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beth9206

First holiday season w/o my Dad

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I lost my Dad back in August and this will be the first one without him. I am really dreading it and just wish I could sleep straight through to the new year. Does anyone have any tips that might help me and my Mom?

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I lost my Dad back in August and this will be the first one without him. I am really dreading it and just wish I could sleep straight through to the new year. Does anyone have any tips that might help me and my Mom?

You should also prepare yourself for what is called Grief Triggers. These things can blindside you and sent your whole day or week into a spin. Being prepared for them will greatly enhance your chances to cope. The big triggers are things like anniversaries, holidays, special family times, and holidays. It is easier to prepare yourself for the big triggers than for the smaller triggers. The big triggers are expected and family and friends usually tend to naturally support you during these triggers.

It is the small triggers that truly catch you off guard and hurt you more than you expect. A woman told me of the impact a simple phone call by a telemarketer had on her. She was totally caught off guard when the telemarketer asked to speak to her dad. A rush of intense emotions almost paralyzed her on the spot. It was months after his death and she thought that se conquered the grieving process. She was disappointed that something so small caused her to fall back. Many little activities you shared with your loved one is also lost. You will quickly miss those you did on a regular basis, but those you shared perhaps once a year or every few months will hit you later as you realize with time these activities would have been done together. Suddenly remembering something you and your loved one would have done together can trigger deep pain, and throw you back weeks, if not months. This is normal. Give yourself time to work through the new pain. Preparing yourself for these triggers do offer you some vigilance for them.

You must look after yourself by preparing mentally for these experiences. The little grief triggers are very difficult to predict. It can be anything. A song on the radio, a movie, the cover of a book, a phone call, a little note discovered in a drawer, or even the way a door is closed. Anything that your brain, even unconsciously associates with the deceased can trigger a new onset of grief. It is more important however to understand it is normal to experience an emotional tailspin when this happens. There is nothing wrong with you. It is a part of the grieving process. Allow yourself time to rebuild and repair yourself. The sheer magnitude of pain and loss can bring us to our knees. Do not fight this, but give yourself time to think, ponder and work through the details of your hurt.

Perhaps the following quote will help:

John James and Russel Friedman write in their book “The Grief Recovery Handbook” the following piece: “I can hardly bear it sometimes. My most recent wave of grief came last year before her sixteenth birthday. As the day approached I found myself brooding over all the things that she would never be able to do. What did I do? What I have learned to do again and again and again: I did what I believed is the only thing to do to conquer grief and that is to embrace it. So, I cried and cried and cried, and faced the truth of my grief head on.”

Just allow yourself the freedom to grief. You will be able to stand up again. During this healing time, you must focus on yourself and treat yourself well.

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What I'm doing for myself might help. I lost my husband a month ago. I was dreading Christmas, but now I'm sort of looking forward to it. I plan to have pictures of my husband around, a stocking with his name on it, and a new ornament in honor of one of his hobbies. I don't know if this would be helpful to you and your mom, but since I came up with the idea, I'm feeling better.

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What I'm doing for myself might help. I lost my husband a month ago. I was dreading Christmas, but now I'm sort of looking forward to it. I plan to have pictures of my husband around, a stocking with his name on it, and a new ornament in honor of one of his hobbies. I don't know if this would be helpful to you and your mom, but since I came up with the idea, I'm feeling better.

This is a great idea. May I suggest this to other people struggling with the same problem?

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I lost my Dad back in August and this will be the first one without him. I am really dreading it and just wish I could sleep straight through to the new year. Does anyone have any tips that might help me and my Mom?

Beth, I'm very sorry for your loss. Last year was my first - I would suggest simply these:

- try to keep busy

- try to be alone as little as possible (ie with family/friends)

- try to remember/appreciate the holidays you did have together

But above all, don't do what you think you're "supposed" to do or what you read in a book or hear on the radio (etc etc etc), including anything I or anyone else here says. They are just suggestions. Trust your instincts and do what feels best/right for you. If you'd rather be alone, be alone. etc.

I'm also tempted to suggest a glass or 2 of wine but that is also subjective and personal :)

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There are also beautiful keepsakes you can get that make for a lovely commemoration to a loved one. I personally love the teardrops but pick one that reminds you of a loved one - I have a photo engraved of one of my pets as well as a small teardrop with my grandmothers ashes. I wear the teardrop all the time but especially those occasions when I miss her most. Hope this helps!

teardrop urn pendant

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I am so sorry (((UnderHisWings))) for your loss...

I lost my father Dec. 1st. I have not spent the past few Christmases with him so I am spared some of the household grief that way.

I had to find a new way to "do christmas" when my mom passed last September.

My heart goes out to you...you sound like you are doing well...continue the grieving journey and "be gentle" to yourself...wishing you the very best for the holidays.

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