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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
hope, the holidays & holding it together
The holidays are upon us and here we are trying to keep it together while coping with our loss. Or, are we really?
Some days it's still like going through the motions and others can be fairly nice, but there is a sadness that's always there. Whatever you do in your daily life I'm sure distractions are appreciated. Since I work in a dental office caring for people is my daily life along with my husband, kids (but they're adults) & fur babies.
This year has been a tough one of course. My mom passed in January, which I have no idea where the year has gone. And, my FIL passed in Sept. (heart failure) which has restarted the fresh process of grief. And, is making getting into the holiday spirit challenging. But, I am determined to make it meaningful one way or another.
I have some ideas of what I would like to do to make these holidays memorable while keeping our LO's close to our hearts. But, I want to know how the rest of you are holding up & what are your plans.
Hoping we can inspire each other to find some joy this season.
oh Wendy I have been so worried about this Christmas season. It happens to be my most favorite time of the year (normally) but I'm scared for this one. I started decorating my house already and with each ornament came a memory of mom, every song I heard we had sung together. Basically I bawled the whole time. I am determined to have a great Christmas though because I know she wants me to. I would like to hear other people's ideas. I need the help.
-Bless you my friend xoxoxoxo - Kat
Well, I'm gonna spend Christmas with siblings and their families, something I have not been able to do since 2006. My DH had not been diagnosed with AD then but had other physical problems that made it difficult for him to travel. So we usually stayed home with just each other and our furbabies. Oh how I wish that was the case this year! Don't even have my furbaby this year either, lost him too just about a month ago. But I'm not gonna stay in this house alone for Christmas. But I won't be decorating either that would too painful! My DH 1 year anniversary is December 30th, one day after my birthday, his best and last birthday gift to me, not passing on my birthday! What a wonderful man, thank you honey!! I hope everyone here finds some peace and healing in this holiday season..... Blessings,
I'm not sure I'll be able to keep it together for the holidays. I'm dreading Thanksgiving, which has always been my favorite holiday. Christmas is something I can't even think about.
Right now I feel like sadness has been heaped upon sadness. The 6-month anniversary of my mom's death is approaching. It seems like both a brief time and an eternity. Before Mom's death, over the past few years, really, my husband has been going through some health concerns and personality changes, which have mainly affected just me. Things have progressed over time and I'm being approached by friends and family members who are concerned about what they are now seeing. Over the past few months I've had people in our close circle ask me if my husband is "okay," because he "doesn't seem like himself". We are in the early stages of doctor's appointments, and I've filled in the medical team at our healthcare clinic about what's going on. I still clearly recall those times with my mom, that waiting game where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that something is amiss but have to jump through all the diagnostic hoops before anything is really defined.
Today has been one of those days where I am just filled with sadness. I tried to do a little fall decorating but my holiday bric-a-brac just seems to clash too much with the clutter that results from my husband's hoarding, inability to put things away in the right place (or in any place at all). The general mess of my house has grown because I am unsuccessfully trying to keep up with everything I always did, plus his chores, too.
Anyway, off to do errands, which I put off too long this morning. I'm taking over all of those, too. Any and all prayers here would certainly be welcome!
Thank you MP, I accept your hated virtual hug and your tissues Thanks for the love <3
Last year was our last holiday season with my mom.
That will make this one difficult. But I’m going to try to take a page out of MPSun’s book and try to embrace life. If that means there will be days that are uncomfortable and I cry and feel alone, well, I hope I remember it’s always darkest before the dawn. Night always seems hardest. And it always comes again, so I’ll try to keep bringing light into the season.
My mom loved it when we made a fire this time of year. I think the fireplace is going to get a lot of use this year. I think that she’d want me to do that. (I’ve started to find myself thinking/saying, “I know this is what you would want, Mom.” Or, “I wouldn’t want this for my daughters...”
I’ll definitely make black-eyed peas, cornbread and cabbage for her on New Year’s Day. That was always my job since I became the “family cook.” I hadn’t thought about it until this moment, but I think more than any moment, I will miss her when we have that meal.
I’ll happily give ans take cheesy virtual hugs.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were my mom's most favorite holidays although she enjoyed them all. Thanksgiving she would cook the most amazing meal and we truly had real family time. I will always be thankful for her. I am hosting dinner this year for just my son, boyfriend and maybe his 2 daughters. It will be simple but will include her famous dressing and sweet potatoes. Maybe a few games after dinner.
Mom always made Christmas so special every year, we had a tree in every room and beautiful handmade decorations. She was very artistic and talented. Every year since she has passed, I tell myself that I will go all out with decorating and so far it hasn't happened. I am going to try again this year. I am hoping to do a little bit each night after work and on the weekends once Thanksgiving passes. Seems I am always too tired to get much done but I know she would appreciate it.
Sheen I am sending you a warm, soothing virtual hug. Lifting you up as high as I can. We have to lean on each other when it gets too much. love and hugs to you. xoxoxoxo
This is also my first holiday season without my mom. I've been having a really hard time too. Last night I had a few friends over and we were having some drinks and listening to Christmas music. My house is all decorated and I made sure I didn't hold back. Christmas is my most favorite time of the year and I have to keep up tradition for me AND for mom. She'd literally haunt me if I didn't. My mother loved Jerry Vale's music/Christmas music and a song came on of his and I just lost it. One minute I'm laughing and "semi" happy and the next I'm bawling like a baby. Grief is such an unpredictable process.
xoxoxoxo - Kat
Tink I sure hope you do find the will to do it this year. It could be therapeutic for you and at the same time make you feel a little closer to mom. If you have any of the ornaments she made, put them up and talk about them....even if only out loud to her. I find myself doing that a lot.....just talking to the sky and it sometimes helps. I'm thinking of you.....sending you a hug.
Tink, I agree with Kat...you don’t have to go all out! Just a few of your mom’s favorite decorations would be a beautiful way to honor her and share with your family.
I used to be an “all or nothing” type of person....and then I realized I can do meaningful things without having to do those things the way I once thought had to be done “perfectly.”
Maybe that will help you, too. I don’t know. A little really does go a long way!
Kat and Sheen,
Thank you both for your kind words and suggestions. I do have some of mom's ornaments that I will put on the tree. I also bought a couple new ones today that I know she would have loved. Not that I need anymore ornaments, LOL. Mom bought us kids a new ornament every year for Christmas since we were born up until a couple years or so before she passed. She did this so when we moved out as adults, we would have a start on our own collection. She did this for my son as well, so I have been carrying on the tradition. Each year, he gets a ornament from me and one from his "nanny".
I will decorate my mantel with her beautiful ceramic Santa's' that she hand painted/chalked like I always do. She was just so artistic and talented, sure wish I would have inherited some of that.
Sheen, light that fire and enjoy.
Kat, keep the music playing.
May God give us all the grace to endure.
So, it sounds like we are all on the same page, but we are all going to be ok. Actually we will be better then ok. Yes, it will be difficult and there will be tears, but our love will carry on.
My heart goes out to those who are still dealing with this disease and to the rest of us coping with our loss.
My sister and I decided to alternate the holidays so I will have Christmas this year. And, the plan is to have a comfy Christmas. My husband will be having hernia surgery a few days before so the plan is to have everyone come in Christmas pjs. And, instead of a sit down dinner it will be a crockpot bar of comfort food. I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate, but I will be starting a bit sooner. The plan is to have a comfy Christmas and enjoy our family. So, you can say we're going with the flow and keeping it simple.
I just don't have it in me to do anything over the top and I think this can work.
Let's celebrate this Christmas keeping in mind that the birth of our savior brought us the hope and strength to get through the darkest of times.
Best wishes to everyone
That sounds perfect Wendy. Whatever makes you happy is what you should do. Good luck to your hubby with his surgery. Sending a huge hug and lots of love and strength to anyone who needs it. We can get through this together.
Although it’s sad to reminisce on Christmases we knew,this year I shall celebrate in memory of you.
I’ll put aside my sorrow with every unshed tear,and concentrate on all the joy we shared when you were here.
Our time together taught me what Christmas time is for,and that’s what I’ll remember until we meet once more.