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Awful Holidays


Rage

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There's nothing like a holiday to reopen a fresh wound. I found Thanksgiving to be incredibly heartbreaking (this was my first without my mother). The lack of her presence was felt so much, and on my drive to my family's house, I had thoughts about my regrets pertaining to the situation. It's so hard to grieve the death of a loved one when the relationship was complicated, especially around the holidays, which always produced such awful feelings and (sometimes) fights when she was alive. I hurt so badly, and I wish she would have stuck around longer so we could have resolved our issues (mostly her fault). I miss her, and right about now I'd give anything to get one of her substance abuse inspired calls at 2 a.m.

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There's nothing like a holiday to reopen a fresh wound. I found Thanksgiving to be incredibly heartbreaking (this was my first without my mother). The lack of her presence was felt so much, and on my drive to my family's house, I had thoughts about my regrets pertaining to the situation. It's so hard to grieve the death of a loved one when the relationship was complicated, especially around the holidays, which always produced such awful feelings and (sometimes) fights when she was alive. I hurt so badly, and I wish she would have stuck around longer so we could have resolved our issues (mostly her fault). I miss her, and right about now I'd give anything to get one of her substance abuse inspired calls at 2 a.m.

Rage,

I am very sorry you are going through this, and I am sorry about the loss of your mother. If spending the holidays with your family are too painful and too stressful, would it be better if you started your own tradition of something different? Perhaps volunteering at a soup kitchen, taking a tour somewhere exotic, volunteering to work, or even spending the holidays at your own home alone with some great music, movies and/or a good book could help.

The holidays are indeed the most stressful time for families, particularly if there are serious problems in the family, such as substance abuse. I am an Addictions Recovery Specialist at a prison for my day job, so I understand how substance abuse inspired phone calls can traumatize, yet how you could miss them.

I am sure your mother knows you miss her and love her.

There are times when I wish holidays would be canceled and people wouldn't have to get so stressed about them. I would like to tell you that most people do not have a "perfect" family nor do they have the traditional holiday happiness that everyone thinks they should be having but are missing. At some point, it seems as though there is always a fight between some relatives, never enough money to really shop, time is short, and everyone is rushed.

So please don't feel alone or the only one. My dad died two years ago. Our first holiday season without him was tough, but it does get better in time.

ModKonnie

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Thanks for your kind words. I'm having a hard time because I'm an atheist, agnostic on a good day, so my lack of belief in a god makes this situation all the more horrible. She suffered so much in life, that I am angry to think that she is not catching a break. I don't see death as a break if there is no more consciousness of the deceased. It just sucks. I miss her so much.

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Thanks for your kind words. I'm having a hard time because I'm an atheist, agnostic on a good day, so my lack of belief in a god makes this situation all the more horrible. She suffered so much in life, that I am angry to think that she is not catching a break. I don't see death as a break if there is no more consciousness of the deceased. It just sucks. I miss her so much.

Rage,

I can see where you would have a rough time with all this because of your belief that there is no more consciousness of the deceased. Can you try to concentrate instead on good memories of her? Can you perhaps put together a memorial of her, maybe a facebook tribute or youtube video with her favorite songs, etc.? Would that help? What about if you write her a letter, just to get everything out that you want to say to her?

ModKonnie

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Guest DarkHeart

Thanks for your kind words. I'm having a hard time because I'm an atheist, agnostic on a good day, so my lack of belief in a god makes this situation all the more horrible. She suffered so much in life, that I am angry to think that she is not catching a break. I don't see death as a break if there is no more consciousness of the deceased. It just sucks. I miss her so much.

Hi Rage, I can relate to how you must be feeling, even if it's just a bit similar. I've considered myself an agnostic Pagan (weird, I know) for many years now; my parents were raised Catholic, and my mother eventually disbanded from the Catholic church itself but still believed in God (well, the Catholic one, anyway) until her death a year and two days ago. I don't know if there is or isn't consciousness after death, but one thing must be for sure; as far as physics and nature go, she most likely is not suffering at all. I don't have the words you need to hear, probably, but you are not alone, so please try not to feel that way. I hope you are doing well ~ Take care.

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YellowSunshine

Rage,

Kinda want to commiserate a little with you:

Isn't it just so annoying that people who believe in an afterlife get to be so comforted by the notion of their loved one sitting in heaven? I mean, it's great for them, but frankly, I'm jealous. I wish I could believe that, I really do, but I just can't. Instead I have to sit here and just accept the fact that my mom is gone. Forever. Never gonna see her again.

And so people like us have to soothe ourselves other ways. I like to tell stories about my mom, and call out my family members and myself when we do things that are "Mom-like." Her soul may not live on in heaven, but her personality traits certainly got passed down to my siblings and me, and that's both a blessing and curse.

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I made it through Thanksgiving lunch with my mother and her boyfriend and then cried the rest of the night until I fell asleep. And here comes Christmas. I've coped so far by staying busy, focusing on my son and his love of Christmas, and humor. I hate that this will be my first Christmas without my dad, and I dread the emptiness. But I also know that he would want me to keep going and enjoy things with my son. I think things will get somewhat easier as time goes on- at least I hope so. I have volunteered some time at a local free medical clinic and donated some money and items at our local food bank, and that does feel good knowing that I am helping someone else. I wish I had words of wisdom. I know that your heart is breaking. Maybe start a new holiday tradition? Something totally different, crazy, silly, fun? Thinking of you...

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.”

Robert Frost

There's nothing like a holiday to reopen a fresh wound. I found Thanksgiving to be incredibly heartbreaking (this was my first without my mother). The lack of her presence was felt so much, and on my drive to my family's house, I had thoughts about my regrets pertaining to the situation. It's so hard to grieve the death of a loved one when the relationship was complicated, especially around the holidays, which always produced such awful feelings and (sometimes) fights when she was alive. I hurt so badly, and I wish she would have stuck around longer so we could have resolved our issues (mostly her fault). I miss her, and right about now I'd give anything to get one of her substance abuse inspired calls at 2 a.m.

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Hi Rage, I can relate to how you must be feeling, even if it's just a bit similar. I've considered myself an agnostic Pagan (weird, I know) for many years now; my parents were raised Catholic, and my mother eventually disbanded from the Catholic church itself but still believed in God (well, the Catholic one, anyway) until her death a year and two days ago. I don't know if there is or isn't consciousness after death, but one thing must be for sure; as far as physics and nature go, she most likely is not suffering at all. I don't have the words you need to hear, probably, but you are not alone, so please try not to feel that way. I hope you are doing well ~ Take care.

Thanks, DarkHeart. This is useful in the sense that you remind me that she is not suffering anymore. It's just that all the people left behind are.

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Rage,

Kinda want to commiserate a little with you:

Isn't it just so annoying that people who believe in an afterlife get to be so comforted by the notion of their loved one sitting in heaven? I mean, it's great for them, but frankly, I'm jealous. I wish I could believe that, I really do, but I just can't. Instead I have to sit here and just accept the fact that my mom is gone. Forever. Never gonna see her again.

And so people like us have to soothe ourselves other ways. I like to tell stories about my mom, and call out my family members and myself when we do things that are "Mom-like." Her soul may not live on in heaven, but her personality traits certainly got passed down to my siblings and me, and that's both a blessing and curse.

I'm so with you. I've tried to believe in a higher power, numerous times. It is annoying because we nonbelievers have to suffer the most, which makes our lives on earth (the only ones we have) just miserable. And I know you agree with me here: when you don't believe in an afterlife, you really want to enjoy life, which is not possible when losing a loved one. I do soothe myself in a similar manner to you, and I definitely agree that it is both a blessing and a curse. Ugh! I hope it gets a little less painful for us all.

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I made it through Thanksgiving lunch with my mother and her boyfriend and then cried the rest of the night until I fell asleep. And here comes Christmas. I've coped so far by staying busy, focusing on my son and his love of Christmas, and humor. I hate that this will be my first Christmas without my dad, and I dread the emptiness. But I also know that he would want me to keep going and enjoy things with my son. I think things will get somewhat easier as time goes on- at least I hope so. I have volunteered some time at a local free medical clinic and donated some money and items at our local food bank, and that does feel good knowing that I am helping someone else. I wish I had words of wisdom. I know that your heart is breaking. Maybe start a new holiday tradition? Something totally different, crazy, silly, fun? Thinking of you...

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.”

Robert Frost

Thank you for your reply, SadRN. I do intend on doing something for others this holiday season. Although I'm an atheist, the holidays always have been important because I spend time with my family/friends, and that's what the holidays mean to me. Being without my mom means that the holidays are no longer as meaningful. It just sucks. I hope you are finding peace during this difficult time.

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