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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel kind of bad for feeling this way but I really am dreading the holidays. I'd really like to go sit on a deserted island and have a drink alone than pretend everything is ok and try to ignore the white elephant in the room. However for my kids, husband, my brothers widow and his daughter we have to try to make it as happy as possible.

The first Christmas with my dad was bad but I am dreading the 1st one without my brother even more.
 

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I am so sorry. Yes, the first holidays are always the worst. My suggestion - set a place at the table for him (and your Dad) while you and your family are seated at the table, give thanks for the time you did have with them, then laugh at all the wonderful memories and cry for the lost of them but know that they will be there watching over all of you. :hugz:
 

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Why do you feel you have to pretend everything is okay? I don't think anybody in their right mind expects you to be cheerful and jolly while you are mourning the recent loss of a loved one.

I think you'll all be a lot better off if you acknowledge the fact that your brother is gone, and that you all miss him (especially at this time). And then like Debbie-Cat suggests, go on to celebrate with those family members still living.

FWIW, I'm going to a family memorial service two days before Christmas. None of us will be pretending everything is okay and this is going to be a normal cheery holiday. The in-laws understand. The kids know what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess more of what I mean is trying to make the holidays nice for the kids and the rest of the family. I want there to be some joy in the sorrow even if honestly I would rather skip it all.

Yes some people do expect you to be over it asap. NO close friends of family of course as they all loved him too and love me and care how I feel. However the stupid things people can say is amazing such as once we got his remains back in the USA and had the funeral "that I had nothing to be sad or stressed about any longer so why was I". WTH?! Also if one more person insists it was terrorism when two governments agencys have told us no ~I just might scream at them.
 

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Would it help to do something totally different for the winter holidays this year? Not the usual tradition - but something unusual to celebrate the extraordinary nature of this year's holiday time?
 

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The pain in your heart comes through in your words - and would not expect it to be any other way. I can imagine a lot of tears during the holidays - and perhaps some fond 'remember whens'.

Of course your brother would want his family to enjoy their holidays and - since I believe in the afterlife - I can imagine him smiling down at the holiday gatherings and holding all of you in his heart.

IMHO - it would be best to not try to make the holidays 'okay' for the children - they need to know that everyone else is missing their daddy too and that it is okay to cry and miss him - and still get along with life. No one's life will ever be the same - and the loss will always be there - and life still goes on - with a big jagged hole that no one can ever fill, and the rawness of it all will soften......someday......I promise.

The laughter and the tears will intermingle and one day there will be more laughter and fond memories than tears. Until that day, tears are a wonderful way to hold your heart together.

Sending hugs, aloha and prayers to guide you and your family on your journey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mek we kind of changed things up a few years ago when my dad died. I shall discuss and ponder this more . Thanks

Maui thanks. you are always just the kindest. There are only 3 kids involved and two are mine. My brothers daughter is only 4 and doesn't really 100% get it if that makes sense. Our whole family (my side) consists of 8 and 4 are my household. Very small.

Deb seriously I think that is a good idea but I fear if I start crying with my family I may seriously never stop. I will honestly admit I tend to compartmentalize my feelings and just bury the real bad ones and just keep going. I am really good at putting on an everything is OK front. I never really dealt with my dads death as I am the one who cares for everyone else and keeps things going. Hope that makes sense without making me sound nuts. My brothers death is in a sense forcing me to deal with both deaths.

I do not dread the holidays with hubbys side of the family. They are a big, boisterous, bunch and it is easy to forget with all the action, laughter and chaos :)
 

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Mahalo for more information Nodmicks - I know that you will do the right thing at the right time - and only you know what is right and will work for you - aloha.
 
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- how could you do anything else but wing it!! And I know you'll wing it well!!
 
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I feel kind of bad for feeling this way but I really am dreading the holidays. I'd really like to go sit on a deserted island and have a drink alone than pretend everything is ok and try to ignore the white elephant in the room. However for my kids, husband, my brothers widow and his daughter we have to try to make it as happy as possible.

The first Christmas with my dad was bad but I am dreading the 1st one without my brother even more.
God bless you all! I am so very, very sorry that you are going through this! Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!
 

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Wish I had some words of wisdom or great advice, but honestly, I do not know how I would handle what you are going through. Instead, here's a big hug, lots of peaceful thoughts and many prayers coming your way.
 

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Ya know, this is when I wish life came with an instruction manual on this sort of thing. The emotions of memories, losses, gains, and changes. There's no script, no monologue, dialogue or standard guidelines. It's a go with your gut and heart kind of moment.
The holidays are tough because of all that we are surrounded by. follow the love and light of your family and celebrate your moments together. Make new memories and relish the old memories. Love and life is but one chance. Your brother and dad and family and friends of moments past will be smiling on you.
Cherish them, cherish all who are with you and live your holiday in laughter, love and life.

Thinking of you and hoping your holidays become brighter and your heart becomes lighter.

Wishing you peace.
 

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Nod, I hear ya. With my Dad and Stepdad dying in just the last couple of months, I am a little worried about a meltdown at the family holiday parties....from me or somebody else.

Luckily, we both have big boisterous families, lots of children and noise, so it is probably going to be alright here.

My sister passed copies of this out at the brunch following my stepdad's funeral on Friday:

I'm Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

If you're not Christian, or religious in any way, just disregard. I'm sorry you're going through this. I think a brother would be so hard to lose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nod, I hear ya. With my Dad and Stepdad dying in just the last couple of months, I am a little worried about a meltdown at the family holiday parties....from me or somebody else.

Luckily, we both have big boisterous families, lots of children and noise, so it is probably going to be alright here.

My sister passed copies of this out at the brunch following my stepdad's funeral on Friday:

I'm Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

If you're not Christian, or religious in any way, just disregard. I'm sorry you're going through this. I think a brother would be so hard to lose.

Big hugs to you on the losses you have been through. We actually had a funeral on dh's side last weekend and they read that. I bawled my eyes out. It is very touching!
 

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I had my first holiday meltdown the first Christmas after losing my father. I went outside while everyone was opening their lavish presents and having a good time and cried. I don't know if it's jealousy or shame, it's mostly because buying everyone presents while trying not to sacrifice not getting my daughter what she wants causes me more anxiety than it should. It got really bad 2 years ago when my mother decided she wasn't speaking to me. (I'm not taking that real personally, I've decided it's a manifestation of early dementia [w/ paranoia]).
So this years meltdown is beginning with I went to the pawn shop to put my daughter presents on layaway. She was actually pleased, she picked out an ipod and some video games. I'm blessed with a highly intelligent daughter who grasps our situation, and appreciates how hard I work. But the materialistic age I was raised in makes it hard for me to accept buying my daughter used stuff for Christmas.
Now my cat has disappeared. I asked my husbands parents to call the neighbors to see if they would check their barn and sheds to see if he got shut in there, he's not one to wander, only to come home from work and find out that they didn't call, I had too. My feelings are hurt. My husband is actually in the Gulf right now trying to catch fish. He swears they are going to show up. Luckily we have a BP claim in, just in case they don't. He spent a ton of money going over there and somehow I don't think the fish are going to show.
 

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I think one way to honor your brother is to pick out a special ornament..and perhaps write his name of it to hang on your tree this year.

the funeral home that cremated my mother has a tree with bulb's that have everyone's name on it at christmas...actually several trees. I also have one hanging on my tree....even though she's not there in person...I think/hope she's there in spirit.

Yes....you probably will have a meltdown(if your anything like me)...but if you can leave the room....or hold yourself together until you can be alone. My mom died when my oldest was 2 1/2, and that was the worst holiday for me to get through. Holidays are SO hard with the loss of loved ones.

Mauimagic has such a way with words......:)

mrsfoamy...just be thankful that you can buy used gifts. It's new to her..so that's what counts:)
I always say it's the thought that counts...Y/K?
 

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You know, nod, after all the deaths lately, I've been thinking....what I'm starting to realize is that I am going to hug family and friends more, appreciate them more, listen better, love better, be present in every moment I have with them, and really 'seize the day'.

I am actually looking more forward to the holidays this year than ever before, and I've let go of worrying about silly things, as I've done in the past, and plan to just 'take in' all of those who are still here with me at the holidays.
 
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