Holidays are not happy, family times for everyone

Posted by Carol, Volunteer Mentor @retiredteacher, Wed, Nov 20 7:08pm

This time of year from Halloween through New Year’s is not a happy time for everyone. It is not for me and my husband because we have no family. All the adds and activities that show families around the table chatting and talking and enjoying all the special food and fellowship just make it worse. It’s hard to have a glorious time because we’ve never experienced the family tradition. I prepare the traditional food, but there is no real celebration. I just want everyone to know that this time of year is not always what it’s advertised to be. It also brings depression and hurt and a feeling of being left out. However, it’s always been this way for my husband and me, so we are used to it. We don’t buy each other gifts, but choose a needy child and buy for that child. We prepare donations for the food banks in our area and try to do what we can to help those who have family but little else. I know there are other people like us, soI just wanted to remind others that not everyone has family to celebrate with. Rather than the jolly, we celebrate the spiritual aspect and welcome a new year.
Carol

Good for you Carol! The holidays are difficult for many. My husband and I are bracing ourselves for Thanksgiving because our deceased daughter was born on that day. In her memory, I write articles for two grief support websites. I just wrote two books for grieving kids and a publisher accepted them yesterday. Like you and your husband, I try to make something good from a difficult experience.

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@harriethodgson1

Good for you Carol! The holidays are difficult for many. My husband and I are bracing ourselves for Thanksgiving because our deceased daughter was born on that day. In her memory, I write articles for two grief support websites. I just wrote two books for grieving kids and a publisher accepted them yesterday. Like you and your husband, I try to make something good from a difficult experience.

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@harriethodgson1 Kudos to you too, Harriet. We, of course, have not had the experience you have, but I applaud you for your writing. It is a wonderful way to deal with feelings. As a composition teacher, I am happy just knowing you have written two books and articles for grief websites. I hope you will share some of your thoughts on the Connect website, if you haven't already. It is a hard time to get through, but we have to do something for other people to mark the seasons and not allow ourselves to fall into the deep, sad abyss.
Bless you.
Carol

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@retiredteacher Hey Carol, thank you so much for your post. It’s me, too. I hate this time of year and yes, I choose to try to only concentrate on the spiritual part of it. I have to put up my armor and quash feelings of depression and loneliness. I have 1 brother and no other family. Well, I do have some cousins but they choose not to be a part of my life. I just had to write when I read your post. I will be thinking of you and your husband this season…..,Karen

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@karen00 It's good to know we are not alone, and that is why I posted the topic. You know, one thing we could do is get a bowl and write the names of our Mayo friends who are alone for the holidays and put the names in the bowl. Then we could include them in our prayers of gratitude and blessings.
Carol

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Thanks so much Carol. After four family members died in 2007, the focus of my writing changed from health/wellness to grief healing. Some of the books I've written: 1) Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, 2) Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, 3)101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey: Words of Comfort, Words of Hope, 4) Seed Time: Growing from Life's Disappointments, Losses, and Sorrows, 5) Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life, 6) Writing to Recover Journal, 7) The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Sustain and Refresh Your Soul.

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@retiredteacher Yes Carol, that’s a great idea! I guess we could ask everyone to let us know if they would like prayers of gratitude???

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@retiredteacher

@karen00 It's good to know we are not alone, and that is why I posted the topic. You know, one thing we could do is get a bowl and write the names of our Mayo friends who are alone for the holidays and put the names in the bowl. Then we could include them in our prayers of gratitude and blessings.
Carol

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Lovely idea.

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@karen00

@retiredteacher Yes Carol, that’s a great idea! I guess we could ask everyone to let us know if they would like prayers of gratitude???

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@karen Good idea. We should ask if people who respond want to be included in the prayer. Some may prefer not to be.

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When I am invited to dinner at a Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Christian, Indian, Hindu, etc. home, I respect their customs.

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@retiredteacher

@karen Good idea. We should ask if people who respond want to be included in the prayer. Some may prefer not to be.

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Good addition to this conversation, @retiredteacher Personally I am a nonbeliever so I prefer to not be included. It is good to remember our community here is extremely diverse!

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@retiredteacher Growing up we had a superficial showing like the ads portray, but it was a false front, like so much of the rest of our lives. To the outside world we appeared to be a happy wholesome family, but looking through the chinks in the armor, one could see the tension and unease. I never "got" the importance placed on the commercialism, noise and [forced?] gaiety. As a person on the autism spectrum, the sights/sounds/crowds are too overwhelming for me to enjoy most parts of any holiday season. I much prefer quiet. Like several members, I have family who is estranged, and family-by-marriage, and simply refuse to act "as if" during any season.
Ginger

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@gingerw I think your situation is equally as difficult as mine, and I agree. When people try to force loving, perfect scenes, they often backfire and are the impetus of more loneliness.
Carol

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Beautifully said!
Our friends and neighbors travel to their children’s homes.

Our children and family are far away. We used to visit: We were asked to take care of them when
they were sick. Now they travel with in laws who would not travel to take care of them. Life!
I have no regrets.

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We invite those whose relatives are also far away. Better than a pity party😢🥰

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@helenfrances

Beautifully said!
Our friends and neighbors travel to their children’s homes.

Our children and family are far away. We used to visit: We were asked to take care of them when
they were sick. Now they travel with in laws who would not travel to take care of them. Life!
I have no regrets.

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@helenfrances Having no regrets is the life to strive for. And kudos to you to invite those who may be alone or want company. This will be our first holiday season in this little town. My husband is due up here tomorrow morning for a week. We haven't decided what we will do, yet.
Ginger

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