Holidays
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Anyone nervous about the holidays after losing a parent?

I just lost my dad Oct. 1st and I am scared/anxious/upset/nervous about the holidays coming up. Is anyone else? Or has anyone else lost someone close to them other than a parent and are worried about the holidays?

Re: Anyone nervous about the holidays after losing a parent?

  • I don't know how much this will relate, and I haven't lost a parent, but my parents split up a week before Thanksgiving 4 years ago, and my mom and I had a big falling out and were not speaking.  When she left she moved in with another guy, and no one knew who this mystery guy was.  I was anxious/upset/nervous because my dad took the divorce really hard, and was always crying (seriously) and my siblings and I were trying to make sense of it all as they'd been married for 20 years, and it was a very sudden breakup.  I didn't know if I should be happy or sad for the holidays, or who I should spend my time with.  It was hard.  We just tried to keep things normal, and did things as we had in the past, just without my mom.  I almost wanted to skip Christmas with my family because it was hard to talk about, and everything was still so new.  It was for sure one of the most uncomfortable holiday seasons. 
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  • Sounds totally and completely normal to me.  I am so sorry for your recent loss.  I lost my dad in February and March was both my mom's birthday and parent's anniversary - not the same as the "big" holidays, but now every event takes on a different air.  Over the past year we've spent every holiday together, as a family, including Memorial Day and birthdays - to try to make it less lonesome for each of us.

    My dad always played a HUGE role in Thanksgiving so we're all feeling very sorrowful as a family in planning the holiday.  All our extended family from across the country is coming to my mom's so we can be together.

    For Christmas, my parents usually went away together, so this year my mom's coming with DH and I to his family - and I'm definitely nervous and anxious about that.

    Since your loss is so recent, all the emotions your feeling right now are probably jumbled up - and that's okay.  The holidays are going to be hard, but you'll pull through - just take each day as it comes and let yourself feel sad, nervous, scared, and upset.  Surround yourself with a good support system - whether that's friends, family, DH, or a big box of stuffed animals you talk to.  There is no wrong at this point in time. 

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  • imageTheWop:
    I don't know how much this will relate, and I haven't lost a parent, but my parents split up a week before Thanksgiving 4 years ago, and my mom and I had a big falling out and were not speaking.  When she left she moved in with another guy, and no one knew who this mystery guy was.  I was anxious/upset/nervous because my dad took the divorce really hard, and was always crying (seriously) and my siblings and I were trying to make sense of it all as they'd been married for 20 years, and it was a very sudden breakup.  I didn't know if I should be happy or sad for the holidays, or who I should spend my time with.  It was hard.  We just tried to keep things normal, and did things as we had in the past, just without my mom.  I almost wanted to skip Christmas with my family because it was hard to talk about, and everything was still so new.  It was for sure one of the most uncomfortable holiday seasons. 

    I usually just lurk here, but it felt like I wrote most of that post!

    My parents are going through a divorce right now. They had been married for 23 years. This will be the first holiday season since they split up. My mom left my dad out of nowhere (well it was out of nowhere to me and my brother, maybe not between her and my dad) and it just crushed my dad. I had never seen him cry in my whole life until this happened. It was so hard to be the one comforting my dad instead of the other way around. I'm not looking forward to the holidays, it's going to be so weird/awkward/upsetting.


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  • So sorry for your loss. I lost my mom in 2006 and the first holiday season was especially difficult, and while it was sad, I enjoyed the holidays much more than I thought I would. I really thought about how much I appreciated everyone who was there and what they meant to me and my life and while I missed my mom more than I could ever say, I knew that she'd want me to enjoy the moments I had with everyone else who was there around me. It was different, because her prescence was still there in all we did to celebrate the holidays and I think each member of my family thought about how my mom always made the holidays special and we each tried to capture her spirit in what we did that year. Every holiday season since then, we've adapted our traditions so that they incorporate the favorite things my mom did, while allowing ourselves room to try out new traditions.
  • I lost my dad Jan 26 the last time I saw him was Christmas

    I know Im going to be really sad when Christmas comes around its not going to be the same with out him, but I have younger siblings that we have to put on the happy face and try and enjoy x-mas for them

    image
  • thank you all for the posts so far. They really do help. And Peanut17 - i am glad you said you enjoyed the holidays more than you thought. That is kind of one of my concerns too. I love the holidays and my dad would want me to enjoy them, but than again, I feel guilty for looking forward to them. I know it is strange, it is just hard to find a balance. I find it hard to find a balance with everything right now. My dad died of a heart attack in his sleep and he was 58. Sometimes I feel that I am fortunate to not have seen him suffer and he went peacefully, than other times I am pissed bc he was young and I never knew he was going anywhere and I never got to say goodbye. Everyday is just trying to find a balance and going through a rollcoaster of emotions.
  • This is not an easy thing for anyone and there is no one way to handle it...everyone copes in their own way.

    My grandmother used to host Christmas every year (growing up, all my cousins lived in the same town). The first year she died, my grandfather did not want to have it at his house, and it was SO weird to think about not having the same routine we had literally had for 20+ years. Just talking about 'where else we should go' seemed SO wrong.

    But, I think it helped a little bit. If we had been in our usual routine, it would have been SO much more obvious that she was not there. It was still weird and different, but less sad and more "we're building new traditions" and I think, at least in our family, that helped a lot.

  • I am so sorry for your loss.

    My first holidays after losing my Dad in 2006 were easier than I expected as well.  I have to say, that it was almost a relief to get through them and know that now each year I can face the holidays without him. I found in the first year, the first everything was hard, but after I had conquered them all it was a lot easier.

    Take time for yourself, treat yourself or do something special.  And don't forget that it's ok to miss him too.

     

  • i'm so sorry for your loss, i haven't lost a parent and know my story isn't near equal, but you asked if anybody has lost other close to them:

    i love christmas and i love my closest grandparent who did when i was in HS. every year during the candle lit service on christmas eve i end up thinking of her and shedding a few tears. i am assuming i will always do this since it hasn't changed since the year she died, over a decade ago. it doesn't keep me down for the rest of the evening though.

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  • i lost my dad aug 1. we are spending thanksgiving which is the first big holiday at his family's house in another state. my mom says she'll be ok, but i still worry. my brother will be there though. it is still an option for W to go without me while i stay home with my family, but not very likely. christmas though we will all be together so that one won't be as bad.
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  • Raza13 - i saw you just recently got married....was he able to walk you down the aisle? My dad died Oct. 1 and I just had my wedding Jan. 3 of this same year, so I am so grateful he got to do that.
  • I lost my grandmother on March 26 and my first cousin on Aug 11. Im really dreading the holidays this year.
  • I lost my mom Nov 10, 2006 so 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. Honestly, I just felt numb during the holidays. I didn't put up a tree or really get into the 'holiday spirit' that year. I was also really dreading seeing my family, which sounds weird I know. It just made me feel my mom's absence even more. You will get through it though and it does get a bit easier as time goes by. It's certainly natural to feel aprehensive though.

    Sending (((hugs))) your way. I've been there and it certainly isn't easy. Feel free to PM me if you ever want to talk more about it.

  • DH lost his mom last October... Thanksgiving was rough. And to be honest, there is nothing you can really do to make the sadness/grief subside other than to surround yourself with close family and great memories. My husband was very angry during that period, and I learned to be patient and prayerful. We spent Christmas with my family in order to let his father grieve without making that particular holiday (his moms favorite) a big deal- more of just a day for him to wake up, rest, without the pain of a passing Christmas without his wife. I'm very sorry for your loss and hope that you can hold tight to the happy times as you experience the more sad ones...

  • imagepxt157:
    Raza13 - i saw you just recently got married....was he able to walk you down the aisle? My dad died Oct. 1 and I just had my wedding Jan. 3 of this same year, so I am so grateful he got to do that.

     no, he was not well enough to walk me down the aisle. we had a very "causual" and small wedding and we walked ourselves down to the officiant. He was there though and I have a couple of good pictures of me and him. From little things that he said we think he was holding on for the wedding. Thanks for asking!

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  • thanks for sharing that with me. I am sorry for your loss too. I hope all is well and that you are able to get through the holidays too.
  • Yes, I lost my dad Oct. 22nd and am also having some holiday anxiety, especially when it comes to making sure my mom is ok (she lives an hour away).

    We're all (DH, me, and my sister) going to be with mom for Thanksgiving (the in-laws will have to make do without us there this year.... my parents have always invited them over but they aren't very social and have never accepted the invitation).  I don't think my mom wants to cook this year, and some friends of hers invited us all over for Thanksgiving dinner, along with the family friends who always come over for the holidays.  DH and I said we'd do whatever she wants to do... help her cook, accept the invitation, go out somewhere, whatever she wants.  I got the feeling my mom thought it would be just too sad and painful to have Thanksgiving at home without dad there. :(

    Christmas is going to be really hard.  My dad was always a scrooge about Christmas but it was a time when the family came together and it's going to be so tough this year.  I've been making efforts to plan events with my mom and offer to do things with her this year that usually I would do with DH or alone.  We set up a day where we're going to bake cookies, traditional recipes as well as new ones, then assemble everything in gift baskets for friends.  I think gifts for mom will be more like things we can do together, like a gc for a pedicure or dinner, tickets to a play, stuff like that.

    I guess my biggest concern at this point is making sure my mom is ok.  It's going to be tough though no matter what.

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  • thanks for all of the postings. I know this doesn't get you any where and can't be answered, but do you guys ever ask yourselves why? why did this happen or why did this happen to me? I don't necessarily question why this happened to me bc it happens to everyone at different stages and people are less fortunate then me...but i do have trouble sometimes rationalizing when things don't make sense. Like why some one in their 40's can die of lung cancer and never smoked a day in their lives and another person can smoke their brains out and live to be 90? I do know people this happened to and it just doesn't sit well with me.
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