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sadandlost

My first christmas without my mom

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My mom liked Christmas.  She liked family togetherness, the christmas spirit,  the food etc..  I never liked it because I always felt so alien in my family.  I couldn't relate to them.  I wasn't like them, they didn't know me really.  I lived a different life, a non traditional life, travelled a lot.  I used to bargain with my mom when we were going to family for christmas.  What time can we leave?  I need to know in advance what time can we leave?  She never really understood why I didn't like Christmas but if you don't feel part of the family gang, being stuck with them all for a day is anxiety producing.  Even worse when they were all coming over to my moms house because you have no idea when they're going to leave!  That causes a lot of anxiety.  Everyone is happy and you're not but pretending to be.  Now that she is gone and I won't be going "home" for the holidays its a very weird emotion.  I'm glad to not be with the family I am now mostly estranged from.  Yet devastatingly sad to not be with my mother who was pure goodness.  So I will be spending christmas alone.  Friends have their own family functions and the closest ones don't even live in the same country as me.  So as I walk through the streets of my city with pretty xmas lights and decorations, watching people rushing around, busy shopping, meeting loved ones, buying excessive amounts of food, desserts etc..  Its an overwhelming sad emotion of extreme loneliness and wondering where I even belong now my roots have gone.  As my friend left town earlier to spend with her mother and family, she said, try to enjoy the day, enjoy life, your mom would want you to be happy.  I realise this is well meaning, I really do but I felt an inner sadness and anger of - you have no idea!!  No idea until this happens to you and you are completely alone in the world.  I smiled and wished her a good trip.

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My father LOVED Christmas. It was the highlight of the entire year as far as he was concerned and everything in our life seemed to always revolve around Christmas. Unfortunately, one year when I was about 14 my brother was killed in a car wreck December 23. From that point on we all had to watch dad fall apart for days on end every year around Christmas. It was all very unpleasant and most of us came to just hate Christmas. The year dad died, we all made our obligatory visit to Mom's house and that day we decided we would all do something new to help us get through the holidays. I now treat myself to a new book or something and don't do anything elaborate around the holidays (no decorations, fancy food, etc). I usually volunteer to work and it has helped eliminate that feeling of dread every year as the month of December approaches. Try treating yourself to something unusual around the holidays (like a mini-vacation) or something to try to give yourself something to look forward too as everyone else is celebrating.   

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I can see where you're coming from. I've never really cared for the family gathering associated with Christmas because honestly, I didn't feel like I could relate to my family that well either. Now this'll be my first Christmas without both my parents and I'm honestly dreading it as well, I wish I could spend it alone too but I know my family will expect me there. I just can't help but feel empty and alone, and surrounding myself with my family will only remind me of my parents' absences. 

I can also see why you'd feel sad, angry, and not too comforted by your friend's words. It just doesn't feel so reassuring coming from someone who hasn't been through what you've been through, because they really DON'T have any idea. 

If you need anyone to talk to, feel free to message me anytime.

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Dear Ash,

Thank you for your kind reply.  Yes I wondered about everyone else spending christmas with other family members when they are grieving.  I wondered is it worse than being completely alone?  I think maybe yes.  At least I can be in a comma with 8 hrs of bad tv or netflix and not have to pretend to be ok when I'm not.  I can be in bed or eat chocolate or cry and no one will know.  So maybe thats better for me.  I'm so sorry for your losses.  Yes having to do Christmas with family when you want to be alone is harder.  Maybe you can shorten the day?  is it a whole day or part of it?  I'm here.  reading your words.  We all understand the pain and emptiness, the black hole of loss.

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This will be my second Christmas without my Dad.  My dad passed away last December, just before Christmas.  As soon as the stores started putting up Christmas decorations this year  I felt this deep feeling of sadness and dread.  It was overwhelming thinking about celebrating Christmas and buying gifts etc.  I really did not want to do it so I asked my family if we can skip gift giving this year and everyone agreed.  We are also going to start a new tradition and celebrate on Christmas Day instead of eve. 

Your friend definitely means well and did try to give you good advice.  Your mom, like my dad, wouldn’t want us to be sad on Christmas.  On the other hand, Christmas will never be the same without them.  I’m hoping by starting new traditions, I can honour my Dad and still not have a painful reminder of missing him.  Maybe find a tradition, that is not so painful but they would be proud we started in their name?  Try to make something positive over experiencing such a painful loss.   Make something good come out of a bad  

 

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My first Xmas without my father. He passed away exactly three weeks before Xmas. It hurts. A lot. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. That’s the only luxury we have- to grieve the way we want to.

The only advise I’ve been given is to not hurt myself and neglect own health.

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On the street yesterday I fell and sprained my ankle.  I was in shock that it happened and in agony.  I hobbled home very very slowly.  Strangely what happened after was the physical pain and shock distracted me from the emotional pain of the first Christmas without my mother.  Now I had an excuse to lay on my bed.  So I took a subscription to netflix and started watching one documentary after another, tv series etc..  The day zoomed by.  I plan on doing the exact same thing tomorrow!  I wanted to thank everyone for their replies.  I also wanted to wish everyone  a less painful holiday season than you expect.  Its not going to be happy for any of us but I do hope it won't be as difficult and as painful as you expect.  If you are on your own, there is always netflix!  

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I didn't watch netflix. I watched youtube instead.
Christmas day is nearly over in my neck of the woods. I spent the day mostly alone except for a couple of hours at my sister's before she had to go to work.
It's been a lonely day, no friends to call, no parents. So, I took a drive around the neighborhood, into streets I've never been before. And then I came home to watch youtube on my own.
I keep thinking - is it going to be like this for the rest of my life? What is there to live for anymore. Some days I get distracted by work and I forget, but always, lurking in the shadows is that loneliness ready to pounce back in.
It might be time to get netflix and watch that with sadandlost :)

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Dear Tessa,

I truly understand how you feel.  I try not to think of what it will be like every christmas when I'm just trying to get through the first one.  I know its a relentless loneliness that never goes away for me too.  Wherever I go whatever I do, with people or alone, its an inner loneliness.  Netflix has helped!  Sounds crazy but it has.  Its also free for 30 days then you can cancel it!  Thinking of you x

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