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Is anyone else having a REALLY hard time with Christmas, even if it's not your first?  It's my 4th and both my family and I are really struggling. Worst than the first 3.  

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My first one this year. I have people wanting to travel to their place, but all I really want to do is stay home and chill. Being in Florida we always had to go away for Christmas. I have enough hassle to deal with without having to tip toe around the snow banks.

J, do what you think is best for you. Don't worry about what other people want.

I still find Thanksgiving and Christmas hard. My husband died early December in 2015 and  his last Thanksgiving he was was very ill (but determined to still celebrate). 

I think I find it difficult in part because of the nearest to those dates and the many painful memories around that time period but mostly because now there is an empty “chair” that simply can’t be filled or ignored by me  

For now I do my best for my son, I’m hoping with time it will get easier and I will be able to feel more peaceful around the holidays. 

Jerry died Dec 14, 2017, so, technically it's my second Christmas.  Last year I spent Christmas in shock.  This year feels like the first.  I'm trying to be okay but I'm really not.  I don't want a tree or gifts or anything.  I just want to hide out until it's over.  IF only that was an option!

I get some comfort with just quiet. Like my mind goes through my life with Joe especially the holidays we loved them named the turkeys we cooked, silly stuff, but i need to hide i dont know how to endure its almost beyond pain hiding isnt all bad

This will be my first Christmas without my husband....the first in almost 50 years....and I just cant get in the holiday spirit like we used to do. I have gone to holiday musicals and plays …..by myself and with friends.....for a few moments I have been able to smile and even laugh....but once its over and I return home I dissolve into a puddle of tears remembering how happy we used to be during the holidays. I put up a few Christmas decorations but nothing close to what I used to do. My heart just isn't in it. My daughter and I have decided to go away for Christmas. I think it will be good for both of us. I don't think either one of us could take waking up and not hearing him in the kitchen brewing coffee or making his famous French toast. As I've told family and friends....we're not running away...we just need to get away for a few days and try to recharge our batteries. Will it work? I don't know. I'll let you know when I return. My youngest son has a family and  little ones so they are going to do the traditional Christmas which I perfectly understand. My oldest son usually does his own thing anyway so I know he will be ok. Its been so hard just planning and doing things by myself. Even when he was ill and couldn't go with me he was always my biggest cheerleader. He liked seeing me dress up and go out. Even a 70 year old woman enjoys being told you're beautiful and teased about not running off with some young 50 year old lothario. I know I was blessed beyond measure but I admit to being selfish. I don't care how sick he was ….he had gone from 175 lbs to 130...his hairline was receding and he had to use a cane most days....he was still my knight in shining armor and I miss him. Yesterday was Wreathes Across America Day...there must have been a thousand people at the military cemetery he's buried at. Still, I sat in the car over 1 1/2 hours only to be turned away at the gate because the cemetery was filled to capacity. Not to be deterred I followed the cars ahead and was able to find somewhere to park. I had to walk almost a mile back to the cemetery but I did it!. I was able to see the wreathe that had been placed on my beloveds grave. The flowers I had placed there on a previous visit were also still there. Over the last 50 years he had done so much for me.....walking a mile was the very least I could do. I am really not looking forward to the new year but there is one thing I do know.....savor the moments you have with your loved ones, learn to forgive and then learn to forget, appreciate the things you still have and try not to linger too long over what you don't have. Be grateful. Be good to yourself. Take care.

DIVA70, I can identify with your posting in so many ways. This will be my first Christmas without my husband in 49 years. We were married 43 of them, and Christmas was special to him. He passed March 18 of this year from a cerebral aneurysm that caused a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 75, I am 70. He loved having the family over for Christmas dinner, which was held on whatever day everyone was able to come. I wasn't going to have it this year, but the Grandkids want me to, so we will have it the week after Christmas. My husband also had some physical problems, but we were able to get around the problems and keep going. He used a cane or rollator and had given up driving. He was a supporting partner and I miss that so much. I pray wherever you go to get away, you are able to relax. God bless

Hi, this will be my first Christmas without Brian. He was always the Christmas guy. Listening to carols and talking about decorating in July. He would get the tree out decorate it, put up all the lights and get so excited about all things Christmas for me and our kids. I cried the entire time putting up the small amount of decorations outside as I did. I couldn’t bring myself to go all out like he did. It hurt to much. His enthusiasm for Christmas definitely passed down to the kids so I feel like I have to get things done for them. I’m trying to enjoy this holiday as I’ve found life can be brutally short, however the emptiness takes over. 

My second holiday without Joe we started in november our wedding anniversary then thanksgiving christmas his birthday is next week as well. I would have his Christmas and birthday gifts in 2 piles. I decorated a little more this year cause he loved it. He passed easter weekend, i still have bunnies up that i may never take down.

Today, 6 years ago in 2012 this was a Sunday (just like today was).  Tomorrow morning at 0630 the phone rang, it was the nurse at the facility where my wife of 35 years, Susan was recovering from a kidney rejection and broken ankle.  The nurse said, Is this Frank, I said yes, She said that she was sorry to have to call but that they had found Susan not breathing during shift change, the EMT's had been called and they were still working on her. I asked how long she'd been without oxygen and the nurse said at least an hour.  I told them to please stop their efforts.  That day, with that phone call,  my life, my dreams, my love, my world, imploded. 

The last thing the nurse said to me was "Frank, drive carefully and slowly, there is nothing you can do, we will take care of her until you get here."  I arrived two hours later ( we lived that far away) and walked to the nurses station and she took me not to the room next to Susan's but to Susan's room.  I had prayed and nearly convinced myself that there was a mistake, and that in the chaos of discovery somehow got the room numbers mixed up.  I walked into the room, and the nurse closed the door behind me.  She was laying in bed under the covers and they had folded a white towel under her head and over her face.  I lifted the towel and screamed!  It was my rock, my love, my wife.  I kissed her and she was cold. I ran my fingers through her hair, kissed her again, folded the towel back over her face and walked out where I leaned against the wall, and gathered my thoughts for the phone calls I now had to make. 

6 years later, I can look back and write logically and sensibly about that day. Through those 6 years, I've been through hell and back out again.  I have reached acceptance and begun to grow.

((((HUGS)))) to you all...

Frank

Hi Big bro,  remembering that last moment of our loved ones brings lots of pain.  Reading your post tells me one thing;  you two were in real love.  Please celebrate those beautiful memories.  Sending you warm hugs and pray that your pain will ease.

Oh im so sorry the last moments the last week with my Joe, the small conversations we had.  We both were sick, sinus infections, and the weekend Easter was coming up, we were both home. He just was sleeping so much and every time i got him up we would talk, we lived talking about anything and everything.  That Friday, Good Friday , i remember the quiet and me pacing the house, feeling something so off but i couldnt put a name to it. I was with Joe when he peacefully passed, they said heart attack, possible congestive heart failure. I saw it all from far away. I still see it all and feel it and see him and hear him. I both treasure and want to run from that time period cause its like a clip running over and over in my head, you know? Thank you for listening, and for sharing

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