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 VickieK » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:22 pm

Hello to All.. I haven't been on this site for awhile-not because I'm doing so much better-but- because I have just been emotionally drained.. Getting through the Holidays, New Year's Eve, & now Valentine's Day has been exhausting..
I am coming up on my Loved One's 1st anniversary of being gone.. I am crying more & more- not wanting to leave his home except to go to work. I am losing it.. I can NOT believe he has been gone 11 months- it will be a year March 15th- just 3 days shy of my 58th birthday.. Last year-when he left me- his funeral services were actually held on my birthday-it just worked out the best on that day.. Now- I don't even want to think about celebrating my birthday ever again.. I still keep thinking he's gonna be at home when I get there. I still think it's just a cruel dream that I can't wake up from. I still think there is no way he would have left me- alone. I still cry every night. I agree- the nights are so long & even tho I do not sleep well- I lie there awake & hope the night will just slip by quickly..
I pray-but- I do not have the Faith required to think I will ever see him again.
I, too, have Friends & Family who have just "moved on".. I do NOT understand how they can carry on with their lives without him- he was so much a part of everyone's life! I do NOT understand when a friend tells me it's time- that my Loved One wouldn't want me to mourn him so long.. But- what am I suppose to do?? I am lost without him by my side. We were a couple- we did everything together. Now- I am one.. And- I do NOT like it. I do NOT want to go out & eat dinner by myself. I do NOT want to go to parties by myself. I do NOT want to do anything by myself. I miss him so much- it hurts..it hurts everyday. I am alone. He is gone. What do I do now?? I will be 58- how do you start over at 58?? Alone??
I have joined support groups & they do help. I started a journal- it helped for awhile. I know there will come a day when the pain will be less- I have lost Family & friends before. I realize that "life goes on".. But- things were different with others lost..
I, too, re-live his last few days..over & over. He wanted to pass on at home & that didn't happen. I didn't get to say good bye because he wasn't suppose to pass away that night-the Doctor had just seen him & told us he was strong enough to go on for quite awhile longer.. I wasn't even at his side when he left- I had been there with him for 12 hours- and- I had just left to go home for awhile. His Son called me before I was 5 minutes out the door to tell me he was gone.. All of these things haunt me every night- every time I am alone. His entire last month was so difficult & I think- "did he honestly realize how much I loved him-or- did he just give up & pass away because things were so rough at home with him being so sick??" I can not get past it. I can not let it go. All I did for him flies out the window because I dwell on his last month..his last 4 days..
I read somewhere "the worst is over" and I know that is true. I know I will survive this & someday be able to live again. But- I also know I am not ready to let him go just yet..
VickieK
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby dscowan » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:03 am

Hi VickieK -
There is no time table for grief and you will come to terms with things on your own time. It can be difficult to hear others tell you that it is time to move on.
I am glad your find the groups helpful. Perhaps you can pick up the journaling again. Journals are safe harbors for your innermost thoughts and feelings. They can be a like a trusted friend. Please remember that there are support systems and professional counselors to help you through the difficult times - especially special days and anniversaries.
Take care.
dscowan
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:58 pm

VickieK, I just read your post and want to say how much I am thinking about you. Please know that you are feeling that way because you are going thru the worst time of your life. Most of you died when your loved one did. Now you have to go thru the motion of everyday life.

All of the people on this site know about the people that say, "its time to move on, he wouldn't want you to feel upset," and the most painful one of them all, "he is in a better place." I would like to know, what do we move on too??? I would rather someone say, "I know what your going thru because I am going thru the same thing, or I don't know what your going thru but I am here for you.

Its hard when we lose our moms, dads, siblings, but NOTHING compares to losing the person you have shared your life with. When you sleep next to your spouse for 20-30 years, and one day their gone you DO become an empty shell of the person you once were, nothing is the same. Your not the same, the house not the same, daytime, nightime, the time you drive in your car, NOT THE SAME, you have in a way died yourself.

It is somewhat easier for other people to move on because their everyday life wasn't affected like your life was. Their back to their everyday routine, but we on the other hand are reliving the death of our loved ones. One day the very same people who have said to move on will be walking in our shoes because unless there is a terrible tragedy, there is always one standing alone. I wouldn't wish what I am going thru on anyone. I also wished that when couples are together as long as we have been, that God would take us at the same time. You see I feel that I have already died so why have my body here. The thoughts of growing old by myself scares the hell out of me. I do not want to meet anyone and remarry, out of the question. So I will go it alone, for the first time in my life. I am now 54 and plan on living the same life that my husband and I had before this happened, I just hope that he is here in spirit, by my side.

Vickie, its okay to feel what your feeling, cry when you have to don't fight it. It is still so raw to you. Don't do anything you don't want to do and remember we are here for you. I want to wish you a very peaceful birthday, pamper yourself you deserve it.

Carmella
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby VickieK » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:27 am

To Dscowan: Thank you for your response to my message. I will try the journal again- it got to be that I was writing down things I wanted to tell him when I saw him- like something went on at work & I would talk with him at home. Then- it came to me- I wasn't going to see him when I got home- I wasn't going to be able to tell him about my day & ask for his advise.. I put the journal away.. But- I will give it another try- remembering that even tho I still talk to him everyday- I don't have to write current events down so I don't forget to tell him..
To Carmella: Thank you so much for your comforting message. I know we are basically going through the same kind of grief walk- I think you understand me because you are doing the same things I am.. I do feel as if a big part of me passed away when he did- I do NOT think I will ever really be able to "move on" without him by my side. I think I will just go through the motions.. It's just too hard. It will never be the same- I will never be the same. We had so many plans- so many things we wanted to do together as we grew older together.. Now- those plans are gone and I am alone.. I know you know exactly how I am feeling..
Thank you for my birthday wishes. I think I will spend that day alone- at home.. But- then- I seem to be spending many days that way- who wants to do anything when you are doing it by yourself??
We will survive this, Carmella, both you & I.. We will be totally different people when we do finally "move on".. if that is really possible.. I am so glad I found this site to share my feelings- it helps to know there are others who feel like their world has been ripped apart-it helps to know that others have traveled down this lonely path & were able to go on living their lives.. Someday- we will too..
VickieK
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby doodle1 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:14 pm

Hi Vickie and Carmella,
I am glad to see that you are both here and seeking help as you go through this very difficult process. I thought that I had turned a corner and was making some strides in this grief journey. But I was terribly mistaken. I have had a horrible couple of weeks. I have come to realize that I think I am in a sad state of depression. I can not get anything accomplished at home. I have all these plans, and I do nothing but sit in my chair and watch tv. I do eat and take the dog out to go potty, and take care of myself. But I can not get motivated to get things done around the house. I spend a lot of time looking at pictures of my husband and talking to him. I am not sure how I went from getting better to getting much worse. Not sure if this is part of the grieving process, but I feel now I need to get some help. I am going on 7 months (March 1st), and am feeling so much more alone than I ever did. I absolutely HATE the nightime. I go to bed and ask my husband to be with me and protect me through the night. Then I wake after a couple of hours and can not go back to sleep no matter what I try. I am 56 years old and feel like I am 70.....

Vickie - You and I have SO much in common, with the way our loved ones passed at Hospice, with us not being there when they passed AND with them not wanting to die there, to wanting to be at home. I feel as bad as you do about this being the way my husband died. I asked him to please not be mad at me when he was there dying, and he said he was not mad at me. But I am not convinced that he was not mad at me.

I will have you in my thoughts and prayers for the first anniversary and your birthday. I know it will be a very sad time for you, but I pray that you get through it with the help of your family and friends.
doodle1
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby dscowan » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:27 pm

Hi everyone -
I am so glad you are using this forum to share your feelings and support one another. The first year after the death of a loved one is full of many "firsts" and numerous difficult times. In addition to using this forum, if you feel your grief is becoming unmanageable I strongly encourage to seek help from your hospice bereavement coordinator or other mental health provider. Remember, you do not have to go through this alone.
Best regards,
Diane
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:09 pm

Hi Doodle1 and Vickiek, how are you both doing?? I wished I could say I hope that things are getting better for you, but I know better. The three of us are walking that painful path of losing our spouses and having to live a life alone, a life that we should have lived with our other half.

Well tomorrow makes one year since my husband passed away and I still feel the same way I did when it first happened. I find myself reliving the day already, from one minute on to the next. My daughter is also feeling that sick gut wrenching feeling as well. Nothing got any easier, I still cry just about everyday, the nightime makes me sick to my stomach and for some strange reason I still think he is going to walk thru the door. I still can not believe he is gone. I have this question haunting me as always, if God knew he was going to take him, why make him so sick and to suffer. The thoughts of living alone the rest of my life scares the hell out of me, but I am going to do it. No one will ever replace my husband and I will continue on just as if he were here. Right now I feel like a zombie walking around, pretty sad and empty. I wish I could skip over tomorrow. But what difference would that make, I will feel like this the rest of my life.

Everyone here please take care of yourselves, I know how sad you feel. Doodle1, I know how you feel when you have things that need to be done. Its like your head says go and your ass says no. Just take it easy it will get done soon.

I know somewhere up in heaven there are three guys that are walking around with big heads knowing that they are so loved by the three women on this site. What a shame they are there instead of here.

Hang in there and take care.
Carmella
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby doodle1 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:29 pm

Hi Carmella,
My heart and soul goes out to you and your daughter today. Please know that I am thinking of you and hoping that your day goes as well as it can. I don't know how we are going to survive this, but I am like you, I know that we will. So sad to know that we will feel the same as we did a year ago, when our first anniversary date comes along. I really have no advice or any suggestions to give you. I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you today, and hope you get through it ok. Hugs to you and your daughter....
doodle1
 
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:14 pm

Hi Doodle1 and Vickie,

How is everyone doing?? I hope all is well, whatever well means. At this point making it thru the day without crying or causing an accident is a decent day.

We had a small memorial for my husband Saturday and I am so grateful to see many family members show up. Even after one year it isn't any better. We are still sad, lost and empty and wondering, why??? I hate being by myselve, its awful. I am still not use to it. I don't think I ever will become use to it.

Doodle1, I want to thank you for thinking about me and my daughter. It means alot to me when you and Vickie post here. I hate the reason why we are here but I thank God for this site. I want to wish you ladies peace and comfort. I know nothing I can say will make you feel any better. But please take care of yourselves.

Carmella
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Re: Grieving Through the Holidays as a Family

Postby carmella12 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:07 am

VickieK,

Just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you. I know that you have your one year coming up as well as your birthday.

I wish you peace and comfort.

Take care of yourself.

Carmella
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