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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Location
    Greeley, Colorado
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    3,736

    Unhappy Christmas after losing a parent

    This is the first Christmas since the death of my mom back in August from an unexpected illness. I'm 22 and she was 52. I still have my dad but he's it as far as family goes.

    Neither of us could face Christmas at home without her so we decided to go on vacation. While it's nice and fun and relaxing, it doesn't feel like Christmas. On top of that, the very thin scab over my beginning-to-heal heart is dangerously close to coming off.

    How do you guys do it? Continue with old traditions? Start new ones? Any ideas will help
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2009
    Location
    Often as not, the inside of an airplane
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    497

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    The first year was hard, the second and third years were actually worse. I guess it's because the shock had worn off and the hard reality of "they are NOT coming back" really set in.

    This is the 5th Christmas without mum, and this year, I made up an old fashion Christmas stocking for a friend's son, just like my mum would have complete with an orange in the toe -

    I can almost hear my mum laughing with delight...
    Eternal Earth-Bound Pets Independent Contractor.


    All I want is to know WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHICKEN???



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,167

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    I know it is cliche, but "time does heal all wounds". It really will get better with time. A year after my dad died, I had a hard time talking about him without tearing up. After a few years, I can now talk about him and it brings a smile to my heart.

    Try starting some new traditions, and maybe keep a special one, that you think would make your mom smile, if she saw you doing it.



  4. #4

    Default

    My first Christmas too. Mom passed away October 16th I went away for Christmas to a friends house. I will have to make new traditions for myself.
    "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,003

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    The very first Christmas we just opted out. The second Christmas was worse because we felt like we had to do something but really weren't up to it yet. The third Christmas, I had just had my daughter and we decided to begin to develop new traditions for her (she was almost a year old) and things began to get just a bit better.

    Really, the first couple of years are just survival. Especially with your mom and being so young (I was 25 and my dad moved away immediately, thus leaving me with no support system other than my somewhat sucky in-laws, who did try but who did not understand depression).



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Posts
    659

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    This is my second year without my Mom, and it is far more difficult than last year. Last year it was actually a relief not to have the pressures of the big family getting together. But now.....I so miss my brothers. Three of us are getting together (with families) on Sunday, but geez, for 55 years, all four of my siblings and our families were together.

    It is now sinking in that it will never be the same. To top it off, my two girls won't be home this year either - both for good reasons, but not here...

    Next year I will insist we all be together - at least all my kids. Time to start new traditions.

    But I sure miss my Mom, and all the work she did to keep us all together (and feed us all - never appreciated that enough)!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,702

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    I know it is cliche, but "time does heal all wounds". It really will get better with time. A year after my dad died, I had a hard time talking about him without tearing up. After a few years, I can now talk about him and it brings a smile to my heart.

    Try starting some new traditions, and maybe keep a special one, that you think would make your mom smile, if she saw you doing it.
    Agreed. My dad died Dec 31 quite a few years ago. The last day I saw him that I thought he would live was Dec 26. The first few years were rough but you do make new traditions
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5,011

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    My father died when I was 17 on December 17th. There were young grandchildren in the family so we went on with our Christmas traditions. Dad had even had one of my older sisters purchase a gift for my mother. I think he knew he wasn't going to make it but the rest of us had blinders on. It was hard that first year but we all did okay.

    It really does get better each year. Hanging on to traditions helps as does making new ones. It has been 29 years now and we still miss him at Christmas but now it is with a fond remembrance not an aching pain.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2008
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    218

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    My mom passed last year on December 20th and Christmas was a blurr...we just went through the motions for the kids. This year it has really hit my sister and I hard. We have struggled with trying to come up with new family traditions as it is just us now. What we decided was to keep things simple and have a Christmas Eve dinner at my sisters with present opening amongst the family and will spend Christmas day at a friends house filled with lots of love and laughter. I believe we have started a new tradition...
    My thoughts are with you and your family..Merry Christmas!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,133

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    ((Hugs))



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,857

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    My father passed away from cancer when I was 19 (he was a few days from 52). I'm now 25. That first Christmas a doctor my mom had worked for for years before he retired offered us his week at a condo in the Bahamas the week before xmas. We took it. We technically got back on Christmas eve. It's never going to be exactly the same and the first few holidays are kind of weird, but then it just becomes normal again and maybe you make some new traditions.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2003
    Location
    TN, USA
    Posts
    732

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    My dad passed away 4 years ago when I was 21 - and it was so so so hard. Every year, it does seem to get a little bit easier. It's easier to remember him and not bawl, but I still tear up and miss him so much it physically hurts. Just have to keep trucking, know it's okay to cry and miss your mom, and look forward to a time when things are a little easier.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. *hug*
    Amy
    "No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." - Herman Melville



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2006
    Location
    southeast
    Posts
    595

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    I do not even know where to begin. I just lost my mom less then 10 days ago. Everything seems to be a fog. I have tried pressing on through Christmas because I have 3 children and want "normal" for them.

    It is terrible.One tradition we have is reading the Christmas story before opening gifts. I read this year ,and could barely see the page for the tears that were welling up in my eyes. Opening the gifts seemed so solomn this year. The kids were really good and I will not change our traditions. It is important for them to have them and as they grow and change then thaey can decide for themselves.

    My brother can't come down as we are to get about 10 inches of snow and good old NC just doesn't know how to move it. He has to be at work and just doesn't want to deal w/ the driving[I can't say I blame him] We were on the phone for about 2 hrs last night and he broke my heart when he said.."I just really miss her.." we will talk later tonight.

    It is just all really sureal.

    I guess to answer your question, yes we are going on w/ Christmas and no I am not enjoying it.Not really. I can only hope that maybe next year it will be better[????] and I will continue to celebrate such as we have.
    I am however, contemplating a way to remember her. I haven't figured out what that will be yet.


    Maybe you could find a way to honor your moms memory. Perhaps a charity , shelter ect???
    Speak kind words,receive kind echos



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2004
    Location
    Virginia. We Do Ponies!
    Posts
    11,801

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    I am experiencing my first Christmas without my mother.

    I hate it more than anything as she was my only parent since I was 17. She has been a rock to me always and helped me raise my children.

    I'm tearing up just writing this. I hate it.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Location
    Beyond the pale.
    Posts
    2,957

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    there isn't any easy age or any easy way. This is my third Xmas without my dad and I am over 50, but it is just as hard at that age.

    We were never religious and Xmas was a family holiday.
    My spouse and I have decided to treat every day as if it were Xmas, we buy presents and send cards to folks at odd times when we feel like it and we removed ourselves from the pressure of doing Xmas because the commericalism and need to buy buy buy, decorate and so on, was no fun for us anymore. We are having a terrific day- about to go on a trail ride and tonite will have an xmas dinner with my mom at her seniors home. On Monday we will travel together to visit her only grandchild. It is much easier for mom not to ahve to fuss about Xmas either- we wrote a couple of dozen cards over the last month and bought some chocolates, but really, the pressure is off and its much easier this way.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,732

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    I can only offer you hugs and the hope that it gets better for you with time. The first three years were the worst but there is not a day that goes by that I do not miss my mother.
    Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 2010
    Posts
    1,417

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    This is my second CHristmas without my father.

    I am over 50 too.

    My brother called today and wished me a Merry Christmas. I have not heard from my two sisters. Not a card or gift or phone call.

    When my Dad died my sense of connection and family went with him. He wasn't the greatest Dad but he witnessed my life. We talked about the mundane things of life on almost a daily basis. His point of view told me where I came from and where I am now.

    There was honesty in his perspective. It was his after all.

    Last year I was floundering with the holiday, with a where is Dad mentality. This year it is just empty.

    I hope time heals this, I used to love Christmas!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,348

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    When a parent has been a major part of your hoiday tradition,this time of the year becomes particularly difficult.

    I lost my mom two years ago. I am the unmarried child who always spent my Christmas with my parents. So I have no replacement traditions yet. Dad is still around but in an Alzheimers unit. I visited him yesterday but couldnt face Christmas in AlzheimerLand.

    Maybe next year I will plan on doing some charitable work or something worthwhile. Still, while I miss my mom, it is sooo different, that it is not as difficult as it might have been.

    Those younger, especailly with kids will likely establish more, new family traditions. For me, the holidays will be different but with time for COTH Off Topic Day!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2001
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    1,995

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    I just wanted to say I am sorry for everyone who is dealing with loss today.
    Proud Member: Bull-snap Haters Clique, Michigan Clique, and Appaloosa Clique!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2005
    Location
    Sunny CA.
    Posts
    305

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    I can only offer hugs and my sincere condolences to those that have lost parent(s) recently.
    My dad passed away December 22 six years ago. That Christmas was tough. Very tough. My mom was 400 miles away, didn't want to come here, and didn't really want me to come there, either. We were both just trying to cope. It was expected, and it was really a blessing, but still difficult.
    It does get easier. My dad would not have wanted his death to make this a sad time of year. I believe he is with his friends and family....somewhere else.



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