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Old 12-08-2016, 11:51 AM
 
Location: PA
839 posts, read 960,536 times
Reputation: 1753

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This will be my first Christmas without parents alive, it really is just my husband and I. My Dad passed this year, and my Mom a few years back. No relationship (or barely any) with my siblings due to them being toxic and interested in only their own lives or what money they can get off people, and my in-laws will invite us and ignore us so we end up just hanging out with each other when we are there (they lack ANY interest in our lives). Don't want to volunteer, as I have done it several times in the past and I really got a negative impression of the agencies I was helping. I have 300+ volunteer hours racked up with different agencies...I seriously tried (don't judge me for not wanting to help out this year).

I am thinking this year is the year to just hole up in our house and read a lot of books! Or maybe bundling up the dogs and going for a long walk or hike, wishing it would snow! Maybe go to church on Christmas Eve (I haven't had the guts to go to church in last year and a half). Bake cookies, roast a turkey, etc. - I like to cook for holidays!

I'm not wanting to go to my in-laws or travel hours to see siblings that really don't care! I really am not feeling the whole "reach out to people" thing to the fringe people in my life (that hasn't gone well in last year or two), and I always feel I have to make all the effort with my families and friends! I just am not dealing well with the people left in my life - I don't mean to be "whoa is me" but I don't have the energy and encouragement to really find good, loving, supportive people to surround us with. Its going to take effort emotionally even to wrap up the cookies I bake and knock on doors to see if neighbors would like some.

Maybe this is a sign that I am due for a disconnection of sorts...NOT visit family or friends, ignore social media for a week during Christmas, etc. I'm just so sick of reaching out to others, and then regretting it afterwards and wishing I stayed holed up! As much as my parents had faults, when I visited them for Christmas, there was no hunting down and they actually seemed happy to see us. I miss that! I don't think I will ever find that enthusiasm in my life again! You only have one set of parents, I get that, and I guess I am just missing them a lot more than I would like to admit! Plus my Mom would be so impressed with my cookies..."I got really good at baking them Mom, I wish you were here to try my snicker doodles...and my sugar cookies are the perfect golden brown!"
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Old 12-08-2016, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Ohio
5,627 posts, read 4,649,815 times
Reputation: 6732
HUGS HUGS

My grandma ( like my mom) passed in 2013 and the holidays passed with her. My parents dont want us over because we celebrate Hanukkah now..... My MIL is in Vermont doing her own thing. Friends doing their own things too.

I wish i could skip November and December every year. I hate it.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:59 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,480 posts, read 18,177,881 times
Reputation: 18862
If you want to stay home, stay home. If the most important and dear people to you are gone, then there is no reason for you to "fake it" with others. Stay home with your hubby, exchange a gift or two if you want, watch movies, have some eggnog, relax. Nothing says you HAVE to go out. My condolences about your dad. I wish you a peaceful Christmas.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:02 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,480 posts, read 18,177,881 times
Reputation: 18862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohky0815 View Post

I wish i could skip November and December every year. I hate it.
I hear ya!
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:48 PM
 
4,878 posts, read 2,164,669 times
Reputation: 12408
I feel for you. "First" of many moments will be met with grief in all its raw and sometimes "numb" forms.

The first year or two of any celebration was a forced event. Not a natural one.

If I recall....I isolated...and that was as equally unbearable as being with family that chose to ignore that a special person would not be here this season.

Do know that any tradition that had previously been enjoyed...ceased. So that the next group of family generation could create one. Like it or not...life changes...and we are asked if we want to rejoin it...some days it's easy to say...not today. And that is an option. Be good to you...
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
41,089 posts, read 32,773,001 times
Reputation: 57216
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post
This will be my first Christmas without parents alive, it really is just my husband and I. My Dad passed this year, and my Mom a few years back. No relationship (or barely any) with my siblings due to them being toxic and interested in only their own lives or what money they can get off people, and my in-laws will invite us and ignore us so we end up just hanging out with each other when we are there (they lack ANY interest in our lives). Don't want to volunteer, as I have done it several times in the past and I really got a negative impression of the agencies I was helping. I have 300+ volunteer hours racked up with different agencies...I seriously tried (don't judge me for not wanting to help out this year).

I am thinking this year is the year to just hole up in our house and read a lot of books! Or maybe bundling up the dogs and going for a long walk or hike, wishing it would snow! Maybe go to church on Christmas Eve (I haven't had the guts to go to church in last year and a half). Bake cookies, roast a turkey, etc. - I like to cook for holidays!

I'm not wanting to go to my in-laws or travel hours to see siblings that really don't care! I really am not feeling the whole "reach out to people" thing to the fringe people in my life (that hasn't gone well in last year or two), and I always feel I have to make all the effort with my families and friends! I just am not dealing well with the people left in my life - I don't mean to be "whoa is me" but I don't have the energy and encouragement to really find good, loving, supportive people to surround us with. Its going to take effort emotionally even to wrap up the cookies I bake and knock on doors to see if neighbors would like some.

Maybe this is a sign that I am due for a disconnection of sorts...NOT visit family or friends, ignore social media for a week during Christmas, etc. I'm just so sick of reaching out to others, and then regretting it afterwards and wishing I stayed holed up! As much as my parents had faults, when I visited them for Christmas, there was no hunting down and they actually seemed happy to see us. I miss that! I don't think I will ever find that enthusiasm in my life again! You only have one set of parents, I get that, and I guess I am just missing them a lot more than I would like to admit! Plus my Mom would be so impressed with my cookies..."I got really good at baking them Mom, I wish you were here to try my snicker doodles...and my sugar cookies are the perfect golden brown!"
Oh how I can relate!

My mom is still alive but my dad passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, and too young, just a few weeks ago. Apparently this sent everyone else in the family other than me (the one with the biggest load to carry since I'm now in charge of my mom and my parents' estate and finances) into a tailspin of emotion, and long story short, many immediate family members have shown their worst side. Nothing like the death of a patriarch for people to start to act out and lash out.

Anyway, I am sick of the lot of them. Sick of hosting them, sick of navigating their emotions carefully while they bowl over mine with not a thought, sick of catering to everyone but myself - and did I mention that I am actually now physically sick with a hacking cough, bronchitis and laryngitis? So yes, the stress finally did get to me.

So guess what - no one is invited to my house this year. I am not cooking the big holiday meal (like I've done nearly every year for 20 or more years). I am not cleaning my bathrooms and setting out potpourri and spending two hours setting a formal table and changing sheets in the guest rooms and putting out the best towels etc etc etc. Nope. My husband and I are spending Christmas Eve completely alone, and spending Christmas Day with my husband's brother and his wife, going out to eat at the fanciest restaurant we can find in a 100 mile radius - dressed to the nines and completely relaxed.

I told my daughter that if she wants to see my mom, her grandmother, she needs to come pick her up - my daughter has four kids my mom would love to see at Christmas, and that's great. Just count me out.

I don't care if I sound like a Scrooge. I just want a quiet, polite, pleasant, adult Christmas with other pleasant people. NO DRAMA.

People be wearin me out.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:32 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,480 posts, read 18,177,881 times
Reputation: 18862
Good for you, Kathryn.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:44 AM
 
3,967 posts, read 5,257,158 times
Reputation: 4554
I agree. If your Christmas traditions don't make you happy, if they bring conflict and stress, they should be changed. In a perfect world, we should be able to talk with our family members about these stresses and change things so that it all works. But alas, we are not perfect, and neither are our families. So I agree that we need to take responsibility for our happiness, and change things ourselves, even if it means going our separate ways. Keep the things you love, change the things you don't.

I have pretty much finished my Christmas baking, after a two year pause, where I did very little. My heart was just not in it. But this year, I am feeling a creeping return of joy in my heart, so I baked again, and have enjoyed it so much. Most of it will be given to friends and neighbors. I will be traveling to celebrate Christmas with my family. We have come up with some new traditions since my mom and husband died, and I think that flexibility has been helpful.

So I extend a hope for all of you that your new traditions, as well as your old ones, will bring you joy this Christmas!
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Old 12-10-2016, 05:14 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,480 posts, read 18,177,881 times
Reputation: 18862
Thank you dear, GG. I wish the same for you and all our members here.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:51 AM
 
Location: 76102
3,219 posts, read 1,495,745 times
Reputation: 9621
I can understand totally. This is my first Christmas since my son decided to toss us under the bus and go "no-contact". I can only hope he is happy about this decision and his life is wonderful.

My husband and have no intentions of staying at home and pouting. We will go to Christmas Eve church and then on Christmas Day out for Chinese food and a movie.

My husband's family is in the Pacific NW and he might, possibly get a phone call from them. Out of sight, out of mind situation there.
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