Author Topic: Holidays - how do you cope?  (Read 885 times)

mbanyard

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Holidays - how do you cope?
« on: November 30, 2016, 10:19:14 AM »
Morning All,

I made it through Thanksgiving (Canadian - so October)...well sort of.  I am unsure of how I'm going to be able to cope with the Christmas Holidays, and wonder if you can share your wisdom about ways to handle this. (It's my first MAJOR holiday without my DH and both his family and mine have not been communicative in the least since his passing...the week after the funeral they all kind of left me to fend for myself, as they took care of each other).

Little wisdom would go a long way right now!

Thanks,
Misty
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same....and I choose strong!

MR

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2016, 10:56:37 AM »
GM Misty,

We had major festival Diwali in Nov and use to favorite one for my LW and I was going thru the same emotions as you but just not thinking too much about it and let the day go by as it goes good bad whatever made me thru the day. I cried few times but at the end day was over.
My Inlaws and my family also left me soon after the funeral as they all live in India only my mom was left along with my kids so taking one day at the time is working for me but to many things exhaust you so try one at a time.
With my first WA coming I don't how will I handle it but let's hope for the best. Also winter here in Toronto is around the corner so less and less people on street so you can't even go outside and stand at night.

Hugs and take care
MR

Eddienhp

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2016, 01:53:58 PM »
I don't know if you have kids or not. I keep the focus on my kids during the holidays. If you don't have kids, maybe you can invite friends over or visit them. I was surprised to find out a childless couple didn't have Thanksgiving plans. My family was already booked at a restaurant. If I were preparing dinner at home, the couple would have definitely been invited!

I am a holiday minimalist. I only decorate because the kids want it. I don't listen to holiday music until the day before the holiday. We have few but meaningful gifts. I prepare a decent meal at home. Sometimes me and the kids go on a hike or just hang out. The kids enjoy it and we don't end up getting caught up in all the holiday hoopla. We do visit my mom so sometimes the meal is at her house. Its all low key.

Hope this helps,
Eileen

My life is better because you were in it. You encouraged me to stretch my wings. I will forever be grateful. Rest in Peace Babe. Till we meet again.

Portside

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2016, 04:22:29 PM »
The first Christmas after my wife died, I fired up some long dormant traditions that were ignored over the years as a result of her illness. I organized and held a number of Christmas dinner parties at my home for old and new friends. Lots of cleaning, baking and cooking filled the time as well as provided an opportunity for the kids and me to do things together.

It was not generally a sad period of the year although I did have my moments. The kids were pretty good - they were use to a sick mother and, while sad she was gone, recognized they now were able to be themselves and enjoy the season.

I kept busy and tried not to dwell on my wife's absence but rather be thankful for the blessings that were still in my life.

Good luck - Mike





The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

RobFTC

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2016, 05:00:11 PM »
Hi Misty, hugs from an expatriate.

I would say that an important part is to plan things - don't leave stuff to chance, don't hope someone will invite you somewhere or include you in their plans, or you could wind up sitting with nothing to do and too much time to think.  Go ahead and be bold about asking to spend time with friends - they won't always be sure of what to do about you, but if you let them know, they can often be there for you, apart from when they travel or host close family.  Three weeks after my loss was my wedding anniversary, and I suggested that neighbors get together and tell stories about her - and it was wonderful.  And make some plans for you to do alone, too - anything that you think might bring joy.  I think your in-laws and family are a tough subject, so you will have to figure them out in your heart - and sigh, I so wish that was simpler.

Take care,
Rob T
There was something fishy about the butler.  I think he was a Pisces, probably working for scale.

beth_krkswidow

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2016, 06:00:05 PM »
Listening to all your suggestions.  I have the same question as mbanyard.  Am dreading dreading dreading Christmas.  Made it through Thanksgiving by working all day.  Monday (my birthday which he always made very special) is the day the funeral home is doing a candlelight remembrance service for all who have passed this past year.  So that "first" will be taken care of, albeit with a cry-fest. But that's ok.  What better way to spend my birthday than with a candlelight remembrance.  But Christmas... ugh.  And we were never able to have kids, so there are no kids to focus on.   
"Until my last breath, I loved you more than life itself." ~Kirk, in his envelope to be opened only upon his death.  And now I to you, My Love, until my last breath...

Wheelerswife

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 08:02:45 PM »
I don't have kids, either.  My first husband died in September 2009 and I spent Thanksgiving with one of my sisters and her adult children and in-laws.  Nobody would even mention my husband's name.  It was incredibly uncomfortable for me.  I chose to spend Christmas alone - actually in the chat room with other wids. 

My second holidays were spent with my second husband...future husband at the time.  It is going on three years since he died and I have spent some holidays with family since then, but none live near me.  I just spent Thanksgiving half-way across the country, but I am staying home for Christmas.  I imagine I will connect with some local friends, but holidays don't seem to carry the significance that they used to have. 

I spent the last Christmas I had with my second husband driving 14 hours to see his mother.  A week later, on New Years Eve/Day, we drove back home.  He was gone 10 days later, and I will always treasure the memories of our long conversations on those drives.

If you feel better joining in the holiday traditions and festivities, by all means do it.  Sometimes, the hubbub helps distract you and it passes the time more quickly.  Leave yourself an out.  Park where you can leave when you have had your fill.  If traditions are too painful, try something new.  One of my widow friends spent Thanksgiving feeding homeless people this year.

We do survive this.  It is truly possible to thrive again.  Holidays can make us question this potential.  I know many widowed people who are able to find joy in their lives again.  I found joy again, too, and I am determined that my life is not going to be just full of sadness, even though I have been widowed twice.

Make friends with others who understand you.  Post away.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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mbanyard

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 09:26:24 PM »
Thank you so much everybody. You have voiced some of the things I have already been thinking, so I think I'm on the right track after all.

Thank you for the ear, and kind shoulders to lean on!

Misty
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same....and I choose strong!

beth_krkswidow

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Re: Holidays - how do you cope?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 09:29:15 PM »
Thanks, Maureen. John's birthday is the same as my husband's.
"Until my last breath, I loved you more than life itself." ~Kirk, in his envelope to be opened only upon his death.  And now I to you, My Love, until my last breath...