Topic: The holiday

Today my daughter wanted me to go to see a tree lighting ceremony.
I said no that I didn't want to.
She said it was a special family time and why didn't I want to.

John was her step dad, he hasn't been dead for even two weeks but they, (all my family) expect me to be normal. They don't understand why I don't want Xmas lights and all the crap that goes along with this season.

I just broke down and said "I have just lost my husband and can't do it",then started crying.

I am grieving my love, can not they see that and understand? Why do I have to spell it out for them? They're adults and I have been with John for twelve years!

I just can't do these things right now. John used to do all the decorating at Christmas, he would make our home beautiful for us. We would be outside together stringing lights and silly trains and all the do-dads.

I don't want xmas, I want my John heathy and alive. I don't want to pretend to be having a good time when all I can do is keep myself from crying.
I've done everything they've wanted from me so far, trying to be strong for the grand children but I CAN NOT do it anymore.

I'm a mess. I'm in torment and am so sad and lonely for John sometimes it is an actual pain. I came to Arizona thinking it would be good for me to be away from our home and with family but I think I was wrong. I need to go home. I leave the 14th and really can't wait.

I need more time.


Re: The holiday

Dear Charlene,
                     I know exactly how you feel. I lost Anthony 4 months ago and I have told everyone that I am avoiding Christmas this year. We also loved this time of year and used to go shopping together for presents, the tree etc. This year I am not sending cards, not having a tree or any decorations, not buying any presents (except over the internet for my step daughter and grand children). I am asking people not to buy me presents but to give me donations for this foundation in Anthony's memory instead. Christmas is simply too difficult with our grief, isn't it? I cried uncontrollably when "In the bleak mid winter" played on the radio the other day so how can we possibly join in the celebrations when our hearts have been broken and for you it is so close to losing John -  less than 2 weeks! May be next year we can try a bit harder.
                  Having said all this, I'm sure your daughter has the best of intentions. People try to bring us out of our grief. They just don't don't see that they can't and that their attempts seem very insensitive to us. She is probably very worried about you. Try to explain to her how you feel. After all she loves you very much, I'm sure.
                 I also understand how you feel about wanting to get home. I was the same. I went away after Anthony's funeral with my family and, although I was very grateful to them for taking me with them, I couldn't wait to get back home to be with my Anthony again and all our things. It helps us to feel closer to our loved ones when we are at home, doesn't it?
               Your anger is very normal as well. I have been so angry with some people, especially in those early days, for example, if they spoke to me about their lives and what a lovely time they had had somewhere or if they didn't phone or didn't come round or, still now,  if they don't mention Anthony when I see them. We just have to realise that only those who are, either extremely sensitive or have been through a loss such as ours, undestand us and can relate to us. I still get shocked at some peoples' insensitivity now but I do know that, even those who get it all wrong, still care and so I try to calm my anger.
             Of course you need more time, Charlene. Give yourself time to talk to John, to cry, to think about him and to remember and to talk about how you feel to those who are prepared to just sit and listen and to understand.
              I am thinking of you right now even though I am many miles away in London UK. I care and I feel that terrible pain too. Sometimes, when I am remembering or talking about Anthony to my stepdaughter or to a good friend, I can feel a beautiful sadness and sometimes we laugh together at a good memory of Anthony. These are my best times.
               So Charlene, take care of yourself and keep in touch.

Re: The holiday

Dear Charlene,

Pauline said it well. Everything she said I feel too.  For me it is 3 months & I also want nothing to do with the holidays. It is just too much to bear right now. I like both of you only want to be home where I can be comforted by all the familiar things.

A lot of times, people say or do (or also don't do) things that anger me.  I have to believe that they mean well & are trying to be helpful, but they just don't understand what we are all going through. Unless you have been there, as we all have, they can not possibly know what it is like. We just have to deal with & work through the grief. All the sadness, loneliness, pain & torment that you are feeling we have all felt and are still feeling. Apparently it is all part of the grieving process and is normal after what we have all gone through. Please do as Pauline said & give yourself time. I am hoping that you will find a few people that are willing to listen & try to understand.

Remember that we are all here for you so come on & vent all you want. We are all here to help & support each other. We are all going through the same thing and we truely know what it is like.

Take care of yourself Charlene and keep in touch. I will be thinking of you.

Love & Hugs,

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: The holiday

Oh Charlene, I can feel your pain. It has been two months today that Butch left us, and Friday is his 67th birthday. On the 13th of November we were married 13 years. I am feeling so depressed myself today. So - I know how badly you feel, and it has only been two weeks for you. This is such a bad time of year to be going through this, although - there is no good time, I am sure. Remember that we are all here for you, and we will be thinking of you.

Love - Joyce

Re: The holiday

I echo what everyone else said here so eloquently. It has been 1 year, 10 months since my mother died, so it's going to be my 2nd Christmas without her, and I am just overcome with sadness - still. It's easier than last year, but it's still extremely hard. People don't know that it takes more than a couple of days, or even a couple of years, to get over the loss of someone you loved for so long - someone you shared all your thoughts with, someone you spent holidays with, someone you spoke to every day about trivial and important things.
Do what will make you feel better - go home and "wallow" (as my husband puts it) - be surrounded by the spirit of your husband and try to remember him at his funniest and most alive - the memories of the last horrible days have a way of taking over, and he wouldn't want you to remember him that way. I know - sometimes you can't help it.
Take all the time you need and do whatever you can to heal yourself, and don't worry about what other people may think. This is a tough time of year and only YOU know the best way to survive it. Find someone who has gone through the same thing, or someone who loved John almost as much as you did, and avoid other people for a little while if you can. Not for TOO long - don't become a hermit, or you'll really feel cut off. But I understand and empathize completely with your heartbreak and your anger. No one understands until they've gone through it themselves. But you are never alone here.
Joyce M

Re: The holiday

Charlene...I can't express myself any better then Joy has been able to do.  We are all in this together.