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Must Just Keep Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other. .


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Man Christmas is hard. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. Grandma always made Christmas special - the food - we always had a gift under the tree even though I know she couldn't afford it (she would not pay bills to make sure we had gifts). The joy of being with family. . .

This year it just feels fake. Even as an adult one of my favorite things to do every year was to go to Grandma's house and decorate it for her. If I were back up in Michigan I so would do that - even though she isn't here anymore. This is the first year in 60 years there hasn't been a Christmas tree in her living room. Another tradition is to take Grandma christmas shopping! The last year she couldn't do it - but we all shopped together in 2009 - and every year before that. It was so much fun. . .

Now it is just empty. We live 1400 miles from any family. Grandma is gone. There are so many things I see that I think, "I want to get that for Grandma for Christmas" - then I have to remind myself that I can't. The things I want to talk to her about - share with here. . . but I can't.

I admit it - I just don't want to keep going. Knowing that joy and light will never be in my life again - knowing that no one will ever make me feel that way that she did - it makes live so hard. Not that I want to die - I just don't want to go on (don't know if that makes any sense).

So I look at my kids. I know the type of parent I have been these last 8 months is not the type of person my Grandma would have been proud of. I have been negectful. Dinners haven't been as healthy. My house isn't as clean as it should be. I don't spend as much time with the kids as I should - instead I am in the corner crying or buring my head in the computer. . . I can't do this anymore - my kids are suffering.

So with Christmas - as with anything in life - I will do it for my kids. They are my reason to keep going. They are the reason I put up a tree and am baking cookies. I must do it for the kids because that is what Grandma would have wanted. . . and that is what she did after she lost my Grandpa - she lived for her kids. . .

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I'm with you Angel, you know my Dad was like your Grandma too, he would forgo bills until the last minute to ensure Christmas or any other occassions were made so special and they sure were. (and somehow he always managed to get those bills paid eventually too!)

I feel weary from doing everything "alone", had little meltdown in the city centre a few days ago, was so hard seeing everyone so happy with the shopping bustle, Carol singers around and I just got one of those big grief bursts sitting in outdoor cafe :blush: and just couldn't stop the tears.

I miss so much being able to shop for my Dad, he was such a simple man,never wanted for much at all and I always loved that Christmas time I could just go crazy spoiling him rotten. I loved shopping with him too, we would always plan Mom's gifts together and the shopping for filling the house with candy, drinks etc was always our fun thing to do, no matter what I would ever see and think "hhmm that could be nice", my Dad would have it picked up off the shelf before I'd even decide I wanted to get it just saying "ah sure it's Christmas". He just loved over loading on everything.

This year I do find myself trying to keep myself distracted all the time, I've spread out my few little jobs so there's something to do every day, I almost feel afraid to stop and think about the reality of it. I guess I definitely will Christmas morning as I plan to bring some nice flowers to Dad with some Christmassy bits and pieces to add to them.

Angel, I've no doubt your Grandma is proud of you, although things are not how they were a year ago, you are putting one foot in front of the other and what more could your Grandma want. She always sounds like such an amazing dotey Grandma and I'd like to think she's cheering you on, rooting for you and very proud of you for getting through the last 8 months without her. I don't believe we have the tools to deal with grief until it actually happens and while you may be hard on yourself I think you deserve a huge pat on the back. You're putting up a tree, you're baking cookies, as hard as it is you are still doing it, that's no small task!!

You know I know my Mom had a terrible time after she lost her Mom, I was 7 at the time, I remember my Nan dying and my Mom often talks about the first 9 months and how horrific it was for her,constantly crying, my Dad not having a clue really how to deal with it because he just couldn't fix it (and HE was a fixer!!) ..........I never ever recall feeling neglected or anything like it and I'm sure in that time after losing her Mom, she definitely wasn't the same as she was before it, so I know your kids will never have anything but beautiful memories of all you do for them.

You're in my thoughts every day Angel and sending you a big overseas (((hug))) and lots of love,

Niamh

xox

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