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Jude's avatar

The anniversary of my Mom's death is tomorrow (it'll be 4 years). Why was Christmas time (last Christmas) more difficult than now?

Asked by Jude (32112points) May 24th, 2011

It is weird, but, I am not feeling anything (yet). Christmas time, though (the whole season), was awful. Well, up until I reached my g/f’s Mom and Dad’s in the Carolinas.

I am wondering why…

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9 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It can be a very melancholy time when your loved ones are not there.My mom’s and dad’s death get to me around that time too because it is usually the time of year one would get together with their family to celebrate.It is one reason why I don’t like to celebrate holidays very much anymore….and generally think they blow

WestRiverrat's avatar

I am guessing Christmas was when you spent the most quality time with her before she passed.

Vunessuh's avatar

Because holidays are spent with family.

Also, as time passes, you heal more and more and the dates that remind you of your lost loved ones become less difficult to handle.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When we lost our dad, it was harder during holidays because we missed his presence in our traditions, be it a holiday or a vacation where all of the family was there, and he was so involved in that family time together.

I don’t know about your family, but in ours, birthdays are more personal, For a couple of years after his death, I would go out with friends on his birthday and order his favorite drink as a tribute to him. None of the surviving family members got in touch with each other on his birthday.

Jude's avatar

@Vunessuh @ Lucy, and Westriverrat, Yes, that’s why. It is when our whole family gets together. And, my Mom was all about Christmas.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Christmas is always difficult for me, too. It just sort of glares in your face that someone is missing. The family is together, everyone is joyous… but someone isn’t there that your heart knows ought to be.

The anniversary of my sister’s death just passed last week, and honestly I never remember it. I just mysteriously feel the sadness creeping in, every year without fail. When my mother reminds me of the date, then it suddenly occurs to me. I think my subconscious grieves even before I consciously realise why.

Sorry for your loss.

tedibear's avatar

@Jude – My mom has been gone for 17 years and I still miss her like crazy every Christmas. She took the time to make it special for all of us. From the gifts to the cookies to the decorations, she was good at it all. And she liked doing it. I miss her most at Christmas and Thanksgiving. She’s supposed to be there, darn it.

Kardamom's avatar

I think you are doing well with coming to terms with your mother’s passing. It’s not right there in front of you, every moment of every day. But Christmas time brings it’s own special set of memories good and bad. Everything is heightened during the holidays, so the good things are fabulous and the bad things are heartbreaking.

I think if you kind of know that going in, you’ll be able to ward off some of the worst stuff. I recall you saying that your siblings have kind of flown to the wind during the holidays, where when your mother was alive, she was the one who created and sustained the traditions. Since you kind of already know that your siblings aren’t into it as much as you are, or as much as you think they should be, don’t let yourself get all caught up in the “What ifs” and the “Only if they’d do this” kind of thinking.

It’s wonderful that you have your girfriend’s family. You may have to just have to put it in your head, that you and your girlfriend and her family will start new traditions, and you should also ask them kindly if they wouldn’t mind if you introduce some of your most treasured family traditions into theirs.

It’s a transitional period for all of you, but it can be made easier if you get past thinking that you “have to do things exactly like your mom, or else you will be denying her.” and move forward with “we are going to do things differently, while at the same time, respecting mine and my mother’s traditions and it’s going to be marvelous!”

Keep things in a lower key, keep expectations down, try new things and don’t sweat the small stuff. Even if your siblings can’t or won’t do what you wish they would, try not to let it bother you. They have their own reasons, good and bad, for doing (or not doing) certain things. Sometimes the reasons don’t even matter, as long as you are able to get through it without dwelling on it or worrying about it.

And let the people who need to know (mostly your girlfriend and her family) that there might be times when you will have to bow out, or sit in a room by yourself, or simply not participate in some of the festivities. If they know ahead of time that you may need time to yourself, or that it’s too painful to be involved in some of the activities, then they can adapt to that.

In general, I don’t like the idea of online greeting cards, but if you don’t feel like going to the trouble (and agony) of writing Xmas cards this year, send out a very sweet mass note to everyone saying that you love them and care for them and wish them the best at Xmas, but you just don’t feel up to it and you hope they will understand, let them know that you are OK, but you are trying to pare down your traditions a little bit.

If you want, you can ask your Dad and your siblings what they think they might want to do for Xmas, then let them know what you are planning to do. Maybe you can stop by their places for dessert and coffee on different nights, but you don’t have to go to any huge amount of trouble, or not even go at all, and not ever feel guilty about it.

And don’t forget the line from Silent Night “All is Calm, all is Bright.” That’s all friend : )

Jude's avatar

@Kardamom Wow, that was a wonderful post. Thank-you so much!

I hear you on everything.

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