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Old 11-06-2016, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Greater NYC
2,857 posts, read 4,694,079 times
Reputation: 3751

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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I'll share a personal story. My FIL died just before Thanksgiving and it effected my husband very much. A month later, he was too depressed to get up on Christmas morning do our regular immediate family activities of opening one present, making and eating blueberry muffins, then slowly opening more presents, etc., etc.

Our children, who had also loved their grandfather very, very much were heartbroken that we "did not celebrate Christmas" like usual.

I was very surprised when even years later they mentioned their disappointment in not doing our usual activities. The interesting thing was that they were not little children but in 8th grade and a senior in HS at the time. They said that they would have been "comforted" by spending Christmas as usual, especially since it was our last Christmas before our oldest went away to college.
I think this personal anecdote speaks volumes. There is comfort and reassurance in routine. There can be comfort and hope in tradition as well. (I need to "spread it around" before I can hit you w/ a another rep but thanks for sharing.)
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:39 PM
 
5,605 posts, read 4,159,335 times
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We traditionally have a family only Christmas Eve dinner. My BIL passed away last December 15. A few days after the funeral I got a call from my SIL. She wanted to know what time we were gathering on Christmas Eve. I told her no one would be upset if we skipped it and she said "No, we need to be together this year even more than ever". It was a subdued event, but I'm glad we did it. Lots of laughter, tears and memories of a beloved member of our family. I'm glad she insisted.
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Old 11-06-2016, 03:05 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,538 posts, read 42,708,506 times
Reputation: 57184
Quote:
Originally Posted by chattyneighbor View Post
I'm wondering what most people think is proper protocol - say you lost a close family member over the summer and now its the holidays.

You usually host at least one of the holidays - should you still do it and would anybody expect you too?

I'm thinking - sit it out - enjoy the holidays but at someone else's home. Show respect and skip the big party.

Yeah or Nah?
Keep family traditions, speak of and remember the one who has passed. Maybe if you included others in the past parties, this year, make it just for a small intimate group.
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:16 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,633,393 times
Reputation: 33226
Quote:
Originally Posted by joee5 View Post
Carry on as usual. Live for the living, not the dead.
What an insightful comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I'll share a personal story. My FIL died just before Thanksgiving and it effected my husband very much. A month later, he was too sad to get up on Christmas morning do our regular immediate family activities of opening one present, making and eating blueberry muffins, then slowly opening more presents, etc., etc. He did not get out of bed until late afternoon.

Our children, who had also loved their grandfather very, very much were heartbroken that we "did not celebrate Christmas" like usual.

I was very surprised when even years later they mentioned their disappointment in not doing our usual activities. The interesting thing was that they were not little children but in 8th grade and a senior in HS at the time. They said that they would have been "comforted" by spending Christmas as usual, especially since it was our last Christmas before our oldest went away to college. They said that by not doing our usual activities as a family, (going to church, eating muffins, etc.) it caused them to be much more sad and depressed.
While I agree it's best to try and not stray from the routine, sometimes people aren't up to it.

And your children were certainly old enough to know that their dad lost his dad, but seemed to make it all about themselves. No, "I feel so bad for dad", granted they were pre-teen and a teenager and those are the selfish years.

But as adults they're still saying that?

You should be surprised, because as adults there should be something like "I didn't realize years ago how selfish of me to not think while we lost our grandfather, dad lost his father".
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Pahoa Hawaii
2,082 posts, read 4,547,416 times
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I have a friend who lost two brothers on two different Thanksgivings and won't do T-day with her family, can't stand turkey, stuffing, anything with sage. I invited her here for baked ham and cocktails this year and she agreed. Small steps.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:13 PM
 
3,270 posts, read 1,942,828 times
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My Dad died shortly before Thanksgiving one year. My mother insisted on doing her usual whole-family dinner. She said it made her feel like life was going to continue on, despite my Dad's death.

I think everyone is different; not everyone will be in a mood to attend a gathering soon after a death. But some will need that reassuring routine.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,164 posts, read 57,288,199 times
Reputation: 52030
If there's ever a time for a family to be together, it's after a family member dies.

One foot in front of the other. Have your party; make it slightly more subdued than usual if that's how you're feeling. Be thankful for your family and enjoy their company now.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:54 AM
 
2,572 posts, read 1,042,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joee5 View Post
Carry on as usual. Live for the living, not the dead.
My mother-in-law died a few days before Christmas. I believe she would have loved that we tried to have a good Christmas celebration for the kids. It was very hard for my wife and me.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:40 AM
 
16,724 posts, read 13,670,338 times
Reputation: 40996
Quote:
Originally Posted by reebo View Post
I think someone else should host, but continue on. My dad died the Saturday after Thanksgiving one year. We still had Christmas--missed him terribly, but there were four grandchildren under the age of 5 enjoying the hell out of Christmas and Dad would have loved that. Circle of life and all.
Exactly this. My MIL just died a few weeks ago and we are planning Thanksgiving, to be held at her home with FIL presiding as usual. No reason to change anything. She will be missed but she would want it this way.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:04 AM
 
2,953 posts, read 1,389,796 times
Reputation: 5292
Do what feels right FOR you.

No one should be upset cause you take a year off of hosting.

Germaine- Kids only think about themselves. Life changes. Time for kids to grow up and learn that its not always about them. Years later they complain about it? We could all be so lucky to have that kind of entitled life.

What about how your poor husband felt? Guess his feelings weren't that important to them.
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