973741 tn?1342342773

Getting through the Holidays after a Major Loss tips

The holidays are coming which can be such a joyful and happy time.  But some people are dealing with a loss. They could have had a death in the family that rocked their world, a major break up, loss of a job they loved.  There can be a lot of sadness and grief at this time of year.  Have you ever experienced that and do you have tips for others?
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Following. My father died a few months, and it's already awful, just making plans for the holidays. My parents were married for more than 50 years, so I don't even want to imagine the holidays yet.
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134578 tn?1614729226
There have been so many sudden deaths of children in the news lately, the hit and runs at bus stops and other violent deaths, that I looked up how people can possibly cope with the loss of a child. The article was good, and said that one shouldn't expect oneself to "get over" it, but more just to work out how to keep on living, and that dealing with such a loss is the toughest fight a parent might ever have to fight. I could see that. I don't think I would survive the loss of my son, myself.

When my father-in-law died a month before Christmas, we hunkered in and mostly didn't have a Christmas that year. The next year, my mother-in-law sent out holiday cards that included a note saying he had passed away when he did, but that she just hadn't had the heart to send out cards or do anything Christmasy. I thought that was a true way to handle it. A person handling a loss can only do what it is emotionally possible to do.
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973741 tn?1342342773
It probably IS really individual.  When my mom passed, all the holidays that were the first one since her passing stung.  It was really hard on my sister and I.  We spent that first year doing things differently than our typical traditions we had with my mom.  We planned trips or ate out when we normally would have had a sit down meal at home.  We made each holiday and Thanksgiving and Christmas included very different than our norm and it distracted us.  The strategy worked for us. By the next time around, the second this or that . . . we were ready to face our holiday traditions without the integral part of our mom being there.  

Getting over a child is something I also can't imagine.  And losing a parent is similar in some regards because let's face it, it forces us to no longer being 'someone's kid'.  

My in law family takes a totally different stance on it. I kid you not, at the family Christmas celebration, a sister in law brought my mother in law's Christmas sweater worn by her for years (she'd passed in November) and they  hung it over a chair.  Awkward for me but it made them feel better.  
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My daughter died in May 2018 so the holidays are going to be difficult for her adult son, who lives me my husband and I presently, and for me.  My husband is her step-father and wasn't really very close to her.  My daughter loved each other fiercely and talked twice a week for years.  Though she lived nearly 800 miles from us, we spent Thanksgiving and occasionally Christmases from time to time with her and her family in New Mexico.  The last two years of her life, I drove out to see and be with her 4-5 times in 2017 and only one time in 2018 before she took her life in 2018.  The investigation into her death took six months and only recently concluded that it was self-inflicted suicide.  My grandson and I have been thru emotional hell since this all happened and the holidays are something we just want to get thru this year.  My birthday is just before New Years Eve and and my mother died around Christmas when I was a young woman, so that is always been a difficult time for me, even after all these years.   Unlike most people who find the holidays joyful, I always just want to put the it all behind me and get thru it.  Thanks for letting me express myself.  bjandrews1223
I don't think there is any rule that you have to try to have a Christmas in a year when a tragedy has occurred, frankly. You certainly don't have to go to parties or pretend to be happy, people will deal with being without you. Sometimes I just wish the holidays didn't exist, myself. Take care of yourself, and try to rest, and do your best. (((HUGS))) Annie
I am so glad you found us BJandrews and welcome to the Relationship forum!!!  You come here any time for chat and support, we'll be here for you!

I know I mentioned that after my mom died suddenly and tragically at a young age, my sister and I did things very differently the first year after her loss. We went places instead of staying at home, broke the old traditions, ate out on Thanksgiving, etc.  It helped us to get through that first year. And I didn't care what anyone thought!  And I don't want you to care either  We were coping and you are trying to cope.  It's so hard and that it was your daughter to suicide, heartbreaking!  AND, you have the extra situation of trying to comfort and care for your grandson who as a young person has lost his mother.  That adds a different layer to it.  It's not only your grief you are trying to get through but his.  So, you do whatever you need to in order to cope through these holidays.  Again, welcome and hugs from me too!
Sending comfort and hugs from me too~
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