I lost my Husband on May 3rd. It was Mothers day and my oldest son's birthday the week we held the funeral and the military internment. We basically just did nothing for the 4th of July which used to be a big holiday for us. Now I am struggling to figure out how to get the Thanksgiving and Christmas without him. We were a very close family and this is going to be so hard. If anyone has any ideas please share. We do not have the money for a trip.
It's barely been three months for you. Please understand that where you are now is completely normal. The first couple of years seem to go by so slowly. Each minute can seem like hours and just making it through a day can be a milestone. We celebrate all sorts of holidays, Mother's and Father's days, the traditional ones like Christmas and New Years, and the personal ones like our anniversary and the day our loved ones died, not to mention birthdays. Those first months and years bring a new holiday that was cause for celebration, and also the pain of our loss. For me, it seemed like just as I was thinking sort of logically, another holiday would come by and it was like tearing a bandage off a painful wound. The scab of that wound would be torn off and the pain of my loss would come gushing out. After the first two years, I did not feel like I was getting anywhere, and one day, I resolved to just celebrate one day and I chose that to be the day we were married, our anniversary. This last Christmas, I was finally able to reply to well wishers "Merry Christmas to you too." And, sort of mean it. This last year I actually managed to get some Christmas Cards out too.
All of this stuff is in your future, for now you have to wade through the pain, the loss, the agony. Cry when you need, laugh if you can, and get up each day and put one foot in front of the other. Read the various posts here, join the appropriate groups, and eventually, you will read something that rings true for you, "Friend" the writer and get to know them, and share with them the story of your loss. The more you talk, the more you vent, the more details you include, the easier you will find it to talk about your loss. Soon, you will meet someone who is where you are now, and you will be able to help them. For me, 6 years ago this December, my wife of 35 years, Susan, said good night to me one Sunday evening and she never woke up Monday morning. She'd had a silent heart attack as a result of nearly 60 years of Diabetes and all the spinoffs from the disease. I screamed, I cried, I was bent over double barely able to breath. I cried till I could cry no more, and yet, just minutes or hours later I was crying again. I was introduced to this web site and it has truly been a God Send. Because of where I live, I was unable to join a grief group down in Denver. I knew of one and had visited their website, but she passed in December, and between the snows and icy roads over the passes, it was three months before I could actually join a Grief Group. Between the actual group that met twice a month, and WV in between, I believe they saved my sanity and maybe my life.
Read, and write, vent, cry, and laugh (you will do that, I promise) and when you are ready, join us in the Chat Room.
Keep it simple. Do not try to do everything the same as before your husband died. It will hurt more if you try to do it all. Keep family close but do not set expectations! You have the right to grieve and no one has the right to make you overdo. No one will understand what you are going through this year...Most of all remember it will pass... keep some traditions but no huge meals or ordeal that will exhaust you. We have all been there...firsts are hard....but possible. Best to you...Give it TIME.
Please remember right now, your loss is still very, very fresh. Try not to think so far out. In a few more months you'll be stronger than you are right now. Like you, I had my own anticipations of a horrid July. Jerry's birthday and our special day were during that month. I can honestly tell you that the anticipation was worse than the actual days. I hope you'll find that the case for you, or better yet learn from me. Don't worry so much about what's to come.
I lost Jerry 3 weeks before Christmas. So naturally it was hellish and I didn't even bother going through the motions of it. This year, I'm planning NOT to have a horrible holiday season. :) I'm anticipating it being better than the last one for sure! You asked for ideas....
Look at Pinterest for some quick easy little crafts you can use incorporating your husband. I made this July wreath out of Jerry's clothes it turned out so cute, I made one for his daughter too. That little wreath did a lot for me in terms of healing and it was so easy to make a child can do it. I've found other idea's to incorporate a little bit of Jerry into each holiday. Each project is cathartic to me. I'm also planning to decorate differently this year. I have plans to create new traditions with his grandkids that wouldn't have included him anyway. I have tested new recipes to use during the holidays and have a few more to test. I plan to buy Jerry "gifts" by adopting a child to buy for in his honor, of course, no one will know that's why....but I will and I'll feel good about helping someone. So, those are my ideas.
I hope you (and I) get more! ((Hugs)) You are stronger than you feel right now Tekwriter.
Thanks Frank, Laura, Misty
that is great advice not to worry too far into the future.
Today has enough worries of it's own. And God gives Grace, our Daily Bread, one day at a time!
Thank you all. I like your wreath. I will look for some of those ideas. The only thing we had come up with so far was to have a buffet meal for Thanksgiving because we couldn't bear to not see him at the head of the table. Maybe as you say when we get a little further away it will be easier.
Tekwriter, sorry for your recent loss. Getting through the first year and all the “firsts” isn’t easy but I found the anticipation caused more anxiety than the actual day. Good advice was given not to think too far ahead, take it a day at a time. Could you downsize the celebrations this year or request help? I bought new Christmas decorations the first year which helped some. Of course, I only have a small artificial tree and do not go overboard decorating—wreath on the front door, done! I would suggest you do only what you feel up to doing. If it wasn’t for my grandchildren, I think I would not have bothered doing anything that first year. But you know, I got through Christmas okay. It’s been some time for me but my husband died suddenly three days after Christmas so I wasn’t sure how things would go.
I do spend some holidays alone but the way I handle that is I treat it like any other day. I fix whatever I feel like eating and find something to keep myself occupied. That seems to work for me. I have only one son and his family and I understand they have my DIL’s family to visit also. I encourage them to live their lives, I will be fine.
You’ll be okay too. We are stronger than we think!