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Old 12-03-2016, 11:49 PM   #1
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First Christmas after the death of a loved one

I had to go back to Ontario to deal with estate matters in September. I made sure I was back in MN for my Dad's 85th birthday and invited the neighbours, had a party (not that I wanted one--but he will only be 85 once). Then November 4th rolled around--that would have been my brother's birthday. Then we had Thanksgiving. Now I'm gearing up for Christmas. Not that I want to celebrate Christmas--I told my Dad that all I wanted for Christmas was for him to get his legal affairs in order. I don't need or want anything, but, as I told him, don't do this to me again. This being my brother dieing intestate, me finding him dead, etc., etc., etc.

My brother always traveled to MN for Christmas. I haven't been in MN for Christmas since 2003. I am trying not to do things the way my brother did. It is so frigging hard to be here doing Christmas knowing my brother won't be here. And, I don't want to repeat things he did.

How have others gotten through the first year of all these milestones? I just want to curl up in a ball in the corner. Instead, I have been making cookies and lefse. I feel like such a hypocrite. The last thing I want to do is celebrate Christmas.

I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:56 PM   #2
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First Christmas after the death of a loved one

{{{hugs}}} CWS. It's so hard, and I feel for you and your family. I was executor for Mom's will. She was found on the floor of her house, barely alive, by her cleaning lady, who called an ambulance. She died shortly after in the hospital. My brother called my cell at work to let me know.

You're doing what you need to do, keeping busy and making good food. Sometimes you just have to go through the motions, keeps you upright.

She who dies with the most toys, wins.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:56 AM   #3
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I'm so sorry about the death of your beloved brother CWS. It sounds like your first experience dealing with the death of someone really close to you, and the first Christmas without them is a real blow, no matter what.
This isn't about me, but everyone I ever really loved died in the Fall..brother, mother, father, husband. I hate the Fall to this day, because I remember both the emotional and physical darkness and the searing pain of those individual years. Trust me, Christmas those years was a real blur and emotionally brutal.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

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Old 12-04-2016, 01:12 AM   #4
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My gran said When Im gone, laugh all those laughs I miss for me. So first Christmas without her and her birthday is 2 days before, we did just that, we tried to laugh and have good time, because that what she wanted for us.

Every one has the right to mourn, it just not getting stuck on the darkside of mourning, you have to, if you can, remember the positive side of you loved one. Make something he loved, try to remember something funny, he would say and happy memories. Cry, scream but never blame your self for being happy.

That is mourning done the right way and it will get easier with time, it wont go away but it is easier. He would most likely want you to be happy.

Yes, this might seem weirdly cheerful, but I was going to be a grief counselor for the Swedish church, when I was younger and this what we where taught.
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Old 12-04-2016, 03:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
...How have others gotten through the first year of all these milestones? I just want to curl up in a ball in the corner. Instead, I have been making cookies and lefse. I feel like such a hypocrite. The last thing I want to do is celebrate Christmas.
(((hugs))) to you, CW. I don't know if there is a magic way of muddling through. Maybe, instead of celebrating Christmas, you can celebrate your brother. Make a favorite food of his, share memories of him around the dinner table, and maybe that will help make his passing a tiny bit less painful.

My MIL died in the wee hours of Christmas eve the year we spent the holidays with them just as our kids were turning five. Mom's wake was on Christmas day, and our kids had the oddest holiday celebration anyone could think of. They survived it and seem to have turned out mostly normal. (Trust me, we were brutally honest in teaching them what death and dying was, so it's not like they thought Grandma was sleeping.) It will be extremely hard to get through this Christmas, and just a little less hard in each of the upcoming years. But if you emphasis the goodness and happy times, you can smile through the pain.
“You shouldn’t wait to be senile before you become eccentric.”— Helene Truter

"Remember, all that matters in the end is getting the meal on the table." ~ Julia Child
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:10 AM   #6
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My heartfelt condolences for your loss, CW.

This will be our first Christmas without our dad. A war has begun in my family as to how to go forward with our mom. Instead of just asking her what she wants and doing everything to make that happen, certain members of my family are playing games, trying to influence her but also do what is convenient for themselves.

My dad would be very angry about what's going on. This is going to suck.
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:27 AM   #7
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CWS, my heart aches for you. When I lost my youngest daughter, the court asked me if I could make arrangements for her four kids or did I want DSS to do it. I chose to take on the chore myself. I knew of two families that were trying to adopt. So I made it possible that three of her children had good homes. Her oldest son went to live with his father and I kept her oldest with me.

Stay busy! It makes the time go by and the pain lessen. I had five kids to worry about. I remember calling my sister in the middle of the night sobbing and asking her when does the pain stop. She had recently lost her teenage son in a car accident along with four other kids. She just let me cry it out. So if you feel the need to cry, then do so. It does help.

There are going to be plenty of first this coming year. And they will hurt. But they will lessen. But a day will come that you won't remember that it is the first....... fill in the blank until a day or two later.

It has been almost 20 years since I lost my daughter. I still have trouble getting through April and May each year. April was her birthday and May is when we lost her. But I keep busy. This year Memorial Weekend came and went before I remembered. The same with her birthday. I hope your pain lessens a lot sooner.

Hang in there. It will get better. You know the saying "Time heals." And it does. You are a strong woman. You put duty before your own pain. Give some of that time to yourself. You deserve it.

BIG HUGS coming your way.

Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
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