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The first year after Mom died, Dad and I had friends from the church over for dinner that did not have families they were able to spend the day with.
My husband died in early November, and Thanksgiving was tough because we had always hosted Thanksgiving dinner for his family. We went ahead and did it again, in memory of him, until I sold the house last year. The one that was hard was New Year; my son and DIL and I went to my sister-in-law's for Christmas, and then I went with him and his wife to her folks, who live some distance away but in the same city as some of my own family. I spent New Year's Eve with DIL's family, and they did their family Christmas on New Year's so they could include us, and then I spent a couple of days with a niece I had grown up with--at that point, I needed to be with my own people, especially ones who had been close to my husband as well.
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I find I will always miss my mom, however the first set of holidays are the most difficult. I used remembrance as a way to cope, I remembered all the traditions and the times we spent in the past, I've tried to pass those traditions on to my family members. Our loved ones are always with us in our hearts and our memories. Cherish those moments as a way of honoring her.
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Dear Katiekat2009: This is my third Christmas without my mom. That first year of holidays, birthdays, and special moments was definitely the hardest, especially on Christmas and Mother's Day. What I did, and still do to this day is to focus on all the good memories I had with her pertaining to the specific holiday. For example, and this is just one of many, on Christmas when she was well enough to go places, I would take her to our home and decorate the tree while she pulled the ornaments out of the boxes (sitting in her favorite chair) then handed them to me. Most of our ornaments have something a special memory attached to them. I would play her favorite Christmas music and after we were done, I would sit with her and just look at the tree with the lights on. I still do this now even though she is no longer with us, but the memories are there, and it seems like she is still there in that chair with me. Sometimes the memories still bring tears to my eyes, but they are really happy tears because they remind me of the "good ol' days". Each of us has to grieve and "remember" in our own ways, but whatever way that may be, it takes time and patience. God bless you this Christmas as you go through this difficult time. Remember to take care of yourself -- it helps to keep you strong.
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Perhaps start a new tradition of some sort - whether it's going away or eating something different. Not to ignore the memory of her or the pain of her loss, but to help you cope.
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My Mother also died in April on Easter Sunday at the age of 98. We all miss her but she was ready and we have a lot of happy memories. When I decorated the Christmas Tree this year and again saw the Christmas ornaments she made it was a good feeling. May God Bless you.
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And don't let anyone tell you what you "should" do. You know that yourself so do what is "necessary" for you. Those close to you will understand, even if it's to just sit quietly with you and be there if you need them.
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I'm sure you remember hearing your Mom laugh and seeing her smile, even if it was a long time ago. Try to do things that would make your Mom laugh/smile/giggle/or some sort of tradition. It could be making her favorite holiday cookies; doing something you know would make her smile or giggle, torture her next door neighbor she never liked (HA! just kidding...sort of :: smile ::)

Don't be afraid to reminisce - tell stories about your mom to your family and friends that will make all of you smile. It's okay if you cry. They will understand. You can never replace your loss of her, but you can ensure she lives on.

I wish I had done that. I was just a heap of sadness and grief for many years. So, please, learn from me. I'm in so much trouble next time I see her (in the afterlife), it's not even funny. Hopefully my advice to you will gain me a few brownie points.. ;)

Hang in there! When all is said and done...your Mom must've been quite a special person to evoke these emotions from you. You are lucky for that. So was I. (( HUGS ))
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katiekat, you are entering what I call "The Year of Firsts" - first Christmas without X, first birthday, etc. I am far from the poster child on accepting and dealing with death of a loved one. Frankly, it just sucks and you just have to cry/plow through it.

I'm rather hopeful others on this board can offer you ways to cope than I can. All I can offer to say is... don't beat yourself up if you find yourself crying - not just during holidays but at weird/odd moments like in grocery stores when you see something your Mom may have liked to try.

It's a process. Hopefully, yours will be faster than mine.
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Everybody has a different experience with loss, if you are open to it, you might try adopting a needy family for the holidays, or even one child who doesn't have parents. It would take your mind off of yourself.
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The holidays are a very hard time of year, but It could help to possibly do taxes, as you'll be prepared in advance for April 15th, and doing something such as taxes hopefully won't bring on sentimental feelings. Hope all goes well.
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I'm fine and I don't get mad that would be wrong, but here one question I like to ask you.
Based on what Katie said and Katie only what made you mention anything about being religious? That my point! to give your wonderful information, Be Blessed
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MY condolences to you, first and foremost. And I understand completely. I lost my mother this past October, one day before her 83rd birthday. And as I was her caregiver for 15 years it feels so surreal that she is not here, and with the holidays here I have decided to invest the emotional time in myself. And I realize also this is a time for healing and being gentle with myself. And I was given a good piece of advice from a very good and trusted friend... I was told to "make yourself your own project. You were your mother's caregiver for 15 years, and now is the time to re-discover who you are. Yes you will visit "grief" on occasion, but you do not have to live there. Experience life again ..do the things that you took pleasure in that you never really had the time to do before. Don't just "eat a sandwich", prepare a feast for you! And this is so true. This thanksgiving went by, and it was okay, I was okay. Actually I was more surprised by how well I did feel... I know my mother would have wanted me to get on with my life...and I feel the best way to honor her memory is to live, and live well physically and emotionally. I still have those moments of sadness, but that is okay.....it just tells me that I am thinking of her and it is then I think of that moment, that "trigger" and feel what I need to feel. And then I move on. I will always remember my mother, and I certainly hope so! :-) Good luck and the best to you and yours
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I lost my mom in June so I understand, it's so hard, I talked to my family a lot, clung to my wife for support as I was so heartbroken and remembered how much mom loved the holidays, how they made her smile and how she would want me to be during this time
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KatieKat my heart goes out to you. I lost my mother 7years ago and the first holiday was not possible for me to celebrate with people. As someone else stated earlier, do what seems more feasible for you to do. Their are no "time judges" in a situation like this. I just couldn't handle the joy and happiness of other people 's exuberance . But the next family gathering ( after the winter holidays I was there because I needed the fullness of the family circle and their love to begin the healing . Whatever you decide, know that at that moment it was right for you because healing is an individual process and when you are emotionally stronger, utilize some of the wonderful suggestions which have been extended to you. I chose to eventually volunteer with children which opened my spirit in so many ways. So dear know that you are loved dearly by your mother and always will be! God bless you always.
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Dr. Blessed, I in no way meant this as any disrespect or as a personal slam. I don't see how my comment could in any way be taken as an intended offense. I only made a suggestion which came from my heart. It was in no way meant for you, rather as a comfort for KatieKat.
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Yes you are right but It the choice of the individual to accept the answers to either question. It would have been better to suggest your answer and not use any statement about what I wrote. The question was ask and out of love I gave an answer and never will I knock what some one else said based on what I'm not. So please take in account that people have a right to speak and a right to receive as well. Thank You have a bless day and I want make this personal about me freely I give. And ask for nothing in return
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Not everyone is religious. For those who are spiritual, but who don't subscribe to any particular dogma (and even if a person is religious), the books of Dr. Raymond Moody are very comforting. His research work that is documented in his first blockbuster best seller from the 1960s LIFE AFTER LIFE is excellent. I find his book REUNIONS the best and most comforting. You should be able to get them on Amazon or at most bookstores.
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I'm very sorry for your loss and I know it a hard time for you and know one can replace mom. The last thing you need to do is not to be with people or family during this time. If you don't have any family and you able to move around good you might decide to go and volunteer at a family shelter and serve other in the memory of your mother and to shed love to another person who is living and would love to have someone to talk too and lift there spirits and not feel lonely and this way they will change you mental state and in return you will change their also. You be surprised how much this will help you. It sound like you might be a people person with a serving and caring spirit. And just know as time pass it will get better in time it's ok to grieve. But you mother wouldn't want you to miss out on life also. I'm a person the has faith and I know that God can't heal all hurt and pain and just ask God to help you along the way and if you believe then get up and know as you go you will be comforted and receive the goodness of God and one say again you will see you mother again. After you journey has come to and end at the appoint time. God Bless You Amen
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Katiekat2009; there are lots of us in the same boat. We lost my dad in March this year and then my mom died in mid-November. Not sure what the holidays will be like; sometimes I just want to skip the whole thing and other times think I'll struggle through. Will take it as it comes I guess.
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....castro-henry here again, my mom passed last April also. I don't always look at these posts and thought maybe we could help each other through this holiday :)
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This will be my first Christmas without Mom as well. Thanksgiving was "odd" and you could feel that "something" was missing, although we did try to carry on as usual.

It is weird to me that even though Mom died in September we are all still so scattered mentally. We do not seem to be grounded or living in reality at this time. What we are doing is getting up each day and placing one foot in front of the other and continuing to move and carry out our daily routines. At some time in the future I am sure we will all stop and look back and wonder how we made it through this time or perhaps we won't remember much.....I don't know.

I feel like my thoughts are scattered and that I am not focused, however I am on Zoloft to stop panic and anxiety so maybe that is the reason.

I do not feel that for myself, laying around and wallowing in sorrow would be beneficial to me or my life. We love our parents dearly but it is a fact of life that at some time we will all die and life and the world goes on. If anything at all I would honestly think that doing something for someone else to make their day a bit better would be of more benefit. It may not be or feel exactly like you thought it would, but you could be honoring your loved one as you do acts of kindness for someone else. You will get as much benefit from it as the person you are helping.

This is all a learning experience for us. We are "growing up" in a way. This is knowledge we can pass on to our children and grandchildren.

God Bless you All and Merry Christmas in whatever way you celebrate it!
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Remember you are not alone this Christmas without your mom. My mom was my best friend, we were always together, it is going to be tough but I have chosen to keep busy with friends, not relatives because that is what her and I would have done together. I need to make new memories. My heart is twisting and my eyes are getting watery just writing this but I wanted to reach out and say...keep on keeping on in what ever way you see fit:)
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This is my first Christmas without my mother, who passed away last December, too.
Keep yourself busy.
Go shopping, baking and cooking, and whatever you enjoy doing.
Surround yourself with friends and family.
This will help to keep your mind on the things you should be thankful for.
Enjoy the holidays, your Mom would have wanted it that way.
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I lost my mother 41 years ago and my father 2 years ago. I try to continue with the traditions of the family. I went to relatives homes which I had normally visited for the holiday, perhaps limited the time there the first year after each passed but I felt they were looking down on our family gathering and would have wanted me to go. If the loss is really sitting heavy on your heart, do something different along with the traditional activities to whatever level you are able to at this point. It takes time for the grief to lift completely, and allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. Trying to put on a false and happy face will not make you feel better. Across our nation millions of people are in your position, with a sick or deep loss of a love one. You are not alone, it is just when our lives are running smoothly without the grieving process, we do not anticipate how people deal with real loss during the holiday season.

In short, do whatever you are up to at this point. Don't pressure yourself to be here or go there if you are not up to it. In the future you will be able to enjoy the holidays and parties again with the family.

Life has changed but the good memories of your mother and your relationship with her will be with you forever. It has been 40 years since I lost my mother when I was 21 and I honestly think of her each and every day. Not in sad ways but things we did together etc.

Take care.
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You cope one day, one hour, one minute at a time. I know this because my mom died two weeks before Mother's Day. I thought I was going to die of grief that first holiday but I didn't care what was "correct" I just did whatever I wanted knowing that the day has only 24 hours and all holidays come to an end because there is an end to them, thank goodness. People do different things and they are all okay. I found that keeping busy in anything helped the time to go by; otherwise, I was just going to have to get through it. Next year gets easier because you've already gone through it. That year of "firsts" is the hardest; others who have gone through with it say so and those are the ones I feel most comfortable talking about it to.
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If you have family and/or good friends who you can spend the holidays with, that might help. Trying to remember how much your mom enjoyed the time, being with family...that might help too. Remember the good times, the fun times you spent with her.
My husband and I didn't do a lot for Christmas. But we were always together, got each other a card and a gift. We haven't had Christmas for the last few years because of his alzheimers. He died 3 weeks ago. With no family here, I will have to take my own advice....think of the happy times, the up times. But then, Christmas has always been hard, missing my family member who have died. I wish you the best. Good thoughts.
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After my mom was gone Dad and I spent holidays with my brother and his family 300 miles away from our home. The tough one was the first holiday season after my husband passed, in early November. We had his family over for Thanksgiving as usual, and Christmas at his sister's with family. The tough one was New Years--went with my younger son to his in-laws, who live 1000 miles away but in the town my folks grew up in; also spent a couple of days with the daughter of the brother Dad and I did holidays with. I needed to be with both people who were connected to him, and also with people who were primarily my own friends and relatives. One of the most helpful was spending the afternoon several months later with a friend from college and his family. Remember that other family members and friends are grieving as well; some of them will not want to be in touch with you, some will.
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I meant spend the day and have dinner with Gordon in the care home as I could not possibly bring him home and do it all by myself…so that is the " first " reference. But when it is all said and done, I still come home to an empty house….Hugs to all of you
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I feel for you and reiterate what ferris1 said, we all grieve in our own way, it is a personal process and you need to do what feels best for you…I I first lost my dad and we were very close, then a sister, then mom, the very worst was my adult daughter and now my wonderful husband is in a care home with stage 6 Alzheimers.
I am dreading this holiday season, it is not just the one day but the whole lead up to it, the shopping, baking, family and friends get togethers, decorating…nothing feels the same and how could it, we do what we do for our loved ones and once they are gone we no longer have them to focus on….I will spend the day with my husband, another first, it seems life is all about adjustments and the evenings watching old movies….
with a box of kleenex beside me….take care of yourself the best way you can.
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This is really my second year of holidays without my Mom. Last year, she was moved to assisted living out of state; this year, Mom passed away two weeks ago at age 95. I volunteered on Thanksgiving Day and will spend time with family out of state.
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