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My son just told me that he is thinking of not coming home for Thanksgiving. He is 30 and we lost his beloved Gramma a few weeks ago. Our family is dwindling and those who are still here are missing Gramma and Grandpa. Other relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) are going else where... to their in-laws for the first time this year. The services for Gramma have not taken place yet, because of the hurricane. We are grieving and sad. We are thinking of running a 5K charity run and also going to a food kitchen to serve others. If anyone has other good ideas for how to handle holidays after loss of a loved one, please share your good experiences. Thank you.

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Hi All, Thank you for your comments. They are all very helpful.

My son (30) is not communicating much. His step mom said he may go to his dad's tonight, because a friend nearby is having a party. I don't know why he isn't communicating. He is typically quiet, but he has lots, and lots of friends and a good job, so I thing he is sad, but OK.

I am sure he is VERY sad about my mom and his gramma. They were very close. I don't know why he was so close to her, because he doesn't speak to me much. I think it may be that he feels his dad and his step mom are his parents and so he felt more comfortable getting close to my mother than to me... It's complicated and since he doesn't talk too much with me, it's hard for me to know. When I try to connect with him, he just gets annoyed.

I have two boys. The other son is close to me, communicative and loving and he acknowledges the situation with his older brother... the one who doesn't speak with me much. They both say they love me, as I do them.

I believe my oldest son is very sad about gramma and it helps to read your experiences to understand why he may be staying away, because it is easy for me to just feel more hurt and alone, when he may need to find another way to be happy.

Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and experiences. It really, really helps me consider other possibilities...
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I thought about how I just couldn't go to my parents house for Thanksgiving after my Dad died. I was a primary caretaker and was alone with him the afternoon he took his last breath. I loved him so much and was so thankful he wasn't suffering anymore. He loved holidays. I just couldn't bear to look at all the photos of him on the walls yet, that first Thanksgiving, and it wasn't my place to ask for accomodations about that. Some find the photos comforting, everyone grieves in their own way. It was pouring rain that day. I just went to a funny movie. It was "Stranger Than Fiction" with Will Farrell, then I slipped in to a double feature. It was even a bonding experience with those there. People were friendly. Everyone there has their reasons for being there. I was grateful for that comfort, even simple comforts like that can help. This year a family of four generations has invited me: I've lost my Mom to dementia. Despite the circumstances I'm determined to keep working on an attitude of gratitude. I want keep trying to be a positive part of life no matter where I am. I can here that in your entry too. Keep the faith. Now I enjoy pictures of him with a loving tear in my eye, but I didn't want to break down on my family at the feast table. I wish them peace and love, as I do for myself.
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Ditto NancyH. My condolences Sooozi, I just couldn't contain my enthusiasm. Even if you went to volunteer everyone would lift each other's spirits, as we can witness on t.v. You can be part of that mutually healing energy. I also misread that your son is considering not coming home, I'd skimmed and thought he was coming to help out. Sorry. Is it because of the sorrow that he's not coming, if you don't mind me asking?
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I agree, do something different this year and go back to your traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas next year. Sorry about your losses. Stinkin' bummer. :(
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Wow, dear, do you really need any additional ideas? You are an inspiration!
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I think your ideas for doing something new and meaningful are excellent! Maybe this will be a new tradition, and maybe it will be a one-time thing, but running and/or serving at a soup kitchen are great ideas.

And if you are not joyful and thankful every minute, that is OK, too. Mourning serves a very real need.
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