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Old 12-20-2007, 09:06 AM   #1
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Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

I lost my mom to cancer on 09/01/07. She and I were insanely close. I was like her twin, only 31 years after her! From Aug. of 06 until Sept. of 07 I watched her deteriorate and fight with every fiber of her being. I supported her decision to die. I watched her die. I did everything I could for her. There has been a lot of personal stress for me on top of her passing; however, for the first 2.5 months I held it together pretty good. I said, “I thought I would feel worse.” I threw myself back into work. I probably threw myself into mom overdrive, finding that being a mom was my true comfort and reason to get up every morning.

And then, around mid-November, it hit me. Grief. Agony. Pain. Anger. Jealousy. This holiday season has been HELL on me. I don’t want to celebrate. I don’t want to be around other people (other than my daughter – she’s 4 and still the only one that can keep me on the straight and narrow emotionally – her needs overcome even my sadness). I haven’t even Christmas shopped, I don’t listen to Christmas music and I don’t want to see moms and daughters (not to mention daughters and moms with their grandchildren!!!) out shopping, anticipating the holiday. I feel so isolated. I have my Fiancé in my ear, telling me I need to get my “arms around this.” He’s doing it in a gentle way, but it’s not that easy! He doesn’t understand my pain. He never will, being that he doesn’t have the same relationship with his mom that I had (have) with mine. Getting me to go to his office’s Christmas party is NOT taking my mind off of anything, at all, and when I told him I don’t know how I’m going to feel all he could say was, “You were so much more excited about it last week…” Like it’s something personal against HIM!! He doesn’t understand when I just want to go up to the bedroom, be alone and try to come to terms with this - how much I’m having to learn to live without. For the record, I’ve only done that twice in the 3 months, and it wasn’t even for all day – maybe around 8:00 pm. He’s making it about him, and I sense frustration on his side with me when I say I don’t think I’m going to feel emotionally well enough to be at his mom’s house for Christmas – I want to be home, and then spend time with my dad. Have I mentioned I have a decade’s worth of hate for his mother and couldn’t stomach the site of her on my best of days when my mom was still healthy and alive? Yes, that’s a complication to me in getting thru the day.

I just feel that no one within my “inner circle” understands my pain. I feel that my Fiancé is being terribly unsupportive in giving me what I need and would rather bicker over whose house we’re eating Christmas dinner with – his mom’s (who has his sister and a son in law) or my dad’s (who has NO ONE but me). Isn’t it a no-brainer?

This holiday season I find myself drowning without an emotional raft in site…any pointers in how to cope?

 
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:24 AM   #2
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

All i can suggest is you try to make him understand. Try explaining that your dad needs you this year and if he can't handle that he can go to his mom's without you and your daughter. Your grief is going to suck emotionally for a long time and holidays will be a bit worse than most days. You will need time alone for quite a while to come and it's alright to want alone time as long as it doesn't get to be a habbit. It sounds like your mom was a very special person and i don't think she would want you putting your life on hold to grieve. You must go on. I know it feels like you're alone in this but there are a lot of folks in here that are and have gone thru everything that you're going thru. Keep posting your feelings and we'll try to help as much as we can. Tell your dad that you love him and hug your daughter every chance you get. <gentle hugs> Shane

 
Old 12-20-2007, 01:55 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

Thanks for your response. I am confident in the amount of alone time I require isn’t abnormal (not that you said it was!). Although devastated, I’ve gone to work every day, I’ve been available to my family, friends, etc.; I’ve gone out, I’ve lived life…but right now, with Christmas here and all the things that my mom and I did during this time…I’m feeling horrible. I’m not one to go places and be the object of pity. I LOATHE being the sad sack in the corner, being all gloomy, as much as I hate forcing a fake smile on my face for others. I’d rather just feel the way I need to, alone when I need to, and have that desire respected - especially by my Fiancé, of all people. But that's not so. Thru this entire process - even before her death - I feel as though he's always pushed me in one form or another and it's catching up to me. Our relationship is rocky to begin with and then add this situation and I’m just emotionally drained…and I don’t care about what he wants/thinks anymore. Yet, the pressure is still there.

Oops...almost is crossing over into a relationship health thread, isn't it?

 
Old 12-21-2007, 03:53 AM   #4
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

Hi.

I lost my mom Nov 25 2006 to lung cancer so I know how you are feeling at this time of year. Last year Christmas was very difficult but we got though it and while I have not stopped living this past year I will say that often I felt like I was in a fog and just going through the motions of life. I think this past month that fog has lifted and while Christmas will be hard again I have not held back on celebrating as my mom would want me to enjoy the holidays. She had a zest for life and loved being alive and celebrating any special days so I feel it would be a dishonor to her to not celebrate in a big way.

I think what concerns me more about your post is your relationship with your Fiance and his not being very supportive of you. I think you are right your father needs you and it would be wrong to go spend the day with your Fiance's mother just to make him happy. Women too often compromise in such situations and give in and do not do what their heart tells them too but what their siginificant other wants them to do.

Learn to listen to your own inner voice and be true to yourself. That voice will not guide you wrong. If you are not true to yourself how will you ever be happy in a relationship that forces you to give up parts of who you are? I was engaged years ago a a great guy but one day I woke up and realized I was not being true to myself, I was not being me I was being who he wanted me to be and I knew I would not be happy living that way so I broke off the engagement. Am I sorry I did so? No way. I have learned my inner voice never steers me wrong and I am much happier then friends that decided to settle for a relationship where they were really just being who the other person wanted them to be and not who they really were.

If this guy can not understand why you feel the way you do and why your dad might need you over the holidays and insists you go to his mothers who you stated you have had issues with then maybe you had better take a good long look at that relationship.

There is also nothing wrong with him going to his mom's and you and your daughter going to your dads. The world will not end if you are a part for Christmas day.His family should be willing to understand that this year your dad needs you. Hang in there and give yourself a break as this is the first Christmas with out your mom and you deserve to do what is best for you.

 
Old 12-22-2007, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

Good post Janmarie. I agree one hundred percent. This is my second Christmas without my mom and it is harder in a way than the first. My husband has been so supportive and helpful and gives me the time I need to grieve (even 1 1/2 yrs later). Pitts. if your fiance is not supportive now it could be harder down the road. You are going to need a lot of support for quite awhile. There will be moments when you are fine and a song with play in the background or someone will walk by wearing the same fragrance as your mom and the grief will come flooding back. My husband is always there to comfort me when I do those wild turns from fine to crying. If you need time with your dad take it!!!! Like Jan says you have to be true to yourself, allow yourself to grief whatever way you need to and don't let others tell you what to do or how to do it.

Last edited by Ruskingirl; 12-22-2007 at 09:55 AM.

 
Old 12-22-2007, 10:20 AM   #6
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

Guys rarely 'get it' so do whatever you need to do to get through the holiday and just keep telling him this is all very normal for anyone going through the grief process. Tell him to read Death and Dying. You just have to let him feel rejected this year and take the time you need to hide out or veg out alone. I'm sorry for your loss...good luck to you.

 
Old 12-23-2007, 06:01 AM   #7
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

I understand where you're all coming from...I/We lost our mom to Lung cancer July last year...last christmas was hard but we're all having a harder time this year. We lost our dad 20+ years ago-that wasn't as hard as these past 2 years. Mom was the rock of our family-she was the person any of us could go to - to talk to/ask ?. She's not here physically any more-I know her spirit is with us-but it's not the same. As I'm typing this I have tears rolling down my cheeks... Cherie

 
Old 12-23-2007, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

I lost my mother to lung cancer last Dec 16. Mom had been doing so well, out shopping , decorating the tree and planning for everyone to be there for Christmas since we knew it most likely would be her last. Then suddenly she did not feel well. Dr thought it was a touch of the flu as eveything seemed to be the same with no real concern at the moment. Then mom passed quickly. I was flying in on the 22nd and we were going to finish our Christmas shopping and go out to dinner. Instead on the 22nd we buried my mom.

Everyone wanted to have the Christmas she had planned. I just wanted to go home. I did not feel like being there or celebrating but for my siblings I did. It was the worst Christmas of my life. I opened my present from mom that she had bought just 3 days before she passed away. My sister made the dinner mom had planned. What a horrible day it was! I thought this year would be equally as bad but I am surprised that I am doing as well as I am. I have my good days and my bad. My mother was my best friend and I miss her terribly everyday. How do you live without someone who has been there everyday of your life and then is gone?

I know what you are going through. Everyone grieves differently. Some move on and don't look back. Others like me cannot stop looking back. I totally understand your pain. This year it is very important that you be there for your dad. I can only imagine what this will be like for him. Your fiance' and his mother need to understand. If they don't then I would reconsider a future with that family. Right now your family needs you and you need them. Each Christmas will get easier. The first of everything is the hardest. Mothers Day was very hard for me. Also my Mothers Birthday. This was the first Birthday of my life that I did not receive a card from my mom.

Your fiance has to understand. He still has his mother and has no idea what you are going through. He can NOT tell you how to grieve. You may want to consider joining a grievance support group. I did when my dad died 10 years ago It helped. It took me 3 years to come to terms with my dads death. When my mom died I expected to go through the same thing even worse since I was closer to her but it has been easier. I have determined that I was not grieveing for my dad but rather for my mom and how she was alone and how it changed her life forever. I felt her pain and I wanted to make it better but I couldn't. I know mom and dad are together now so maybe that is why I am dealing with it better but I miss her terribly! I grieve when no one is home. I cry in the shower or by myself. I cry in the car but my family never sees me so I am sure they think I am just fine with it. But I am not. My dogs are the only ones who understand. They are there for me everyday just laying in my lap. Maybe your fiance' should be more like them!

Last edited by SanDee53; 12-23-2007 at 10:08 AM.

 
Old 12-26-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

Your replies have been greatly appreciated! Thank you all so very much. My Fiancé and I had many long discussions and, quite honestly, this issue is just one of many. However, I did make sure to put myself and my emotional needs first and foremost and I was pleasantly surprised how well I got thru Christmas Eve and Day. I lost myself in cooking and made my “traditional” Christmas Eve meal of turkey, etc., which my dad came over for, and then we visited my best friend’s house for a while. I adore her family and have taken them on as my own, so being with them helped me. Xmas day I did meet the Fiancé at his mom’s house and then left to have dinner again with my father. (I have no siblings.) In that, I feel as though I survived the holidays much better than I expected. Again, my daughter (who’s 4) is the light of my life and the one keeping me on the straight and narrow. Being her mom and giving her the best of everything is my ultimate goal and it keeps me preoccupied in a very good way. I did much better than I thought I would with it all, but I still miss her so much and have moments where I still can’t believe the past year plus has happened.

But for my Baby Girl…I go on!

 
Old 12-26-2007, 08:14 PM   #10
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

Alot of this sounds familiar. My mother died on December 7th, 1980 after battling cancer for several years. She spent the last few weeks of her life in the hospital. We brought her Thanksgiving dinner to her..I had cooked and we made her a good meal.
It is interesting because though I had pretty much accepted her passing, we knew it was coming, it was still hard.
But as years passed, it got much better. But for some reason, this year (27 years later) it was very hard again. I spent Thanksgiving all down and out, and cried because I missed my mother. And then Christmas....I had to pull over one time because a Christmas song on the radio got to me.
I guess that coping comes easy over time..then once in a while things will happen that make it hard.
But I think we all make it through.

 
Old 12-27-2007, 08:01 PM   #11
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Re: Suggestions how to cope w/first Xmas w/o mom and feeling unsupported?

Pittsburg, I'm proud of you! You made it, you survived, and that's to be applauded. Partly because you chose to, and partly because you had no choice but to, but the way in which you did it is admirable.

I lost my 11 year old daughter suddenly in a car accident a year and a half ago and 7 years prior, I too lost my mom who was my best friend. I was in tourments for years and one day I woke up with this revelation: Mom and I are going to the same place, she's just caught an earlier flight than me.

Loosing my mom helped prepare me for the loss of my daughter. I recommend reading this book: Holding onto Hope by Nancy Guthrie. It helped me tremendously!

One minute at a time, one day at a time, and one year at a time Pittsburg, and one day you'll look back and be amazed how you've made it this far.

Be blessed and stay encouraged!
__________________
"There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise ..." -- Proverbs 21:20

 
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