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It's Life

Grief Gets harder during the holidays

November 21, 2017

Grief is something I know all too well. It’s something I have been through a number of times. The one thing I can tell you that I know for sure is that Holidays are the worse. Mothers Day/Fathers Day comes in a close second if you have lost one of your parents but holidays…..those are the worse. Today someone will be burying a loved one, someone will be saying goodbye for the last time, someone will be sitting in a closet wondering what to wear for a funeral that they really didn’t see themselves attending this soon. Grief hits you during the holidays the most because the holidays are a time for family and when you don’t have any……it can cause depression and sadness.

Growing up it was always my mom, my grandma, and one of my Aunts. Every single Christmas and Thanksgiving it was just the 4 of us. No huge family, no extended family members, no cousins, not even a lot of friends. It was us…we would get up on the morning of Thanksgiving and eat a huge breakfast then decorate the tree or the fireplace until dinner which was around 2 pm. Then my mom would go visit with some of her friends that evening or we would sit and watch a movie on VHS (I know I’m old). On Christmas morning we would get up that morning make a huge breakfast, get dressed so that we could be cute in pictures, then open up our gifts. We would either again go visiting or people would come to us for a few minutes. I am not use to big families so when I got married to my hubs I was a little apprehensive at first because it was overwhelming I mean 30 people deep just in his immediate family was a lot to take in.

Grief is Universal. 

It does not escape anyone. You will go through it. Sometimes when I look at statuses on my Facebook page and I see someone saying OMG I have lost my loved one I look at the post and I say to myself try losing 4 loved ones within one year and your husband a few years later. I want to say try that on for size…. I don’t know I guess I am so far removed from the grief that it doesn’t pain me anymore. I am numb to it…once you have lost a parent I don’t think any other grief will shock you unless it’s your child. Depression can set in during these times if you don’t stay afloat. You have to make yourself happy….you have to make yourself want to enjoy the holidays. Unless you have walked in my shoes you can’t tell me how to grieve or how to cope. My mom died December 19, 2007. I remember the day like yesterday. It was a few days after my birthday. I had asked the Lord to let her live for my birthday that’s all I wanted that year….I went to see her that day my son and I. He was a hand baby just shy of 1 years old and we spent my birthday in hospice with my mom. She never said that she loved me. Never heard her utter the words….I knew that she did by her actions but she never said them until that day. I knew that day was going to be the last day I saw her alive. As we were walking out the door she said, Kita …take care of that boy and I love you. I stood at the door for a what seemed like a long time and I had tears in my eyes as I said…I will, I love you. My son said bye gamma and we walked out hand in hand. They called me on the 19th at 5 am to tell me she was transitioning and asked me if I wanted to come….nope I said my goodbyes and I didn’t want to see her die I wanted to remember her as she was alive and well. My grandma died in August of that year, my Aunt followed in Feb of 2008 and then my uncle in May of 2008. Holidays stopped being the holidays for me that Christmas…I was just there going along and trying to get through, but it never gets easier.

 

Grief doesn’t end when the funeral does. It’s only just the beginning.

During the holidays while families get together those of us who don’t have any family have to find a place to go. We have to ask if we can come. No longer do we get invited to anything because of course the funeral is over and everyone has gotten back to their lives. No one thinks to invite the sad widow over for Thanksgiving or for Christmas. I sometimes think it’s an afterthought and other times I think people don’t want that grieving person around. Most people who have no family find themselves alone during these times and this is how depression kicks in. I have children so maybe I’m not as bad off but what if I was completely alone for the holidays like some are. Some people have no children or their kids have families of their own. I myself don’t want to ask anyone if I can come over during the holidays. You feel like a burden, you feel like they don’t really want you to come over they are just being nice, you feel like you don’t really want to go over to see them with their families, their husbands, their parents, it gets to you. So you smile if they do invite you, but deep down you make sure you have a backup plan to be in your own home just in case you don’t feel up to it. Then you make excuses for why you can’t go. My kids are asking to go somewhere practically begging but I don’t want to be a burden and sometimes I feel like I am. For Thanksgiving, we will probably stay home and create something to do. For Christmas, we are going out of town to be around others….I hope that this little piece of travel makes them forget that it’s just us three. Sure my husbands side of the family gets together but you know how that is when you aren’t really a part of that….you feel like it’s forced.

Grief comes in various stages for me its shock then the question of why. Why they did they take my mom and not the bad mom who doesn’t do for her kids, why did they take my husband the good one and leave the husband who beats on his wife? This year I want to incorporate my loved ones into the holiday season. I don’t know if it will help but it’s a start to get through the grieving.

My hubs was named snoop….that was his nickname they said it’s because he looked like Snoopy when he was a baby. So this year we decided to incorporate him into our lives in a unique way. We got some sleeping clothes from Hanna Anderson for the holidays that represented my late husband well. Snoopy! This Christmas I am determined to put a smile on my face and make it special for my kids. I also made sure I got in the picture because normally I never do lol.

This Christmas I want my daughter to know that her dad may not be around but he is always watching. It’s okay to cry and miss him and it’s okay to pretend he is with us. She bought him a gift to put under the tree!

For my son I want him to know that Dad wants him to be the best. Dad always wanted him to be a better boy than he was especially during the age of puberty and big life changes. Dad would be proud that you are a pretty decent young man.

For me….I want the hubs to know that I am holding down the fort. It’s tough being a single mom but we are doing okay. Not 100% but we are doing good. BTW this was the hubs lunchbox I saved it as a keepsake

How are you dealing with grief this holiday season? How do you incorporate your loved ones?

I want to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you know someone who has lost someone please please please reach out to them. Even if it’s just a text to say hope your holidays are going good.

 

 

 

  • Reply
    robin rue
    November 21, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    This is the first year without my mom and it’s HARD. I knew it would be hard, but until you are going through it – you really have NO idea just how hard.

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you for being so open. That is a beautiful way to honor your husband’s memory.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    November 21, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I love the Snoopy PJ’s and how you got in the pictures with your kids. I know that is hard for you.
    You are an amazing woman. Strong and kind hearted and an awesome mom to those kids. I admire you and love the memories you are making with them as well as keeping their dad’s alive.
    Huge long distance hugs.

    • Reply
      Kita
      November 22, 2017 at 2:06 am

      Thank you so much! I love the sleeping clothes

  • Reply
    Krystal Butherus
    November 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    You’re absolutely right that grief after the funeral is just the beginning! It’s extremely important to listen to the younger ones’ concerns and be compassionate. No one ever knows the right things to say, but they mean well.

  • Reply
    Bren Lee
    November 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Hey Kita,

    The holidays are notorious for being a double-edge sword for me. I always miss my mother and father. I have periods during the day when I just have a meltdown and drift off into space. Life isn’t always fair, as you know. We just have to make the best of it, right? Remembering our loved ones is one of the best holiday gifts to myself that I can give. I know you and your children will be missing your dearest loved one. Cherish the memories of him and embrace one another. Thinking of you! xoxo

    • Reply
      Kita
      November 22, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Thank you so much! Happy THanksgiving to you!

  • Reply
    Roger Willis
    November 21, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I can identify with this so much, mostly for my wife and her family. Several years ago, her grandpa passed away on Christmas Day, and then a few years later, her grandma passed away on Christmas Eve. She was really close to them, and, over time, I too became close to them as well. My condolences on the loss of your husband.

  • Reply
    Keki Cannon
    November 21, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    wow! thank you for sharing. you truly have been therough so much and you are stronger for it and for your kids.

  • Reply
    Andrea Bates
    November 21, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    This is beautiful, Kita. Thank you so much for sharing your world with us – your friends – and anyone out there who might need this today.

    Holidays have been different for me since my father passed, and this year, though not a loss to a passing, but my life has drastically changed and so my holidays will be quite different. Maybe next year y’all can come here for one of them, or we can meet somewhere and do a holiday celebration together. 🙂 Maybe that’s a weird offer, but I do truly mean it. xo

    • Reply
      Kita
      November 22, 2017 at 2:05 am

      We are always open to travel so if I am in your town I will be calling ya!

  • Reply
    Jessica T
    November 21, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    This is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. Holidays always get harder when you have lost someone close to you. This is a truly meaningful post.

  • Reply
    Candace
    November 21, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    2001 felt like absolute worst year of my life. I lost my Grandfather February 5th after making plans to see him that upcoming Summer and the very next Tuesday I lost my Grand Uncle who just a few months prior had taken me on my first college tour. That September was September 11th and then in October I lost my grandmother. I miss them dearly especially my Grandfather, every Feb I get a little heavy but I sing our songs and tell my son stories about him. Wishing you all a happy holiday season, he’s smiling so big watching over you guys💛

  • Reply
    Ana De- Jesus
    November 21, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Tears are streaming down my face as I read this, noone should have to deal with a grief of that magnitude and it saddens me that you had to go through so much pain and loss. I am thankful that you have your kids and I know that your loved ones are watching over you and your kids. They would be very proud of you and your kind, welcoming and honest heart. Sending love your way this Holiday season x

  • Reply
    Angela Tolsma
    November 22, 2017 at 1:56 am

    I have never lost anyone, so I can’t image this at all. It’s good for me to read, I want to be a good support person because I know many of my friends have lost loved ones. It’s not easy

  • Reply
    AnnMarie John
    November 22, 2017 at 2:03 am

    Grief is never an easy one to deal with especially after losing a partner for life. I lost my mom and I still feel the pain after all these years, I can only imagine how you’re feeling. I’m glad you were able to honor his memory through these adorable jammies. They look so comfy. Stay strong!

  • Reply
    Reesa
    November 22, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Grief is one of the worst emotions I have ever dealt with. It creeps up when you least expect it in the little moments, moments that should be happy. Like the holidays.

  • Reply
    Journa Ramirez
    November 22, 2017 at 4:04 am

    This is so true. My brother in law lost their little girl few months ago and celebrating Holidays looks so hard for us. Thank you for this post. Please stay strong.

  • Reply
    Terri Steffes
    November 22, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Grief is universal but we all walk though it differently. You have chosen a very high road and for that I have learned much n

  • Reply
    Alisha
    November 22, 2017 at 10:01 am

    This will be my husband’s first year without his dad for the holidays. After the holidays are always worse for us in the crisis line. Hold those babies close and and cherish that time. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com
    November 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Grief is such a difficult emotion, but everyone experiences it at some point in their life. It is rough during the holidays, thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Lewis
    November 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    I totally agree! Our family is going through a lot this year and it has been so hard

  • Reply
    Rachel
    November 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    This is the second round of big holidays without my dad. It feels a bit easier but it is still there, tainting everything. This little weight in my chest wanting to be acknowledged.

  • Reply
    Mei
    November 23, 2017 at 1:35 am

    I can relate to this. Lost my father in law last year and this is our first thanksgiving without him . while it is sad, we try our best to cherish great memories with him. Tomorrow we will be thinking of him .

  • Reply
    Jessica
    November 23, 2017 at 3:23 am

    I know the feeling.. unfortunately. All I can say is that time will help, and yes, holidays are hard when somebody we love is gone.

  • Reply
    Tiffany Haywood
    November 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    This is something I think many of us tend to forget. The grief doesn’t end at the funeral. We take that as the end of our responsibility to that loved one but you’re so right – it is just the start. Thank you so much for the reminder.

  • Reply
    Shieka
    November 23, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you for this post. I swear this is harder than I thought it would be this year but your post made me smile a little to know it will get a little easier.Hope you have a great holiday.

  • Reply
    Jeanine
    November 23, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Its really hard. I lost my mom when I was 16, I’m now 32 and it still hits me really hard. I also lost my grandparents 2 years later one on my birthday, and the other a week later. We spent every holiday with them and it makes me sad my kids wont ever get to experience that or them.

  • Reply
    Hannah Rooks
    November 23, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Oh man, I feel for you. You are such a good writer, I can tell how you feel just reading your words. I’m so sorry! On a lighter note, I giggled a bit reading about how apprehensive you were after getting married and being around a lot of people in your husband’s family.. because I’m currently at my new husband’s parent’s house for Thanksgiving and I feel so out of my comfort zone with a billion strangers. So here I am blogging on Thanksgiving so I don’t have to talk to anyone! Haha.

    http://www.therookiewife.com

  • Reply
    Carissa
    November 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! Holiday time is hard, my son passed away on December 14, 2014, so even though I love the excitement of my little ones there is still a feeling in the pit of my stomach that doesn’t go away. And some songs even bring tears to my eyes because I remember them being played during that time.

  • Reply
    Heather
    November 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    This is such a sweet way to add another smile in your home while doing something special with your children to remember their dad at Christmas time. Grief is overwhelming and different for everyone. But as a mother myself, I can’t fathom that challenge when also needing to make sure your children see you well. Much love to your family this holiday season. You’re doing a great job mama and these are the moments your children will remember.

  • Reply
    Morgan
    November 28, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Such a beautiful post. Thank you for being so open, you have a beautiful family.

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