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Old 11-07-2016, 10:19 PM
 
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My mother died right before my father's 70th birthday many years ago. No one wanted to forget her at all but Dad needed a diversion - one day when he didn't have to be alone with his grief. So I threw a large party - well it included our immediate family and a few of his close friends and it was a sit-down brunch - in celebration of his 70 years and we also talked a lot about Mom on that day - how we missed her, yes but also about how she would have loved to be there for his birthday, how she was there in spirit. We had many good memories spread around the table that night and we all felt much better for having done it. I know my father was pleased we didn't cancel his life just because she was gone from it (and ours). It also kept me busy - I was grieving too - but focussing on my father helped me a lot.


The year that both my husband and my father died .. I would have thrown a dozen dinner parties had I had anyone to invite. But, I had to go through both those events and all the holidays since alone - 4 years now. That was/is much harder for me than when my mother (who I loved dearly) died and we found things we could celebrate together to take the edge off the loss just a bit.


That is my story - but, of course everyone should do what is comfortable/helpful for them and the rest of the family who may also be grieving after the loss of a close loved one. OP, I am sorry if that is the case for you and yours right now.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:07 AM
 
50 posts, read 36,913 times
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It's okay to step out of the norm to find what works for you and your family. We have some nice inexpensive state park cabins here in our state, and I'd not be above booking them for holidays, just to break with tradition the first year after a loss. I'd considered it last year after losing my mother-in-law, but it didn't work out due to my husband's holiday work schedule.

A few years ago, I suddenly lost my beloved grandma the same week our oldest son moved away to university. She lived with us for health reasons, and within one week my family went from a busy household of 5 to a quiet household of just 3, and I was devastated. I was in no mood to decorate or celebrate the holidays. We chose to take a short cruise last-minute. It encompassed Christmas Day, and helped make the day bearable.

Your grief is yours, and whatever you decide to do, and in whatever manner you choose to celebrate holidays, I think it's safe to say your beloved family member would want you to continue enjoying life.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:29 AM
 
15,824 posts, read 18,434,141 times
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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?
So sorry for your loss.

I had that feeling for a while after losing my sister, than my brother. I short changed my gardening, and a couple of holidays....just didn't have the spirit.

I then felt guilty, because I knew my siblings would have wanted me to be living for all of us.

Take some time to think how you really feel. Don't think about others, just your gut feelings. Then decide.

Just a thought.....You could turn it into a dedication holiday.....Do some things to tribute them. It is a plus when folks that love people can commiserate with others that loved them too.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
5,281 posts, read 4,560,668 times
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I think it depends on what you mean by 'big party' and who are the guests?

If you lost someone that your normal party invitees knew and loved, it would be less appropriate than if it was someone in your family they didn't know.

In other words, having a party 4-5 months after your loss is not inappropriate. Expecting people to enjoy it while feeling that loss is the more important factor.

Maybe you could scale down the size of the event, change some of the elements to make it more reflective and tie people together. People who have had a loss should be able to celebrate, even if they have a different perspective on life this year.

My father died in october. His memorial service is on veterans day. This will not change our holiday plans at all (we don't have parties, family only)
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:52 AM
 
16,724 posts, read 13,665,130 times
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Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
They're adults now, they still bring it up. That is selfish behavior.
...
Shame on them, especially now that he is ill.
Germaine is likely too close to the situation, but the poor woman's entire family reeks of selfishness. I wish I lived nearer to her so I could help her.
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:07 AM
 
254 posts, read 196,479 times
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Honestly do what you feel is right.

My husband passed away August 23, 2015. I normally host Thanksgiving. I did it last year. I wanted to be surrounded by family and I love baking and cooking so it just made me feel better. Mike would have wanted it that way. He loved being with family and watching me cook and "sampling" the goods LOL

This year is almost as tough but I am doing it again. It helps me get through it. And my girls love it. They miss their Dad but Thanksgiving is a big holiday in our family. Even more so than Christmas.

Everyone is different though and grieves in their own way. I have my days I can barely get out of bed. I;ve had to pull over on the way to work and have a complete melt down I miss him so damn much.

You just take it one day at a time at your pace. Don't let anyone else tell you it's right or wrong.

Take care,
Anna
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:12 AM
 
6,117 posts, read 3,055,610 times
Reputation: 9566
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?
People grieve differently. Some need a longer mourning period than others. Some people never recover.

I personally would continue with tradition. I feel those who have left this this earth would be happier if he people they left behind were able to continue on with their lives. You can be sad, have breakdowns, cry. But I find strength knowing I can continue on. If the missing person enjoyed how you hosted, then I think it would show respect continuing the tradition. So yeah in my book, but that's me.
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Old 11-08-2016, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,577 posts, read 4,780,727 times
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I say carry on as usual. When you stop a tradition you may never get it back. I can't think of any changes in tradition because of death. The dead would have wanted it that way.
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:10 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,429 posts, read 18,139,040 times
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If I had any family left, I would love to host Thanksgiving like I used to.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:14 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,247,246 times
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As has been said, I think you should do what feels right. If you want to have the party, also find some way to acknowledge the absence of your family members. But if you feel it is wrong, don't feel that you cannot suspend it for a year. I disagree that once a tradition is gone, it can't come back. My husband died on Dec. 6, 2014, and was actively dying for a month before that. My family has a tradition of all being together, exchanging gifts, etc. So in early November, I told my sister that I had no heart for shopping for presents. So we gave no presents that year. (It should be noted that we have no children in the family right now - expecting a grandchild soon.) We still gathered, had meals, etc., but we spent time remembering my husband and favorite Christmas memories with him. The following year, we picked up again with exchanging gifts. Same with this year. Traditions do change with time, but we have the opportunity to change them to fit our needs, to give us what we need from the season.
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