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i have noticed how awesome people are with advice in this forum (for dogs and other issues as well). i was hoping to maybe get some of that advice since i feel kind of lost lately.

my whole life i have been a very happy go lucky person and love my family. so holidays are also exciting for me to be able to spend time with family. but this past July my mom passed away from cancer. my family have been very supportive and great (even my dad who has been split from my mom since i was a baby). Thanksgiving was ok, because my mom was a hunter and usually was gone that long weekend hunting, but now with Christmas approaching, i am finding myself trying very hard to get into the holiday spirit. some days definitely are much easier than others, so i have ultimately decided i am staying home the majority of Christmas day. my grandparents live in the same yard as us and i invited them to come have a turkey dinner with us, so i am in my own home, and have a place i can sort of run and hide when i need some alone time. my dad and stepmom are not so much as supportive of this idea. i had made a strong hint at them a few weeks ago that i wasn't sure how i was going to be on Christmas day and that i might just stay home for the majority of the day and just come visit them for an hour or so. but my stepmom keeps making up excuses why it's not going to work (ex. she thought my grandparents were going to Edmonton). every time she asks me again i feel so guilty because i know Christmas is a family time, but i just don't want to be the "downer" on Christmas day. :( :confused:
 

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Coley - my cuddle bug
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First of all, let me express my condolences on your loss. There's absolutely nothing like the loss of a mother. The one who's always supportive and there when you need her. I lost my mom 2 years ago to cancer this coming April and I still cry and still miss her terribly and get so depressed at times I just have to pull and pull myself back up. My Coley needs me and I need him so I continue to live.

You do what's good for you this Christmas. The firsts of everything are just so hard. Just explain to them that this is something YOU must do for YOU. You just might change your mind that day, but keep your options open. If the weather is good, you could take a walk and think of the good times you had with your mom. If you were a hunter as well, take a ride in the wilderness and remember. No one can take your memories away. Be kind to yourself this holiday season.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. I do know exactly what you're going through as many of us here do.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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It is a family time...but part of your family is gone...so the rules go out the window. :(
You lost her so recently.... My Mom has been gone for 30 years and sometimes the holidays are still hard for me...
Continue to reassure you Dad and SM...that you know they are trying to help...but you need to do it your way this year. Maybe offer to get together with them the day after???
 
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yeah, i am just afraid to offend them because they have been very helpful. i'm sure they would understand, but i am just always afraid to hurt people.
 

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You absolutely have to do what is best for you. Your stepmom is probably thinking you would be better off with more people but that isn't what YOU want...at least not right now. Maybe when the day comes you'll feel differently.

Everybody has their own way of grieving and if you want to spend your first Christmas with your memories and sadness, then do it. Grief can't be held in; it has to come out.

My Dad's birthday was Christmas Eve. There was always a party with friends, a special dinner, the tree...it was magical for this daddy's girl. The first Christmas Eve he was gone, my mother died 3 days later, was unbearable. And even after that, there was such a big hole in Christmas Eve that it took several years for me to find a way to fill it.

Give yourself time to rebuild your holiday into something festive again. Your mom will always be a part of it in your heart.
 

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My dad died when I was 13. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for over a year.

The first Christmas without him was horrible for me. My brothers and my mom tried to stay strong but you could still see it in their faces.

Do what you gotta do to help yourself.

Things will get better over time, it's not easy, but they do get better.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss.

My dad died when I was 13. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for over a year.

The first Christmas without him was horrible for me. My brothers and my mom tried to stay strong but you could still see it in their faces.

Do what you gotta do to help yourself.

Things will get better over time, it's not easy, but they do get better.
 

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AAARF!
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I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. The holidays can be a tough time of year when loved ones aren't physically present any longer and it's supposed to be a "happy" time of year.

I think it's nice you've invited your grandparents over for dinner and it sounds like your dad and stepmom just don't want you to be home alone and sad, but I understand you don't want to be a downer. I was wondering what you thought your mom would want you to do on Christmas and how she handled sad occasions. Ultimately though it's your decision and you need to do what is best for you.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
my mom was a very strong person, and when her dad passed away i don't remember ever seeing her upset around my sister and i. even up until the day she passed away she was the strongest women i knew.. not many people can be diagnosed with a terminal disease and look at it and say "i'm going to give you a fight for my life". which she did, and her strength of how she dealt with everything inspires me to be strong, but i do know i can't keep things bottled in, even though i find myself trying to sometimes. i tried joining a local grief support group, but it didn't seem right that for 2 hours straight the coordinator just talked.. it really helps to hear other people's stories, i guess to know that i am not alone (once again something i know but tend to forget). i hope to express to my stepmom why i think it's appropriate (at this point) that i stay home with just a couple people, and that she will understand.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. What about visiting your Dad and stepmom on Christmas Eve?
i'm actually going to be in Edmonton with my little sister that day, because my mom's late husband was from the Czech republic and they celebrate their Christmas on Christmas Eve, so that's going to be her tough day (since she is only 18 and this will be her first Christmas away from home and now without our mom). so we decided it'd be best to spend the day together. but my stepmom did mention something before about getting everyone together on Boxing Day, so hopefully that goes through.
 

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I am so sorry for your loss.

I was listening to a grief counselor on the radio on Tuesday that was discussing this.
She said for many people the best thing to do for the holidays after a loss is to change up instead of following your normal traditions make new traditions. Talk to your loved ones, let them know what you feel will help you get through this time. They may not completely understand but just keep an open dialog.
 

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I have always heard of making new traditions too.

I am so sorry for your loss.
 
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Pumba

Pumba

I am so very, very, sorry to read about your Mom. I know how much it hurts.
My Mom died six years ago and Dad died 6 months after her and Christmas, which was always my very favorite Holiday, just has not been the same. For my Husband and Sister's sake though we have gone on celebrating Christmas Eve together, until my Sister moved away three years ago. Now it's just my hubby and I and we have a friend over. I buy presents for some children at Church, to keep with the spirit of Christmas.

I think if is just wonderful that you are spending Christmas Eve with your Sister-you both will support and love one another-your Mother would be so happy. I would be completely honest with your Step Mom and tell her you don't want to hurt anyone. As far as the grief group, see if you can find another where each person can talk. You sound like such a kind and loving woman and you are in tune with your feeling. Please know that you are not alone ever.

Someone said that people need to start their own traditions and this is true. My Hubby and I are still working on doing that.
 
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I lost my mom a few years ago and it still hurts like it was yesterday. What I've learned to do is take some time and take a walk and just think about her; honor her memory on whatever day it is and then move on. I know she would not want me to be depressed 24/7 (although the first 6 months I truly was) and by setting aside some time to remember and tell her I miss her (and shed a few tears) I feel like I am honoring her on that day. It can and is anyday, holiday or not. On her birthday I will take a hike to where I spread some of her ashes (in the redwood trees) but otherwise I know she is listening in my head and location doesn't matter.

Give yourself some time, have a good cry in the shower if you have no where else and do not be ashamed or feel guilty if you are not the bell of the ball. Keeping emotions inside or oppressed will just make you sick and no one should judge you.

Hugs to you during this hard time. Yes, it gets a little easier controlling the grief but like a friend of mine told me who lost his parents over 25 years ago, you still think about them every single day and there is nothing wrong with that. It just means you are loved.
 

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gone
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i have noticed how awesome people are with advice in this forum (for dogs and other issues as well). i was hoping to maybe get some of that advice since i feel kind of lost lately.

my whole life i have been a very happy go lucky person and love my family. so holidays are also exciting for me to be able to spend time with family. but this past July my mom passed away from cancer. my family have been very supportive and great (even my dad who has been split from my mom since i was a baby). Thanksgiving was ok, because my mom was a hunter and usually was gone that long weekend hunting, but now with Christmas approaching, i am finding myself trying very hard to get into the holiday spirit. some days definitely are much easier than others, so i have ultimately decided i am staying home the majority of Christmas day. my grandparents live in the same yard as us and i invited them to come have a turkey dinner with us, so i am in my own home, and have a place i can sort of run and hide when i need some alone time. my dad and stepmom are not so much as supportive of this idea. i had made a strong hint at them a few weeks ago that i wasn't sure how i was going to be on Christmas day and that i might just stay home for the majority of the day and just come visit them for an hour or so. but my stepmom keeps making up excuses why it's not going to work (ex. she thought my grandparents were going to Edmonton). every time she asks me again i feel so guilty because i know Christmas is a family time, but i just don't want to be the "downer" on Christmas day. :( :confused:

YOU do what YOU feel YOU need to do. When my Mom passed away I didn't even do xmas for 6 years, I was busy looking after my Dad and he didn't want to leave the house for xmas so I stayed put. My hubby went to his family and I stayed with my Dad at his house doing nothing. My inlaws were just fine with my decision and even if they weren't I didn't care, I was going through my own thing.

Nobody can tell you how to feel and PLEASE don't let them even try. The first of everything after losing someone so dear to you is so hard and everyone around you HAS to allow you YOUR SPACE and YOUR FEELINGS!!
 

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Wyatt Earp
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I have always heard of making new traditions too.

I am so sorry for your loss.
This is exactly what I did when my mom passed away. Christmas was all about my mom. She always went all out and made Christmas so special. Chrismas would never be the same without her.:( So instead of a big Christmas we started a Christmas cruise tradition. It started out with just me, my husband, son and father in law. Then daughter in law was added. Now we cruise every December with me, hubby, son, daugher in law and her parents........Everyone is happy, no wrapping, no big dinner mess and I know mom is looking down and enjoying our smiles.
 

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That's what my hubby and I have done now, made a new tradition for us, sure we do the family get together which this year is on Dec 9 and then xmas eve is for his family. Then xmas day we go to the movie at the IMAX. We started doing this now for the past 2 years and just love it. The family thing is just getting too noisy, too many little kids and not enough quiet, we just find the whole thing just a bit much.
 

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You have to handle your grief the best way you can. Just making it through the day is a struggle. You do it however you need to.

My husband passed away in July. He was 37 and he was the one that made everything special at our house. He made me feel so important. He was always so sweet to me. My daughter asked when we were going to put up our tree and I just couldn't make myself do it. Putting up our tree was such a big tradition at our home every year. My mother and family wouldn't leave me alone about it. So, Saturday I decided I would try my best to tackle it without him. Last year when we decorated the tree I told him I wish I had more butterflies to put on it, but the store I purchased them from was sold out. I would get them this year. I climbed into the attic to get the decorations down. I opened the box to make sure I had the right thing. On the very top was a note he had written that said "Buy Kally more gold butterflies for the Christmas tree." I've been on a downward spiral since. I was doing a lot better and now have cried and cried for days. My point to this is....Don't feel pressured! Look where it got me! I was not ready to open that box!!!!! Handle things however you need to, to make it through the holidays.
 

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shadow friend
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I know the urge to isolate is strong but sometimes it's not the best way to go. If you warn them that you may be a downer and they say come anyways - then maybe you should try to motivate yourself to go. Spending Christmas mostly alone is going to change anything. Remembering that others are hurting too and that being together can be a comfort is something to think about as well.

I have a different attitude because I did the same thing - different loss. I look back and wish I had been stronger and been there for and with others that were hurting just as I was rather than isolating myself and magnifying the pain and the emptiness I was feeling.

In the end, you do what you think is best for you - best being, really, what is BEST for you.
 
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