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I've just had a couple of days of doing very little.  Christmas season was so busy by Christmas Day I was exhausted.I did manage to get through Christmas - just.  I had a few days with my family around, Christmas lunch with one family, everyone else for Christmas dinner at my house. As usual I cooked all day Christmas Eve to be ready.  I am not sure I want to do that again.  So much work and as you all know it disappears so fast! 

Boxing Day ( a public holiday here) ended up being a pool party at my younger son's house, I took all our leftovers from here so we had a lovely lunch. It was a great day for the six grandkids and tiring for Granma as I spent the day being pool supervisor.  And that is what I found I was this year, the supervisor of all the kids.  My two children (my older son did not join us at all this year) wanted to talk to each other and I found myself feeling a bit left out. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but there was no feeling of us all being in it together this year, very little banter around the meal table and everyone looked as tired as I felt.

 My daughter and family stayed for two nights, went home on 27th so I had all the clean-up to do that day and the next.  I had my three grandchildren whose mother works shift work stop over on the night of the 26th so beds and bedding to be laundered from them too.  I find it is all a bit much, I love having them all but they make so much extra work and I am not sure I want to do that every year from now on. Maybe we need to have a Campout Christmas or a Christmas alternating around the family circle?

I think from next year on I will ask if we can pool our resources and each do a segment of the Christmas Day preparation rather than me doing all the cooking. I have done Christmas for the last 25 years.  My parents, my sister and her family and our family used to take it in turns and with an argument between my sister and my mother that suddenly ended.  For a while my Mum and I alternated and then in the late 80's that changed as she developed Alzheimer's and since then it has been all down to me. And frankly I am simply tired and need a change.

This year as last I felt as if there was a black hole in the middle of the family group.  Again no-one mentioned Ray, so sad as I want the kids and grandkids to preserve the memories we shared with Ray, but it is as if that is still a taboo subject. I don't know why.  It seems a little weird to me that a person who shared our lives for 41 years in the case of our daughter is suddenly not mentioned at all, as if he never existed.  No-one says:"Remember how Dad used to...?" and if I mention him the family sit silent and them change the subject.

I think what I am feeling is a case of the after Christmas blues.  It is not as if I am looking forward to the New Year, it will just be another day I spend alone.  I feel as if the year just gone has been a battlefield of emotions and somehow I have survived it, but 2014 will just be something similar.

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Comment by Blue Snow on December 31, 2013 at 6:22am

That so sad that your family isn't receptive of talking about Ray and I am shocked that 'my roses' (below) was told not to talk about her husband anymore. How cruel and insensitive! I don't have that issue with family and friends, I think that's because I was up front about telling everyone a widow needs to talk about their spouse---it's a  normal, healthy need and not an attempt to hold on to the past. To not talk about Don would be to deny me the right to talk about 42 years of my own life and I am STILL here.

I don't blame you for not wanting to do all the cooking and pool sitting around holidays anymore. It's really hard for many adult children to make the transition from "going home for the holidays" where Mom still pampers them to being in charge at family events themselves. I think they tell themselves their parent enjoys doing everything and maybe in the past that was even true and they want that for their own kids as well. But times change and everyone eventually has to find a way to pass the torch to the next hostess-in-chef for family events. On the good side, you have a whole year to figure how to do that...well, at least until Easter.

Comment by my roses on December 29, 2013 at 9:14pm

My roses  (Australia)

I think your comment re getting more people to help and share the load is a reasonable one.  I hope that this occurs.  I have noticed that in general, there is far less help for people who are widowed, seniors or in need of support.   It is amazing to me too, that a loved family member, father etc is not talked about.  I was at a couple's house -long term friends or ours  - on Christmas Day.  I was exhausted from many things over the week.  As I left  I was told not to talk about my husband anymore - they had their own memories of him. Then I was told if I did not talk about him, I might be able to hear something that would change my life.

UH?  I was stunned, drained, and  just drove home to my empty house. Boxing Day was much better. Went out to lunch with a long term friend and he drove me down to the river and we went for a walk  and had a cup of tea.   But even seeing all the families with picnics etc was a bit of a struggle.  This year has been the worst of my life - and I have had other losses and issues before  this.  I then made arrangements to see another friend (a nurse who has also suffered bereavement).  The next day we went up to the Botanic Park and had a drink and talked, and talked.  Yes she too had been battered and  her health was suffering.  We did also talk of spiritual 'events' that we had seen - which was wonderful.  But she has reached a brick wall in regard to people's indifference and harsh comments. 

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