First Christmas without my father not sure how to cope.


Its only been two months since my dad passed. This will be the first Christmas without him. I'm the oldest in my sibling group. I was dad's main caregiver. I still have a lot of resentment and anger about all the things that happened this year before my dad passed. I'm still struggling. I had a terrible fight with my younger sister today about my dad. She basically told me "get over it" and dismissed my feelings, while I was crying about missing my dad. She said it was the life cycle and she didn't know why I was still upset. It seems to me, she is more upset about her divorce than she was about my dad's passing. I find her so insensitive. And now I don't even want to spend Christmas with her. I think I will go to see my dad at his gravesite and bring him some flowers. I cannot expect much from my siblings.

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cdn, I'm very sorry for your loss. And I'm with you on the resentment and anger about things that happened while you were on the front lines.

I lost my mom a little bit over a year ago. I was her main caregiver -- to the extent that she'd allow. So many WT*? moments, so many conversations that weren't really conversations, so much despair. And the perceptions of others were often out of line with reality. How was I sure? By the dim or judgmental or Polyanna comments people would make. And their profound discomfort when I would respond with the truth.

This disconnect has shadowed my grief and "moving on," also. That surprised me a little. Clearly some of this is just me. But wow! Am I really that aberrant? Or are other people really good at projecting an ideal??

Enjoy Chistmas and New Year's however you can. In whatever doses you can manage. It takes phenominal energy to rise above the lack of validation. Be kind to yourself.


So sorry for the loss of your dad

Thank you all for your kind replies. I try to take comfort in your kind words and suggestions. I will try. Hugs to all.

cdnreader, my heartfelt sympathy with the passing of your Dad. We all take our parent(s) death differently. I know this will be my first Christmas without my Dad who had passed suddenly a couple of months ago, he lived in Memory Care. I inherited Dad's silly sense of humor, which Dad had up to the day before he passed. Both my folks were in their 90's.

How insensitive for your sister to say "just get over it". Those are fighting words whenever I heard them. My sig other said the very same thing back when I was trying to recover from a very serious illness. It makes one not to want to be around someone like that.

What has been helpful for me as finding a talk therapist, someone who is around my own age, and who has dealt with an aging parent that had passed. Now when she says "I know what you are going through", she really does :)

As time passes, start surrounding yourself with people who make you happy, who can make you smile and laugh.

My mom passed about 15 weeks ago - daddy passed 4 1/2 years ago so not only my first Christmas without my mom but my first Christmas without a parent at all. Honestly, if it weren't for my husband insisting I probably would have skipped the whole thing but I'm glad he did - as yes, life does indeed go on and I think it's important to to at least make an effort for those still left in our lives who love us. I wouldn't be too hard on your sister who seems more upset about her divorce. It is true that death is inevitable but divorce is not. Sisters entire life's plan has ended along with her marriage and most take their own divorce and a epic personal failure. As noted, grief is very individual and there is no right or wrong way to feel and express personal grief. When my mother was near "transitioning" - a hospice term - I asked my brother if it was possible- would he like me to call him to be with mom when the time came. Brother told me "no" - that he had already said his good-bye. Also, brother had only fairly recently become more involve in looking after mom - yet at moms ashes scattering he was crying buckets of tears. I don't understand it but I'm gonna do my best not to judge it either. Mark this first Christmas without your father in exactly a way you choose - honor YOUR feelings and YOUR grief and leave your siblings to deal with theirs. Shortly after my mom died I made the decision I was done doing anything I didn't want to do in order to make my brothers happy - at my own expense. Give it some thought - it's liberating.

So sorry for your loss. It's been 1 and a half years since my Mom passed and this will be the second Christmas without her. I've learned to not expect my siblings to share in what I felt and still feel about my Mom's last days and her death. I was her main caregiver as well and I don't really even try to get my siblings to understand anymore. I think grief is a personal thing and everyone does it differently.

Go to your Dad's graveside and have your special time with your memories of him. Let it be your personal moment. All the best to you.

So sorry for the loss of your father - you have every right to your feelings which naturally will be more intense due to your role as caregiver
Maybe visit the cemetery on Xmas eve and make yourself a quiet dinner on Xmas day with a good book or movie

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