Jump to content

Young Widow Forum

Register to view blogs.

laurie27

Surviving the first Holiday Season

Recommended Posts

Well, here I am in the middle of the first Holiday season without Mark. I got through Thanksgiving...it wasn't fun, but I survived. For Christmas, one of my widowed friends asked me to make dinner, she is bringing some side dishes, so it will feel like a holiday dinner and being busy I think will help. I also asked one of my friends who spent Thanksgiving alone to join us. So instead of a big family dinner where we might have felt out of place we will just be three friends having a nice turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I hope it works out the way we are planning, I have spent a lot of time crying for the last week, but maybe that is good, getting it out of my system. Take care everyone, and have a Merry Christmas!

Share this post


Link to post

Laurie27, that sounds like a great idea that you are having a gathering with your friends. You could easily avoid the holiday, I am impressed that you are making plans. It's my first holiday too and I personally just want it over with.

Share this post


Link to post

Well, Melissa I'll see how it goes. I can't bring myself to decorate the house this year. I put out a Christmas table runner, and I will display my Christmas quilt, but other than that, I can't even play Christmas carols this year. I am watching Hallmark movies, however, so I am not completely forgetting about Christmas. I'll let you know how it all goes. Take care of yourself...this first holiday. For me it started with his birthday, Nov. 25, then my birthday, Dec. 24, then Christmas, then our anniversary Dec. 27. By January 1st, I will be so relieved!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post

@laurie27 well done for making such great plans. In my first year I was struggling to do the dishes on a daily basis let alone organise Christmas. Having your friends around sounds good fun and as Melissa said, it is very impressive. Don't know you but very proud of you :) x

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The holiday season can be a tough time.  I struggled hard y first one, had tears streaming down my face in church on Christmas Eve.  Having friends and family around helped me a lot, but I couldn't enjoy it.  It is certainly better now, this will be my fourth Xmas since my wife passed, and I can enjoy the holidays again, but have some sad moments and thoughts mixed in.  The first year, survival is a good way to put it.  Hugs

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The holidays are so tough.  This is my first post.  I lost Andy in February, totally shockingly unexpectedly, so this is also my first Holiday season without him.  For my kids' sakes (3 teenagers) I feel like I have to make an attempt at Christmas traditions.  I have scaled back - half the decorations, smaller tree, kids can decide whether they go to certain events.  But survival is really what it seems like.  A couple days recently I've spent with those same zombie-like feelings I had when he first passed. I too look forward to reaching January.  November may have been tougher for me - our anniversary, his birthday.  At least for Thanksgiving itself I traveled and spent with a lot of my side of the family - which is easier for me. Hugs

Share this post


Link to post

For those that celebrate Christmas, I think it has to be one of the hardest holidays for the widowed.  Even if you and your spouse weren’t very “Christmassy”, it is still a time of family and friends and celebration.

For those with children, there is an additional sadness.  We try to fill the shoes of two parents when it is hard to even be one person. There are traditions that just seem too hard to maintain.

The first Christmas after my husband died, I hung his Christmas stocking and I wrote a letter to him and stuck it inside. I continue to do this each year.  Every year, I read what I’ve written in the past and then I add my new letter.  Mostly I tell him what has been happening and let him know that I’m OK.  It has become my Christmas tradition.

I don’t have young children at home, but think it might be nice a nice way for them to include their Dad/Mom in their holiday celebrations.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I am now 7+ years out with a young child and I feel for those going through their first (and early years) holidays as widows/widowers. I was miserable in my first years but I hope it helps to hear that Xmas got better over time....it took some time but over the past 3-5 years, I have been putting up a tree, decorations, doing Xmas-y stuff with my son (and friends), putting up Xmas lights outside as well as going to local Xmas parties. The way I started getting through the holidays was to change my routine and make new traditions for my son and I. I also went away once or twice (to visit family) or spent the holiday with friends (who were also on their own). That really helped....This year I have family visiting and I'm really feeling quite happy over this holiday and enjoying the festivities with my son, although I still miss what was.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Everyone! Well, I got through Christmas. One of my friends is a widow of 15 years and she invited herself over for dinner so that I wouldn't be alone. I knew another friend of mine without family close by and invited her also. We had a turkey dinner. I did the turkey, potatoes, stuffing and gravy and my special Christmas cookies, and my friend did the rest of the side dishes. It was a pleasant afternoon. I didn't do the decorating, however, it did feel like a holiday. Hugs to everyone. Take care of yourselves!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

New here...Holidays are approaching and this is my first year without my husband. He absolutely loved all the holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. He always found a way to make it fun for everyone . He would walk around the house randomly calling out Fa la la la! And me and the kids would answer from where ever we were. It always made my heart smile. We lived together for 8 years, finally getting married onThe winter solstice last year. He was very sick but it was a really good day and I was so happy despite the tragedy I had every reason to believe was coming. I was able to push it away and put all my love and attention into caring for him. It’s how I lived and loved him every day we were together. He got sick soon after we moved in together. I had young kids and I’m still not sure how I managed it when I look back. And I wish to all that is good and right that I could do that for myself now but it’s endlessly hard. He passed on Valentine’s Day and life will never be the same without him. It’s been 8 months and I’m ok most of the time if I don’t let myself think about him, but then there are all these triggers for the holidays that really mess me up. He fought a terrible disease and was sick for a long time, and even with failing health he just wanted to see everyone enjoy the holidays with a childlike innocence that I lost when I was very young. Sometimes it feels like my chest will cave in. I wake up with a panic sometimes in the wee hours of the morning thinking I slept too long and need to check on him or give him his meds. Then I realize he’s gone and it hits me like a tidal wave...again. 8 months later I still sometimes forget. I am surrounded with love and support and not a single one knows the pain I live with everyday. They think because he was sick that I could have somehow prepared for it. But there’s no prepping for the center of your universe to just suddenly be gone. My every moment of everyday was spent trying to help him have some kind of life through a debilitating illness. And it took nearly everything I had in me to do it everyday. And when he passed I got myself back and time to pursue anything I want, but exactly zero desire to do it except to try and show my daughter how to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So I fake it everyday, hoping one day it will be real. I’m slowly reclaiming hobbies I once loved. And talking to people again. I’m thankful that its normal to be at home a lot now because of Covid because no one is trying to drag me on outings to force me to move on. The more tender people treat me the more upset I get. Like they don’t know that I’m stronger than they will ever know. Good God, I pray they never have to know as in depth as I do, how much strength a person is actually capable of and the trauma one can even get used to enduring. How odd it is that I can even miss the bad stuff because it made me feel useful to bring him comfort and take his pain away every which way I could.

i do love my life, friends and family, even myself. AngI’m smiling more, losing weight, doing self care and ask the things that make it look like I’m just fine. But for a couple hours nearly everyday I’m really not. And these 8 months feel like 8 years. I’m tired of being so very alone. But have no idea how not to be.
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

New to this site...My husband passed in mid-Jan2020, and I find myself dreading the upcoming holidays. This time last year, my husband's 4 years-long terminal illness took a turn for the worse and we knew his weeks/months were few. Our holiday season was bittersweet, knowing it was our last together, and my heart now aches thinking about those precious memories from a year ago; the beautiful moments we shared, and now having to deal with the reality of dreading the holidays this year without him. I honestly felt my heart would be cushioned somewhat by being able to create those special memories last year due to our knowledge/expectation of what was coming. Instead, those memories now uncontrollably play throughout my mind as this year's holidays approach. Every joy, every tear, every smile, every conversation, every promise, every pain...it's like I'm in a time warp and I'm living the memories of our 2019 holidays all over again. It takes my breath away at times; affecting me both mentally and physically. Of course, the COVID pandemic has created a high level of isolation, which I feel is both good and bad.  I want it to be January 2, 2021, but I think to myself: "then what?"...The 1st anniversary of his death, and then it all starts over again? Sigh...I do believe this will soften in the years to come, and I want to go forward and continue to find the joy that life has to offer. My "grief fog" was improving slightly the last couple of months and now I feel I've stumbled backwards. I have no choice but to let my grief/memories flow one breath at a time...

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.