It didn't feel like Christmas to me and I actually hated the sight of it. I miss the scent, I miss our ornaments, I miss my best friend. Its sad to think the rest of my life I will not enjoy a tree again, I just don't know if it will ever happen for me. I understand. Deborah

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Dear Deborah,

I am so sorry to hear about you loss so close to this time of the year. It has been 9 months for me sense I lost my best friend, soul mate, lover, my wife, Pauline. She was sick for many years with MS ( MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS ). She fought. or We fought a long and hard battle for many years. I was her soul care giver. I thought I was doing ok but my body took a toll. I was sick all summer long, one thing after another. I had planed on putting out a couple oh her favorite decorations, but I just don't know. Today is her birthday and I will be spending it in nursing school, then tonight in music ministry at church. I will light candles for her and pray. I will have my quiet time with my thoughts. One thing that I do is that we both knew how the outcome would be. We just did not know when. So today and for the past 5 months, I do not put my focus on the final second, minute, hour, day, week or month. I choose to remember only the great memories we had for 33 years of a great life together. I know it is hard right now because it is so new in your mind, but believe me, there is nothing you could have done to stop or prolong what was coming and what did happen. I cried in church on Sunday, while we were stage singing with the band, their last song before we sang. The band leader said a longer prayer than usual so it gave me time to clean my tears and glasses, and bring back a smile for the Christmas song we were about to sing. I sang and did it perfect, just like it was meant to be.

There is life after, it takes time to come back from that dark despair, that you find yourself in now. I go to Hospice support group meetings every week, as well as on here. It really helps to be with and talk to people that have been and is going though what you are going though now.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Dear Debbie,

I lost my husband last year.....well in February it will be 2 years, to lung cancer and I thought I was doing better. However, this morning I woke up at 6:00 AM and knowing I could sleep longer, tried, but finally got up. For some reason he came into my mind and I knew my old fear was coming back to haunt me. I felt I had killed him. No matter how many people have told me, I just can't shake that feeling. I cried bitterly and asked the Lord to please help me put it to rest once and for all. The day he really started to get sick (feet were swelled up terribly) and he just kept giving himself breathing treatments which didn't seem to be helping. We were having almost blizzard conditions and I had called Hospice but nobody could get out and I truly couldn't remember if I gave him the first drop of morphine that the Hospice lady gave me or not.

I called my son and he had 4 wheel drive. He and his wife came over and I know she gave him some morphine which relaxed him a bit but he was still having trouble breathing. To tell you the truth I never touched that morphine again. My daughter-in-law took over because I was too upset. Hospice finally came and they put a catheter in and, long story short, he finally passed 2 days later very peacefully but a lot of that time he still seemed restless like he didn't want to go and the morphine kept him sleeping and breathing (such as it was).

The next week I had Velentine's Day and my Birthday and I could hardly stand it. The only reason I got through the rest of the year was my grief therapy classes and one day at a time. THEN CAME CHRISTMAS! Never in my life have I felt so alone. Thank God you have your son because I had nobody at home. My son, who is 50, had his family and I didn't want to dump everything on him but I just felt NOTHING. How I made it through that Christmas had to be a miracle from God because I forced myself to go as few places as possible and paste a smile on but it was so hard.

Now here is another Christmas and I'm feeling better and I know you will get through like I did but I absolutely know how you feel because the hurt is still there. It is not as strong but my heart and mind still feel it and right now (although I know the hurt will lessen)I feel Christmas will never be the same. But, you know, time will help both of us and your son will keep you going. You just have to put one foot in front of the other, Debbie. I know that sounds cold but God will help you.

Much love to you,

Bonnie

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Debbie,

It's been 6 1/2 years for me and I've gone through different stages. I honestly feel the first year was the hardest, although many have said the second year was for them. My husband died on Father's Day so that day is forever ruined for me and since my kids spend Father's Day with their dad and other people are busy with their family get togethers, that means I'm always alone on his death anniversary to deal with it by myself. Shortly after he died came July 4 and everyone was celebrating with parties, I got a couple of invites, but of course I didn't feel up to going. One by one, the holidays came and went, I cried myself to sleep on my birthday, I somehow made it through our anniversary, Thanksgiving was the pits, and Christmas was horrible, the only good part was having my kids there. by the time I made it to Easter, I major rebelled! I'd gone through all of the holidays one by one without him, I just couldn't do one more! My son said to do whatever I wanted with it, if I didn't want an Easter, don't have one! I ignored the day. I didn't go to church, I couldn't bear to hear the music I'd always been a part of. I didn't have the kids up for dinner, I treated it like an ordinary day! (The following weekend my kids came up for dinner and we didn't mention Easter.)

I told you this because I wanted to mention that it's really important to let our loved ones know how we're feeling and what our needs are and not just do things just for them, esp. the first couple of years when it's so fresh. They can't know how you're feeling if you don't tell them and express your wishes to them. We can't just sacrifice our feelings and needs for them...maybe if they're little, but not if they're grown, they need to understand what we're going through and how hard it is.

We all choose to handle the holidays differently and it's important to find the way that brings us the most comfort and peace. For some that might mean doing something special to memorialize our loved one...for me, I like hanging his stocking and leaving it there for myself and the kids to put a note in it telling him something...maybe a memory of a time in the past, maybe how much we miss him, something personal and private. It's not for anyone to read, it's just...there. Some go decorate a grave. Some do something they always did with their spouse. Some avoid anything they did with their spouse. Some throw themselves into the season, decorating, baking, working themselves to death to avoid any time to think. Some can't bear the thought of a tree or Christmas music. Listen to your inner heart telling you how YOU need to handle the season and give yourself permission to handle it that way. Sit your loved ones down and tell them how you'll handle it so they can understand. It will get better, but probably not for some time yet.

Meanwhile, please accept a cyber hug from me. I wish I could offer so much more.

(((hugs)))

Kay

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Dear Debbie,

I feel the sme way as you do this year. My Mom passed away on March 3. The first year after a grest loss is the hardest and quite devistating. I have decided to light Christmas candles, make some favorite family recipies that both of my parents used, and to go to church. My husband and I have dedided to focus on teh spiritual side of Christmas this year.

Hang in there Debbie, and I will do the same.

I have lost a brother, sister, and both parents, but the loss of my Mom has been the hardest one.

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I can understand how you must be feeling. I feel a lot like you do. My parents have a tree and everything else for Christmas. I live above them and see them everyday and I have 0 desire to celebrate anything. I have been forbidden to see him during his last days by his other partner. Its a long story and I don't wish to go into it, but she has the control and he is not lucid a lot of the time, so to me he is gone. I look on the on-line paper everyday for his obituary since he lives six hours away. I have bought him presents that she will not accept in the mail. Christmas means nothing to me it is just a sense of heart ach that I have to see other get to enjoy with their loved ones. I too wish for my time to come so that we can be together again. Perhaps that feeling will change in time. For now I have all reminders of him in a box in the attic so that I am not reminded of him. Not very healty beacuse sooner or later those feeling will come to the surface. I truyl hate his other partner and hope that she suffers long and hard for denying him what he wanted when he was in his mind to express it. and he wanted us all together. I cut off all communication with her so so can no longer hurt me. I hope that one day for you and for me that we will be able to enjoy life so much as we are looking forward to death...beacuse I know in my heart that is not the answer...not for you or me..our partners would want us to go on...

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