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I Miss My Parents

Guest Guest_Beth_*

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Guest Guest_Beth_*

I lost my Mom in March of this year, and my Dad passed away in 1988. It seems like everyday I am feeling worse, and the pain never seems to ease. I am only 42, have no brothers or sisters and feel totaly abandoned and lost. I knew that this Christmas would be especially difficult, I just didn't expect to be crying everyday at any given moment.

My Mom and I lived in the same state, but it was a 10 hour trip by car and the town she lived in was in a very remote area so flying was never an option. She made the decision to move closer to her family after my Dad passed away and I only got to see her once or twice a year. To be honest our relationship was somewhat strained, we were just so different and we really didn't understand each other. Last year for the first time in 5 years, she was able to come to my home for Christmas and we were able to spend just one day together. That was the last time I saw her. She died in the hospital on March 13th after a short illness and I made it to the hospital an hour too late. She did have family surrounding her when she died, but the guilt I feel is overwhelming.

What I am having the hardest time with is accepting that things will never be the same again. Christmas Eve was always special in my family, and all the good memories that I have of those times just make me feel even more isolated.

I have a great husband, two wonderful dogs, a good job and a comfortable life, but sometimes I think I would give it all up just to see my parents again. I wonder if I will ever get to the point where I can just enjoy the holidays like I used to, and take comfort in the past.

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Guest Guest_Maylissa_*

Dear Beth,

I hear you. All the 'firsts' are incredibly hard, and I'm finding my second Christmas isn't much better, though I don't cry anywhere near as much. It has its own challenges, though. It may be unexpected in our minds to suffer as much as we do, especially during holidays and other important dates, but let me assure you it's perfectly normal to take many steps backwards at those times. You just have to ride out the storm such occasions bring up. Marty T has many articles and links regarding holidays which I'd encourage you to read on her site, as doing some of these things can help in little, but important ways. As she says, your progress to date in mourning isn't lost, though it might feel that way during your backward steps.

While I have one brother left and a father in a home with dementia, I neither live where they do, nor have any contact with them anymore, so am essentially alone, too. I have my husband and our last furbaby, and while I'm very grateful for that, it still doesn't stop the feelings of losing my Mom and other brother from being there regardless.

I barely saw my Mom, either, in the last 15 yrs, ( even less than you did ) and only made it back home for her last birthday, 2 months before she passed. All I can do is be grateful for having had at least that opportunity, though it still hurts plenty to know I wasn't even there to be by her side while she was dying...and no one else was, either, which makes it worse. While it's good that you got to have her over for even that one day at Christmas-time, I realize that won't feel like enough, by any means. Nothing is ever enough, once we lose a loved one. Myself, every Christmas before my Mom died, I wished she could be there to experience Christmas MY way, and be doted on instead of having to do the work herself, and now that there's no more chance for that, those feelings of despair become even greater each year. Some day I hope to work through them better than I've been able to so far, but then one, two or even three such holiday times aren't very many when it comes to comparing how long someone was in our lives, even peripherally, so it's not a long time at all to get used to how we feel without them.

I'm fairly certain most, if not all of us will get to certain, better points, as we work through our grief and issues from the past, but I don't think it's wise to expect too much too soon, despite just wanting to FEEL BETTER already, yesterday! I try to consider that longing to feel better as part of my soul-work of growing, learning and inner strength to survive and even go beyond mere survival....even if my heart hasn't caught up yet. Since Christmas is always touted as being all about 'family', it's one of the biggest nightmares for the thousands of us struggling with loss. If you take a look at any grief board this month, I know you'll see, over and over, how we all get more riled-up during this season. Sad, but true. And perfectly normal. We just don't want to BE like this, and so it becomes an even bigger struggle between our new realities and the past. I'm so sorry you're having to fight this fight, too.

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