Holiday and Grieving

Posted by sunshine @lizny, Dec 30, 2019

Hi, lost my mom seven months ago. Not in a holiday mood and I feel uncomfortable when people wish me happy holidays, not to be rude I wish them back to them but trying to not cry in front of people or strangers. Now it New Year and the feelings are worst. Any word of wisdom?

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I have no words of wisdom for you except to feel your feelings. My mom passed four months ago and I've had so much to do I've managed to muscle through the process. Today has been an emotional day for me. I don't like it but I do know it's going to come out regardless. I wish you love & light.

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Hello @lizny,

I can only imagine your pain with the loss of your mother – I am so sorry.
We are always told that holidays are a chance to spend time with loved ones, but how on earth can anyone be expected to cope with celebrations and holidays when a loved one has died? And we don’t like to be vulnerable or cry in front of other people! But remember, that there is no right or wrong way to handle the holidays when you are grieving, and you have to take care of yourself first.

I’m so glad that you reached out with your post…it helps to connect with others who know what you’re going through.
I sincerely encourage you to take a look at this discussion, "Holidays are not happy, family times for everyone” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/holidays-are-not-happy-family-times-for-everyone/ started by @retiredteacher. There, you’ll also meet @hopeful33250 @gingerw @helenfrances @harriethodgson1 and others.

I’m also tagging @georgette12 @joanm65 who’ve shared their experiences around the holidays, and you can read their messages in this discussion, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/depressing-movies/

@lizny, I’d like to share this insight that I recently came across: Rather than avoiding the feelings of grief, acknowledge the sadness and pain as your way of creating meaningful remembrance and memories of your mum. Have you thought of connecting with a counselor or a bereavement support group?

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Grief is the price we pay for loving and being loved. Grief is something you do on your terms. No need to act happy or festive if you are not, and there is no reason to apologize or feel embarrassed. It is your grief. There is no time limit. In the near term it is excruciating. It never gets better, but it somehow becomes different. Memories which bring tears now, will be the stuff of warm remembrance, smiles, and even laughter. It takes time. Every blessing, BCW

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My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly 5 weeks ago, right before thanksgiving. These holidays have been excruciating and feel this season will be forever marred for our family.

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@deb2239

My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly 5 weeks ago, right before thanksgiving. These holidays have been excruciating and feel this season will be forever marred for our family.

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I am so sorry for your loss, @deb2239. Around this time lots of normal, day-to-day activities change, and you may find yourself alone with your thoughts – at such a time, the pain of losing your husband can seem totally at odds with the celebratory environment around you. Have you found anything (or anyone) that helps take away the pain, even if for a brief time?

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@kanaazpereira

I am so sorry for your loss, @deb2239. Around this time lots of normal, day-to-day activities change, and you may find yourself alone with your thoughts – at such a time, the pain of losing your husband can seem totally at odds with the celebratory environment around you. Have you found anything (or anyone) that helps take away the pain, even if for a brief time?

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My kids, grandkids and my yellow lab

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@deb2239

My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly 5 weeks ago, right before thanksgiving. These holidays have been excruciating and feel this season will be forever marred for our family.

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Condolences. It not easy, just take it one day at a time. Grieve at your own pace, ask for help from friends/family or seek professional help. Starting to learn; cry if you must, or sit and remember the good times or take a day and have a break from everything.

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Losses can really make the holidays a difficult time – even if the loss is not so fresh – our most recent one was 10 years ago today.

Our family lost my Mom, Dad Father-in-law all in the Christmas season (even though years apart) and my Mother-in-law on Mother's Day. It seems that ever since, a little of the glow went out of this time of year, especially the first time we tried to bake cookies without Mom (and I was 60 years old!) I will admit, the first year after each loss was the worst, but also it was the feeling of losing our connection to the past, but so many chairs are now filled with bodies, and we're the "old ones" now! Even today, 10 years since my Mom died, I am having a very tough day…can't quite get motivated to do any preparations.

To try to cultivate a happier mood, I hang a special ornament from my childhood on the tree, and my Grandma's musical Christmas bell in the doorway. Every kid – little & big – pulls the string to play Jingle Bells when they come in. We are teaching their great grandchildren to bake the favorite cookies, and make the traditional family mess.

At our gatherings, we make a point to recall each of our loved ones as we gather, serving favorite foods and recalling stories. Sometimes we laugh & sometimes we cry.

How do you deal with loss at the holidays? Do you still try to keep some old traditions? Find some new ones? Or try to ignore the days altogether?

Wherever your heart is this season, I wish you peace.
Sue

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