Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Grief is a natural response to loss. It can be felt in many ways. Grief’s impact can be emotional, social, spiritual, physical and financial. It is as individual as the person you loved and lost. Grieving while living away from family and friends can be especially difficult. This is a place where you can share your thoughts, and get ideas on how to cope. It is here for you to get support and validation.

Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby KarenH » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:01 am

doodle1 - I hope that your plan to manage your time on Christmas day was helpful. Knowing your own limits and preferences is key to handling holidays and other special events that can heighten the intensity of your grief. Wishing peace to you and everyone else reading and posting here.
KarenH
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby doodle1 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi Karen H,
Thank you, I was able to "survive" the holidays with all the tips I received. I really had myself prepared for a horrible experience, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated. We changed some things up a bit, and I only stayed for a couple hours then came home to the safety of my own house, where I was free to grieve the way I wanted. It turned out to be ok. I also spent a little bit of time at the cemetery as I planned and that was very difficult as I thought it would be, but I was prepared for that too. I am also still journaling and I think that helps me too. I thank everyone for all the help I have received. I hope and pray that 2013 will be a better year for everyone on this site.
doodle1
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:39 am

It has been 10 months and 2 weeks now that my husband has passed. I am starting to notice that some family members and friends are fading away. I have been told to expect this after sometime. Now I really feel lost and confused. I thank God for my daughter whom seems to be as devasted as I am still. But I am at a lost for words about other family members. Has this happened to anyone else?

I know that people carry on with there own lives but whoa, I am worried now that people are fading away from me. So now I have to find a way to just find sometype of support within myself. I hope that everyone on this blog is okay and has someone to count on. It is so lonely in life without our loved ones, but now it really feels terrible. Still lost, scared, in a fog and missing her husband dearly.
carmella12
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby doodle1 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:26 pm

Carmella12,
I too have experienced what you have with friends and some family fading away. I think because they were trying so hard to keep me busy and being so helpful in the beginning. Some of "our" friends have completely disappeared, and some I have not even heard from. My husband has been gone 5-1/2 months. I have never been alone, so this has been extremely difficult for me to adjust to. The nights are just painfully long and lonely. I have a very hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Every night I relive the last weeks of my husbands life. As much as I try to block it out, I just can not seem to block it out. I too miss my husband so much. He was my other half, I feel like I am no longer a whole person. We did everything together and we were never apart. I know that our life must go on, but I am not sure how we are expected to do that. I continue to write in my journal every day. Some days I write to my husband and others I just write about my day. I also have 2 books that I read, one for Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief, and the other is a journal with monthly accounts of Recovery from Loss. These seem to help me through each day and month.

I wish you the best in continuing through your grief journey. It is so unfortunate that we are here, but I guess we must learn to adapt to this terrible situation.
doodle1
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:56 am

Doodle1, I just read your post and I want to say that we are walking in the same shoes, on the same road. I also have never been alone. I went from my mom straight to my husband. I was 14 when I met him 20 when I married him, now I am 54 without him. The thoughts of living the rest of my life without him are unbearable. When I see elderly couples at the store I get so upset because we never had that chance to be together that long. I am not mad at the elderly at all, just the fact that I will never be out and about with my husband, I just feel so cheated. I know that you and many others on this site must feel the same way.

Your are right about the nights, they are the worst. This is going to sound crazy, but I can't wait until they are over and I am making that pot of coffee the next morning. I am still dealing with panic attacks, they come from no where and hit hard at times. My aunt tells me the pain never goes away, we just have to find a way to deal with it better. I have not found that way yet.

To doodle1 and everyone on this site, I wish you the best. Take it day by day, be kind to yourselves and know that one day we will be with our other halfs. If going to the cemetery helps, go as often as you can. I go and cry my ass off and ask him, why are you here. I feel alittle peace when I am there with him. Even though I know he isn't there, but it helps alittle. I have notice that people jog and bike thru the cemetery for excerise, so I am going to start walking by his section when the weather warms up. I think this will help knowing I am close to him. I do not want to prolong my life by trying to be fit, but as long as I have to live it, I want to stay somewhat healthy. I do not want to be a burden to my daughter.

I wish everyone here peace and I hope the spirit of your love ones come thru and protect you.

Just a crazy question, does anyone here wonder if our loved ones that have been taken from us are upset that they have been taken from us? If there is another side I would have to wonder if they are really happy as some people say they are. I would think they have to miss us too. I know this sounds crazy but I think about things like this, don't know why but I do..

Please take care of yourselves and know I care and feel your pain.
carmella12
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby doodle1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:56 pm

Hi Carmella12,
We are close in age, I am 56. I am closing in on my 6 mo. date, and it has gotten a little bit easier. At least I am not crying every day. I do cry most days on my way home from work, knowing that I am coming home to a lonely house. My husband and I did everything together. He was retired and I was still working, but it was always so nice to come home to him. I agree with you so much about being happy when the morning dawns. Not that it is a new day, but that the night is finally over. And, I too feel cheated when I see older couples out together. I use to always point out older couples and say that is what we were going to look like when we got older. We would laugh and joke around about how we thought we would look and act. We both had longevity in our families, so we naturally thought we would be together for many more years to come. I had an episode at work today, where I was meeting with the boss and he made a remark about how he admired me for how well I have been doing, and I just lost it and started bawling. It was the craziest thing. But from what I have heard, it is "normal".

I too wonder about all those questions that you have. Is there another side and are they happy or sad, are they waiting for our arrival. Many questions indeed. You are not asking crazy questions, you are just as inquisitive as I am and probably most people in our shoes. There are no real answers to our questions, just whatever our beliefs are. It would be nice to have the actual answers, but we will never know until it is our time to join our loved ones.

Thank you so much for responding to my posting, I appreciate it. Take care and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers....
doodle1
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:57 pm

Hi Doodle1 and everyone else here on this much needed site. How is everyone doing? I hope that you are all doing as well as possible during this terrible grief we are going thru.

I am already dreading Valentines Day, so what I am going to do is put an old Valentines day card up that he gave me in the past and try to enjoy it all over again. This time it will mean more to me than ever. I know it sounds crazy but I think it will help.

Doodle1, I am glad your boss had notice your staying strong, good for you. I know how hard it is forcing yourself to be strong, when really you are fighting just to survive what we are going thru. I hate coming home to an empty house also. There use to be noise in our house, now the silence is overwhelming. I have to turn the tv on before I do anything else, and as women the first thing we normally do when we come home is hit the bathroom.

Does anyone here watch Long Island Medium?? I wonder if what she is telling these people is real. I would have to hope that there is something out there. I want to share something that happened the week after my husband passed. I had a dream my husband and I were talking, he said to me his exact words were, " I thought I had more time, there were things I wanted to do," then I woke up thats all I remember. I don't know if my mind was just playing tricks on me or not. How do you make something like that up? I will always wonder about this.

Hopefully our loved ones are waiting for us. Now we have to find a way to go on living until then. Still haven't figured it out yet.

Hang in there and please know I am thinking about all of you going thru what I will say, is the worst time of our lives.

Take care, Carmella
carmella12
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby doodle1 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:32 pm

Hi Carmella12,
So good to hear from you again. I can not believe that you mentioned the Long Island Medium. I love her show and record it when I am not home. The one night I watched it, this gentleman was talking about his brother who died from pancreatic cancer and Theresa started asking him about his health, and here he had pancreatic cancer too. I bawled the whole show, because that is what took my husbands life. I believe the show, but then again, so much can be staged and made to look real. But it gives me comfort to know that it could be true. I hope that it is a real show, but highly unlikely. I enjoy all those kind of shows. It gives us hope. That is wonderful that you heard from your husband. I have not. One night after he passed I heard him coming down the hallway and he said "hey hon" and that was it. My daughter heard him clearing his throat, which he often did. But that is the extent. Some people say I am trying too hard to receive a message. How in the heck do you try too hard?
That is a nice idea about the Valentines card. But I think it would be too hard for me to even look at them right now. I have heard others still buy cards for their spouses. I can not even look at cards in a store yet. Seems every time I walk by, my eyes are drawn to the husband cards. But believe me, nothing sounds crazy....
You are right though, this is the hardest time of our lives.... Hang in there and know that others are thinking of you!!
doodle1
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:35 am

Doodle1, thats great that you and your daughter heard him. How do we make something like that up?? We have no way of making things happen. At times I think twice about something that just happened or something that I had just dreamed of, but it seems like there is only one answer. I am really leaning towards it being them.

Only you will know when your ready to buy him a card for any occasion. It's going to be hard but I am going to get him a card and some flowers and decorate his grave. I think I will take a flower or two from his bunch and bring it home. It will be like we are sharing something for the holiday. I know it sounds crazy, but whatever it takes to get thru the mess.

Doodle1 and everyone else here on this site, I wish everyone peace and please take care of yourselves.

Carmella
carmella12
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby doodle1 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:28 am

Carmella,
What a GREAT idea about buying flowers for the grave and then bringing a couple home for yourself. I didn't read your post until after Valentine's Day, but I will remember it for future occasions. That way we would be sharing something for the holiday or occasion, as you said. Thank you so much for sharing that idea!! As I said, I could not bring myself to even look at the greeting cards, but I did pull out some of the ones my husband gave me in years past and re-read them, it was a very sad process, but it also brought great comfort to me too. I welcome any ideas or suggestions that you or others have on this site to help with the grieving process.

I hope you are coping ok. Spring is coming soon and I am looking forward to getting out and enjoying it as much as I can. Take care and know that others are thinking of you too!
doodle1
 
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