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Old 01-01-2018, 10:10 AM
 
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I lost both parents 4-5 years ago and as stated am the only child, single and lacking any close relatives. The holidays seem to be getting lonelier and wonder how those like me have coped. I have friends who invite me to their celebrations, but quite frankly it's all so hollow and feel more like the charity case than someone they really want present. How does one cope year after year?
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,356 posts, read 3,528,493 times
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I have embraced being alone...easier for some, I know...

Still plan special meals for myself, hang out with my 3 cats, listen to music, cook, watch movies, read etc.

Have always been comfortable alone but that is something that can be learned....or if you find you cannot do so, invite folks for dinner, have a holiday party, etc.

Be grateful for what came before but now be grateful even if circumstances are now different. It's now a different time of your life, but not necessarily sad.



[/b]
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Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I lost both parents 4-5 years ago and as stated am the only child, single and lacking any close relatives. The holidays seem to be getting lonelier and wonder how those like me have coped. I have friends who invite me to their celebrations, but quite frankly it's all so hollow and feel more like the charity case than someone they really want present. How does one cope year after year?
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:37 PM
Status: "be kind." (set 23 days ago)
 
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I agree with greatblueheron. I think you have to start a new tradition. Set a nice table and invite some friends or single neighbors over. You don't have to do all the cooking - ask each person to bring a dish or get some take out food. Its being with others and being engaged that gets you through!
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Old 01-01-2018, 04:11 PM
 
4,752 posts, read 2,177,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I lost both parents 4-5 years ago and as stated am the only child, single and lacking any close relatives. The holidays seem to be getting lonelier and wonder how those like me have coped. I have friends who invite me to their celebrations, but quite frankly it's all so hollow and feel more like the charity case than someone they really want present. How does one cope year after year?
What I've done in the past to avoid the loneliness that comes with special occasions, like the past week or so, is leave town for a beach in a faraway place where no one knows me, where I can listen to the sounds of waves, try new foods, experience local traditions, and forget about the solitude of normal life. Have you ever tried that as a way of ignoring the entire holiday thing?
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Old 01-01-2018, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Sydney Australia
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You could think about the other way, that your friends who invite you could well be dreading obligatory time with relatives and may love to have you, whom they have chosen to be a friend, join them. You could even help them out by talking to their dreaded old uncle.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:32 AM
 
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I have my son living close by, but otherwise, no family where I am. At Thanksgiving, we have two families that we have been close to and one or the other is always in town, so we go there. We have a great time because we enjoy their company so much. I think they probably enjoy our company as well, so we have not ever felt like strangers in the house. At Christmas, we travel to be with family. I realize that you don't have this.

I think that when you don't have family, it is really important to cultivate friendships all year long. That means you have to go the extra mile of making sure you get together regularly, are a good guest when in their homes, always respond when contacted, etc. I read once, long ago, that people become closer when they do favors for each other. That means both asking for help when you need it and responding with help when others do. Interdependence is part of community.

Having lost my husband and some other family members in the last 5 years, I have been trying to adjust to being alone in my home. It has been slow, but I think I am actually starting to figure out what kinds of outside activities are fulfilling to me, which ones I thought I would like, but actually don't, and how to live on my own without feeling too lonely. I have a dog now, regardless of the fact that I am traveling more now (I have a great dog sitter.) I travel more because I don't hesitate to ask friends to travel with me. I feel pretty free to "invite myself," although not in an aggressive way. This year, when a couple of cousins told me they were going to spend a month in Portugal (they live in Europe) I asked if I could join them for a week of that, and voila!, I am going to spend a week there, and a few days of traveling on my own in England. I never could have dreamed of doing such a thing 5 years ago, but I had to change, since my life situation changed. And I agree that if your old traditions aren't working for you, change them.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,841 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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It can be helpful to "depotentiate" the actual days of the holidays. Shift anything you might want to do that is an observation of the time to a different day or week, and intentionally plan the holiday itself as a low key quiet day. By taking the pressure of expectation of a particular day having all the meaning tied up within it, and spreading that out over time, there can be less stress. That is something I had to learn long before I had even met my wife. It has served me in good stead since her death.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,356 posts, read 3,528,493 times
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Yes...when a friend and I were going through divorces, we took off for the Cayman Islands over Christmas.....really helped us both that first holiday time not being with spouses.

I also went alone to Maine for a week and to Florida for a week...nice nice experiences.



UOTE=Lieneke;50565613]What I've done in the past to avoid the loneliness that comes with special occasions, like the past week or so, is leave town for a beach in a faraway place where no one knows me, where I can listen to the sounds of waves, try new foods, experience local traditions, and forget about the solitude of normal life. Have you ever tried that as a way of ignoring the entire holiday thing?[/quote]
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:34 PM
 
2,187 posts, read 1,532,416 times
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I feel like when we have a family, we want to be left alone. On the other hand, when you are alone, you wish for a family. I personally don't mind of a family gathering or being alone. The difficulty in life is to compromise and get together, and that is so hard sometime in a family. Yet, that's what we call life.

OP, you are not alone, there are people like you or worst than you. Today is no difference from yesterday or tomorrow. It is we human put meaning on a specific date and we call it a holiday. Of course there are reason behind it, but I personally don't care about holiday that much.

It is all in your mind that you wanted something in the first place, thus cause you to suffer with the idea that you are being alone, and being alone seems unbearable.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:25 PM
 
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I live 2,000 miles away from my family and am estranged from my my mother and have responsibility for the care of my father, who has dementia. It doesn't feel like a holiday when I go over to someone else's house and join in their family celebration. This year, I invited two close friends who were not going to be with family, and we had a lovely time.

We ate a huge meal that was really quite good. My dad is pretty detached these days, so once I had him happily ensconced with Christmas music and a magazine, I entertained my friends. We played Trivia Pursuit to the point of exhaustion and also painted some little wooden picture frames I got from Michael's for a buck each. It was a very nice time, and I'm looking forward to the next holiday, frankly.

Holidays don't mean too much to me, but having close friendships DOES mean a lot to me. My intention is to host other gatherings throughout the year just for the fun of it - game nights and brunches, mainly.

I MISS my family, and really, I need to spend holidays with my dad as long as he is aware. But that doesn't mean I can't build equally strong ties with people I have chosen.
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