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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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The holidays are extremey difficult for me. My wife loved the holidays and went out of her way to celebrate with people. She was able to initiate social engagements much better than I can (or am willing too)

The rain, clouds, add to the feeling of despondency. I live in Northern CA and the smoke from the horrific fires has made it feel like dantes inferno for months.

What helps me is trying to help others with loss. It's so easy for me to think I'm the only one suffering. 

But, yes, the holidays are very difficult, for so many of us, including me.

Christmas has always been hard for me since my mom died in December when I was 9. Frank knew this and tried to make it better. One year we were staying at a condo down south, that had a fake ficus tree, when I got up he had decorated it with whatever he could find. Or he would take me for a drive to see the lights, or to hear carols. Now I just count the days til the holidays are over.

Like i want all the memories but i always feel so blindsided by my feelings it tears me apart i hang on so tightly to anything of him but it is agonizing ay the same time. 

This is my second one.  Frank died on September 15, 2017.  Last year Christmas was hard, but it seems like everyone in the family was trying very hard to just make it through and be kind and supportive of each other.  I followed all the usual family traditions, holding on tight for the sake of the grandkids and extended family. This year seems much harder. I haven't quite put my finger on it.  But it has something to do with the fact that the world has just gone on without him.  Last year I did feel a lot of support for my grieving.  This year, not so much.  Also this year it is clear to me that he is really is dead, that every Christmas from now on he won't be here.  I feel very sad about that.   

Yes Nancy that is it exactly. This is my second year as well and its worse, more painful than anything i experienced last year. Its real, its really real, last year it was just a feeling of get this over with, but not quite concrete. Niw, there is no escaping the loss.

YES!  It's my fifth year and it is extremely harder.  I don't understand...I thought it was supposed to get better with time!  I am happy you have your family to help you.  I have three brothers and sisters in law who are uninterested and don't understand why I am sad....

I live and take care of my elderly mother and they want to come "visit" her even though they don't visit or help all year!  Instead of taking her to their homes, they want to come here and have me entertain them!  Rather than give me some time to myself.  (They don't bring anything!)  I'm just not up to it.  They keep saying that the holidays are for "family," but I also think all year is for "family!" My husband and I had every holiday at our home for 15 years and since he died I did not receive ONE invitation.  (Well, I did get one at last minute but for me alone, they don't like the man I am dating....Do they think I liked all their spouses when I invited them every year??)

I just don't want to hear one more time, "You have to get on with your life!"  They don't get it....

Does this happen to anyone else?  I feel so alone and like I am the only one....especially when I read that people have support of family.

Third Christmas without Janet. I pack a lunch and head to Cape May. We got engaged and married (33 years ago) there. I buy her a gift and one for myself. Write a card from her and one from me to her. Sit in the parking lot, eat lunch, open the cards and gifts.

Sounds crazy I know but look forward to it and feel very comforted at the end of the day.

Its not crazy. I pray one day I will get to the point to feel comforted by something like that. I want to be, i see myself going thru the motions to do things like that, but cant make myself actually do it. I am at work, only a few hours today, just want to go back home. I am irritated and annoyed with myself and all of this and want to wake up and be in a different place and time.

I find how you have chosen to include Janet not only loving and respectful, but also romantic. I grew up in Southern Jersey (Pitman) and know how Victorian  and romantic Cape May is. I have been anxious about my first New Year, but you have helped me to look at ways to bring it in that includes my husband. In the past 10 years I would toast with wine, and he would toast with orange juice because of meds he was taking. This year I will have wine with orange juice and toast for the two of us. The idea lifts me from my funk, and I thank you for the help you didn't even know you were giving. God Bless.

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