Mummichog

Christmas With the Loss of a Parent

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Anyone have experience with this?  Specifically, if you have kids and they are navigating their first Christmas without a parent.  This will be our first Christmas since mom died.  My kids are 16 and 17.  I'm a little worried.  How'd you handle it?  A lot of memory lane?  Or try to keep things upbeat and focus on having fun with who is still here?  I want to get this right.  I guess it's different for everyone.  Any experiences, pointers, what helped you....etc.....

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Sorry to hear of your loss.My father  passed 20 years ago tomorrow.Can't believe it's been that long.It's tough  on everyone losing someone close right before the holidays.God Bless.

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my Dad died 15 years ago the day before thanksgiving, that was very tough. the holidays were his favorite time of the year so his absence was very noticeable. the way we explained it to the younger one's was ,oh he always here, he's watching now...things like that. there's really no easy way around it ,good luck. 

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I think you should ask your kids how they feel and what they want Christmas to be. They aren't babies at 17 & 15 and they both might have different ideas and feelings on the subject. You certainly can't avoid it. 

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My father passed suddenly 24 years ago at 72 two weeks before Thanksgiving, my daughter was a year and a half.  And my mother died from cancer 18 years ago at 76, her funeral was Christmas Eve.  The kids were 7, 4 and 2.  Take your cue from how they are taking it, talk with them if they want to talk, hold them if they want to cry, and just be there for them.  I really don't know what else to say, other than I will keep you and your kids in my prayers. God be with you all.

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I can't help with the kids, but I have experience in this realm.  In 2001 my mom suffered a stroke at dinner during our post Christmas family get together.  (Big family.  Siblings with kids and other obligations etc.)  She went into a coma and died 2 weeks later.  Now I'm a bitter angry SOB who hated xmas and had a ****ed up relationship with my parents anyway.  I'm probably worst case scenario.  But it's only in the last two years that I have stopped resenting every minute between the Friday after Thanksgiving and somewhere in mid January for shoving xmas in my face constantly.  I have no insight on a healthy way to deal with it.  It will be hard on your kids, but if they are in as bad a place as I was you would know by now.  I went from scornfully hating the whole season to ignoring it to finally just accepting that I can't escape it and rolling with it.  It will be hard, but it gets easier.

Sorry for your loss.  Hang in there.

Edited by Niffty

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33 mins ago, Mummichog said:

Anyone have experience with this?  Specifically, if you have kids and they are navigating their first Christmas without a parent.  This will be our first Christmas since mom died.  My kids are 16 and 17.  I'm a little worried.  How'd you handle it?  A lot of memory lane?  Or try to keep things upbeat and focus on having fun with who is still here?  I want to get this right.  I guess it's different for everyone.  Any experiences, pointers, what helped you....etc.....

gonna be different for everyone, we lost our mom when I was 15, holidays will always be different, I don't think my dad ever put up a christmas tree after that

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Man that can’t be easy, my heart goes out to you and your family... 
I like the idea mentioned to ask your kids in advance - decide together how you want to remember mom on Christmas. No matter what, if everyone is involved in the decision they’ll understand how the decision was made and that helps at least a little....

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Some good advice here. I went through something similar (Mom died on the 27th of December many year ago), but everyone is different.  I've always found it best to concentrate on those still with us.  Memories of Mom will come up when they do. Maybe have a few things at dinner like you did when sh was still alive.  I know it's hard, but try not to turn it into a second funeral.  You don't want your kids to think this is always going to be a sad time for the rest of their lives.  It's not easy.

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good luck, mines gonna suck to.

 

we generally just try to joke and laugh about the good times when we are together,  dwelling on "it" just sucks .

 

my favorite uncle dropped dead on my 16th birthday,  I smile and toast him with a beer on my birthday,  "thanks dick head" you'd have to know him lol

but if he can here me I'm sure Jeff laughs his ass off

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25 mins ago, Sandflee said:

gonna be different for everyone, we lost our mom when I was 15, holidays will always be different, I don't think my dad ever put up a christmas tree after that

Believe me, it's been a struggle to get motivated for anything like that.  I do it for the kids. 

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