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Why Is Giving Just A Motion?

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It feels everday getting closer to Chrismas is like a big clock ticking away in my head. Oh, Gene loved this holiday season so much. He loved shopping for his children and grandchildren...and finding that something special and unexpected for me. We had planned a get-a-way this year. It would have been our first. I guess we fooled ourselves into thinking that the couple of months he improved would last but it didn't.

All it took was "Jingle Bells" to send me into a tailspin this weekend. I live in an area filled with Katrina Evacuees so there is a need. And I've seen it as an opportunity to give like I've never given....time, money, food, gifts. I cleaned out my house of all sorts of things I've been hanging on knowing it would bring something to someone else. I actually cut a pick up truck load of oranges off my Father's trees and brought them back and gave it away to those who needed it and to people who have helped me through the past 5 months.

The point is I know that to give is not to expect anything in return. I thought it would bring some little moment of joy but it hasn't. It's all "going through the motions". I know Gene was smiling as I gave away some of his things so that children could pick a gift out to give to their parents for this Christmas. I know it was the right thing to do but I felt nothing doing it. Gene was a pack rat...lots of stuff was still boxed and wrapped as if just bought yesterday. This Sat I volunteered to cook for Santa's breakfast at church. Maybe seeing the children will stir something in this empty heart of mine.

I know Gene's part of the biggest Chior this year. I wish I could just feel something, anything besides this pain. I'm so tired of just crying. I don't fit anywhere. I don't belong here...I need to be with Gene but I can't be.

How long before I can feel anything again? Grieving is hard work. I get so tired of forcing myself to be part of this world.

I pray that someone, anyone here finds a little peace and joy as we get past this holiday. I'm just seaching through the season for a moment of peace that I can't seem to reach.

I am thankful for the support and sharing here from everyone. Maybe tomorrow I can help someone here.

I love you Gene!

I miss you soooooooo much!

Always Gene!


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I don't find this 'abnormal' at all. The normal joys we experienced before our losses are duller with a broken heart anyway and in addition to that, I think we naturally create a kind of defense mechanism inside, akin to shock, during special occasions and seasons, to further dull the pain we'd feel in even more intensity otherwise. What little gift-buying I was involved with the first Christmas after my losses, was very mechanical, w/o the usual feelings of warmth that normally accompanied such choices. Approaching my second year, I'm surprised to find that lingering in some ways, with feelings of gratitude that I can buy things other loved ones want or need, but it's still not what I would call joyous and anticipatory joy, like it used to be. We helped out at free, local charity dinners 2 years in a row, and while it was sort of nice to be around a couple of people who knew of my losses ( who were also helping out there ), it really didn't do a whole lot more for my spirit, other than intellectually knowing I was being of service to someone. I was still NEEDING more than being able to GIVE. And so I took where I could, and gave where I could, but none of it felt very fulfilling.

Yes, it IS so exhausting, but I'm just beginning to have hope that it DOES improve, in time.

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Evelyn, you are not alone in you lack of zeal for the holidays...I have been dreading it. Thanksgiving wasn't what I would have hoped and I don't even want to do Christmas. My daughter brought out a picture of George and I from last Christmas...we looked like such a happy old couple sitting together amidst all of the festivities! It breaks my heart with the pain of missing him. My son cut down a tree and my daughter set out to decorate...the first bag I opened set me off...it contained a pair of bears holding hands that my friend got for us for Christmas last year because it looked just like us. It played Christmas music. George loved it so much he set it in the back seat of his car and grown men had to put up with sitting next to it as he drove to work. :) I cried and cried last night. It's no wonder I don't feel up to this season. It's just too hard.

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