I lost my dad this past year. How can I get through the holidays without him?

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Dear Tropical breeze,
I too lost my dad and his absence is always so apparent during the holidays. The responses to your post are all wonderful and contain great ideas. The common theme is to continue the relationship, keeping his memory alive by retelling his story, continuing the difference he made during his lifetime, being around supportive people who honor your grieving process. You will always miss your dad but the journey is more gentle if you embrace and honor the relationship rather than suppress your memories and personal grief process. Everyone is different and it is wise to monitor and do what serves you.
It does get better.
I lost my Dad on July 17 a year and a half ago and can relate to your question so much.Last year my mother and I discussed all of the traditions, kept the ones that would mean the most to my son and husband and the two of us, and then changed some of the ways we celebrated. We were sad and continue to have moments of sadness this year. You have to accept the sadness and find memories that bring joy to you. This year my son and I are filling some stockings for homeless men and are working in a food pantry. We are also going to make an Advent basket for my mother so that she has something new to open each day. Anyway, it is your journey and it is very personal. Do what is best for you and your family.You will be in my prayers. Rebecca
I lost my dad 6 years ago in February and come the holidays I still miss him terribly. He was a total kid when it came to Christmas. As time goes on you won't miss him any less, it will just not be as painful. During the holidays now we tell stories and laugh about what a kid he was about Christmas. Do something that you know he would have liked, we donate money and gift cards to our local animal shelter as he loved pets.
As a Christmas present for my daughters and grandkids I made a photo book for each of them representing my Mom and Dad's life together. When I was preparing the book it helped to look at the pictures to see that they had a long life together. The grandkids and I talk alot about things we used to do with my parents. The grandkids know how hard this is for me so they try their best to talk about the happy times before my parents got sick. Do you have family to help you through this difficult time? Was there an interest/hobby that your Dad had that you could continue with in his memory? My thoughts are with you
Omg I know, its been over 10 for me and it still hurts like hell but it does get easier!!! I concentrate on taking great care of Mom as he would want that.
Get a notebook and every time you think of Dad, write down things he said and did, makes a great memory book and makes you feel better!!! Hang in there, he is in a better place than us now and being taken care of, he wouldnt want you to grieve for him , I'm sure! So make him happy and remember him and keep talking about him but live your life to the fullest!!
I lost my Dad last December 14 and my Mom May 6, 2011. I am also have problems with my brother with the settling of the estate. Don't see this getting settled for a long time. This whole year has been hard for me. I find myself getting upset at the littlest things. This is going to be a rough holiday for me. Luckily I have my family to help me get through this.
Last year was the first Christmas without my Father... I must say it was hard! I am hoping this year is somewhat easier...There were many of the things I made at Christmas that my Dad really loved. He was an important part of my life all my life.
I do think sometimes we have to just stop back and be thankful for the time they were with us and grateful they are not suffering. My Dad had cancer and it had spread! I promised to keep him comfortable and we did... He was able to die at home, peacefully with dignity and that is a blessing. take care and God bless!!!
I lost my father to brain cancer last December 17th. Technically, this will not be my first Christmas without him, but it may as well be. Last year's Christmas preparations were involved with planning his funeral. :(

As the anniversary of his death approaches, I find myself tearing up more and it does feel good to cry. Spent the majority of Thanksgiving day sniffling away not just about him but also about losing my mother's presence at holidays. After dad passed, we packed up and sold mom's house and she moved in with us in another state. Unfortunately, after a few months the situation became intolerable. She moved into assisted living last June after a huge battle of wills. We've made our peace these months later after visiting her every other day since June.

Understandably, her grief is HUGE. She won't make any attempt to make her life better or even just the tiniest bit more enjoyable. She lives in the smoking lounge a few hours a day and does puzzle books, then holes up in her room for the rest of the day and night to watch TV. I know she is clinically depressed at this point but she refuses any help and won't see a doctor. She won't answer letters or phone calls from long-time friends back home. It's so sad. On Thanksgiving she refused to go to my sister-in-laws to celebrate and I know she'll do likewise at Christmas.

In a way I'm grieving the loss of one and a half parents. Whatever you do, don't stuff your emotions inside. Cry when you need to, nap if you're tired and be kind to yourself. ((Hugs)) to you.
think of all the good times you had instead of dwelling on the fact that he is gone,he is still with you in spirit and he loves you very dearly.
I lost my Dad two months ago, and this will be my first xmas without him. I can't grieve my Dad though because I am having a time of it with my Mom. Didn't celebrate Thanksgiving, spent it with my Mom in rehab after she broke her pelvic bone going up my front steps, she is giving me a very hard time. You are not alone. Thank god for this site!!

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