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The First Holidays Without Him


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I am already dreading Thanksgiving/Xmas. Is it so wrong that I don't want to do the family get togethers? I know it will be so difficult for me to see others with their significant others and there I will be all alone. I was told (by therapist)to make plans for the Holidays,but quite honestly, I just want to stay home alone and cry my eyes out. That is all I seem to do anyways. I don't know who I am. I don't have interests/hobbies. I've always been a home body. I have never been financially able to travel, get involved in hobbies that require money, etc.

Missing Him

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I understand how your feeling. I have been dreading the holidays as well. THis will be my first Thanksgiving that he is gone. I was supposed to be with him last year however he was already in the hospital. It was at this time last year that he was sick...I was with him and I have been having a terrible time dealing with this time period now. You will get through it...it hurts, its so hard, and you will miss him more than you think that you can bear..but always know he is with you in spirit. It helped me. He died December 6th of last year...so last year was the first Christmas without him..no holiday will ever be the same but you will find different ways to celebrate them. I feel your pain and understand. Wish I had more that I could say to you. You are not alone.

Kim

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Deciding to be alone is making plans. I think the most important thing is to decide what you want to do and let your loved ones know. Then be prepared to make adjustments to your plans based on how you feel at the time. Grief is ever changing. I think your therapist would agree that what's important is not to pretend that everything will be okay or that you feel great when you don't. My first holiday's were much better than I anticipated. The days leading up to thanksgiving and christmas were horrific. On the actual days I did manage to be with family and friends for awhile and the distraction was beneficial. But I allowed myself a lot of alone time to just be sad. On both days I took either a long walk or bicycle ride to get my body moving and the positive energy flowing. Later in the day I curled up in a ball and rested and wept. Only you can determine what your soul needs. But thinking ahead so that you have some type of an idea of what you need is the best advice.

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Missing Him,

I am sorry, I know how hard this is, I've been through it time and again. I am not a therapist and feel I shouldn't butt in and contradict their instructions for you, but having been through it, I feel it's important that you listen to what YOU want, and that will be the right thing for you. Time enough ahead for you to push yourself into being around people. Right now, this is still new, and maybe it's too much for you to handle right now and that's why you're feeling as you do. Holidays shouldn't have to be something to dread, doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose? I would simply explain to the relatives that would expect you, that you are not up to doing it this year, and leaving it at that. Those who have not been through it...and even those who have, should not judge how you "do it". We all handle it differently. I pushed myself through the motions of each and every holiday that first year until I came to Easter and then I major rebelled! I talked to my kids about it and they were great, they said if I didn't want to do Easter, we wouldn't do Easter. I had them up the following week for dinner so they got some time with me and none of us mentioned Easter. I have celebrated the holidays since, but that first year, my gosh it was hard! I think sometimes I pushed myself too hard and should have been more understanding of what I was going through. At the time, we didn't have people on here who were seasoned veterans, we were about the same time frame so there wasn't someone helping guide my way through it, we were all rather floundering through it together.

Perhaps in an effort to "help" you, your therapist wants you to push forward, dispel the discomfort, but sometimes there's no way through the grief but to go right through the pain, face it, experience it, and then in time it lessens it's hold and you are more ready to tackle the pushing forward. Give yourself time and meanwhile...breathe.

Perhaps another option would be to make a short appearance, and give yourself plenty of alone time during the day besides. We're here for you and will understand no matter what you decide to do or how you decide to handle it.

(((hugs)))

Kay

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Thank you Kim. I too believe his spirit is with me. I'm sure I will get through it, but not easily. I went to get my car washed and the girl that works there always asks how I am doing and can't believe I'm still strugglin. She told me today to think of all he men that are out there. Are you kidding me!? My jaw just dropped- couldn't believe those words came out of her mouth. Some people just don't know what true love is. Missing Him

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Kay - always like reading what you have to say. It helps me very much. I think I most likely will opt for making a short visit. I think I am pushing myself away more from people. My sisters and in different places in their lives. One is happily married and the other is getting married and going to this wedding will be so difficult for me to attend as I wasn't supposed to be attending alone and will bring back memories of my wedding. Missing Him

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Thank you Kim. I too believe his spirit is with me. I'm sure I will get through it, but not easily. I went to get my car washed and the girl that works there always asks how I am doing and can't believe I'm still strugglin. She told me today to think of all he men that are out there. Are you kidding me!? My jaw just dropped- couldn't believe those words came out of her mouth. Some people just don't know what true love is. Missing Him

I am sorry that you had to hear that! There are going to many individuals in their effort to "help" and try and make you feel better that will say the wrong thing beacuse either they havent been where you are at yet or just don't know what is appriopriate to say to you at this time. I like you, feel that no one could replace my Dragon...and it is very true. Telling me that there are many men out there does nothing to heal my pain. When I hear such statements my knee jerk reaction is to go off and start telling them how no one can replace the love that we lost...and I have done that a few times...I later learned it is just better to save my breath and remember that the individual saying this dosent have a clue and really can't comprehend what I am feeling...but will some time down the road. Then they will get it. Until then I just smile and think again how close I am to his spirit...and that it matters not what anyone else says.

I will keep you in my thoughts as you grieve and know your love is near you as well.

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Kim - Her comment just made me realize what I had that much more. I know nobody will take his place. That is why it hurts so much because the love we shared. I know I need choose to celebrate him and not choose to mourn so much. I'm just not there yet. I don't think there will ever be a day that I don't cry. I will be thinking of you as well.

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I'm so sorry that you were subjected to such an insensitive comment, Missing Him, and I hope it helps to know that you are not alone ~ most especially when you are among your fellow mourners here. Please allow yourself to be exactly where you are, regardless of where others think you "ought to be by now."

I invite you to read my latest blog post, Grief Support: When Others Fail to Meet Our Expectations

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Guest babylady

john and i didn't celebrate holidays, birthdays or anniversaries. we did when we were back in new york with family. my birthday was tuesday and it was a rough day even though i don't celebrate it. so many birthday wishes on facebook -- so many phone calls from friends, but john was not with me.

i've been invited to my friend's mom's house for the holidays, but i doubt whether i'll go. it's a big family -- very loud -- 4 smokers who smoke outside and 2 aunts and an uncle who wear cologne. i'm chemically sensitive. don't think i can handle it.

john and i would just stay home and cook something we liked and have a peaceful day.

i did a bit better thursday and yesterday i went and had a facial.

today i went out to get take out food. i don't cook. i listen to classic rock on my car radio. benny and the jets came on and i fell apart. it brought so many memories of us driving in the car together enjoying the music. we were so happy back then.

i watched "the decendants" tonight and i cried all through it. john and i watched it together on pay per view. i think it was during the 5 weeks he was out of the hospital. i cried hysterically through the whole thing. seeing clooney's wife in a coma with her mouth partially open reminded me of how john looked 20 minutes after he passed. i wasn't there when he passed. i didn't make it in time. i really wanted to be with him when he took his last breath.

it was probably the best movie i've seen in years.

sorry for the rant. i probably went off the subject.

thank you all for being here.

my bereavement counselor thinks i'm doing well.

hugs to all of you.

arlene

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Arlene - no need to apologize. We all come here for a reason and we all will always be here to listen and understand. We did a lot of things on our own too. That is what makes it difficult too. We of course would go to each of our family's house for Xmas and Thanksgiving. Sometimes we weren't able to because of his health. Whatever you decide to do for the holidays, I hope it brings you peace.

Even though you don't celebrate, I want to wish you a belated happy birtday. This will be a tough one for me next year. My 40th. Both of our birthdays AND wedding anniversary are in February :( Give me strength... Missing Him

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Arlene, belated Happy Birthday from me too! Take out sounds good...I don't cook as much as I used to, after a lifetime of it and no one to cook for, I just don't have as much interest. I hope you enjoyed it, and the movie sounds good too!

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I to am dreading the holidays..My husband passed sept.24th..3 weeks ago today and I have to tell you it feels like an eternity ago..I just can't believe it has only been 3 weeks..This weekend was the worse yet..I couldn't snap out of it..I just cried and cried..Our son called and wanted me to go to a casino an hour away with him and at first I told him no..But I remembered he was over with his wife earlier that day and he said he was having such a hard time that day..So I called him back and told him I would go..I feel like I get lost in my own grief and I forget we have adult kids who are also grieving..We had a great talk on our drive to and from..I think he just wanted to talk..So I was glad I went..As for the holidays I have such a dilemma going on in my head..I don't want to celebrate the holidays at all, I even said I wasn't going to put up a tree..But my 81 year old mother lives with me and she was diagnosed in may with lung cancer, so I feel I should celebrate the holidays for her because these may be her last holidays..I was thinking today, I would adopt a family or something like that in my husbands memory and I think he would be so honored for me to do that for him..He loved kids and family..I thought I could do that for him and get a special ornament for my tree for him and celebrate the best I can for my mom..That is where my head is right now, tomorrow it may be in a different place..Thanksgiving I might be in Florida for that..But I wish everyone the best in whatever your decision is about the holidays..Its each individuals decision to make..Take care all..

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Celene died on October 10, four days after my birthday, three days before her birthday, 1 months and seven days before our anniversary. It was so hard for me to process those days, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. I did spend those days with family though. I think is was our daughter who made it a point to spend the holidays with family. I recall just sitting there and feeling so alone. I know I engaged with others while there, I just remember being alone. I am not sure how I made it through those celebrations, I only know that I did. It could be that I was still in much shock over loosing Celene. Being a year later, I fear these holidays will be tougher.

Anthony

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To All of Us not looking forward to the holidays: and please – I mean no insensitivity to anyone.

Things I have to look forward to that will be my firsts without my Love: Thanksgiving, my birthday in December, our wedding anniversary (forty years) in December, Christmas, New Year's Eve - What to do! What to do! I don't know. It's too much to even think about. Pressure here - pressure there – pressure coming from everywhere. Come here, do this, do that – I think I'll go out and rescue a cat. I have a suggestion – let's all meet in Camelot and shake our hand at the entire lot. And since we really can't do that I found a poem that just might lift our spirits up.

Hug O'War

By Shel Silverstein – from "Where the Sidewalk Ends"

I will not play at tug o'war,

I'd rather play at hug o'war,

Where everyone hugs,

Instead of tugs.

Where everyone giggles,

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses,

And everyone grins,

And everyone cuddles,

And everyone wins.

"A belly laugh changes biochemistry and clears out emotional gunk like little else." And I don't know who said it.

ps – don't forget Marty's link – Coping with The Holidays – my favorite is: The Blues: Holiday or Anyday – I still think Camelot is a good choice. Let's all go out and "Scatter Joy…." Anne

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Cindy - so sorry about your recent loss. I remember the first few weeks and how numb and out of touch with the rest of the world I was and to be honest, most of the time I feel I still am. It sounds like you helped your son out by going to the casino as difficult as it was to actually go. However you decide to spend the holidays is ok. Sorry about you mother's diagnosis. Rough times. You take care as well. Missing Him

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I bought George an ornament my first Christmas without him and hung his stocking so we could put messages to him in it. I think it helps to acknowledge them in some way. Some people choose to do something entirely different after their spouse dies, some want to check out, and some want to keep everything pretty much the same. Whatever brings one comfort...

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