And so it begins…

The holiday season.

Many of you have been looking forward to the holidays.  Thoughts of turkeys roasting, pies baking, shopping madness, and time spent with family and friends have you filled with nostalgic happiness.

I normally am a big fan of the holidays.  But I’ve been dreading this particular holiday season for quite some time now.  And now here it is upon us and I’m not sure how I feel.

Last Thanksgiving day, both my beloved uncle and my amazing father were rushed to separate hospitals.  One with a stroke, and the other with tachycardia.  A good chunk of my extended family left the Thanksgiving party for hours to be at the bedside of their loved ones.  We returned later, bedraggled and tear-stained to plates of food that the rest of the family had lovingly saved for us.  Hugs were given freely along with pie.  Both men were admitted to the hospital that night.

And then it all went to hell in a hand-basket from there.  Two of the longest and saddest months of my life.  On Christmas Eve, we gathered to say goodbye to my uncle, who passed away that evening.  Then we dried our tears.  We gathered our emotions and our gifts and made the journey to my father’s hospital where he sat awaiting open heart surgery.  We opened our presents surrounded by medical equipment and nurses.  We tried to make it as festive as possible for Dad.  We spared him the news of my uncle’s passing until after the surgery.

His surgery was scheduled for the day after Christmas.  He never recovered and we spent January watching him weaken.  His organs shut down until he finally passed away just after his birthday.  It was just awful.

Now, the holidays are forcing the memories back to the forefront.  My mother has to face her first Christmas without him…her first wedding anniversary without him…her first New Year without him.

Thanksgiving was the first hurdle.  My aunt, my mother, my cousins, and I smiled and ate pie and put forth a brave face.  But it was tough.  I am so very thankful for my family.  I couldn’t have gotten through it without them, but it was not really a “good” Thanksgiving.


How does one find the joy in holidays when the sadness is so entwined with the season?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. BulgingButtons
    Nov 29, 2013 @ 18:31:44

    I’m so sorry for your losses. Holiday time is so charged with emotion, and not all of it is positive. Over time the hurt lessens, and new memories are formed, but the loss is still there. xoxo to you this holiday season.


    • Aimee
      Nov 29, 2013 @ 18:35:40

      Thanks so much…I was doing pretty good until the party yesterday. Too many memories. We thought about bowing out gracefully and just having a small party with my mom, but I thought having family surrounding me would be easier in the long run.


  2. galeweithers
    Nov 29, 2013 @ 20:18:00

    The first holidays without your loved one are always the hardest. My mum died in 2009 and we still miss her terribly at Christmas, on New Year’s Day, on Mother’s Day, on her birthday. Family is everything. Spend quality time with those of you who are left behind and uphold the sweet memories of your dad and uncle every opportunity you get; because time is short. May God comfort you and your family with His amazing love – always.


    • Aimee
      Nov 30, 2013 @ 13:03:00

      Thank you Gale. I know I’ll get through it…I think I’ve psyched myself up into being even more upset than I should. I’m kind of clinging to family right now 🙂


  3. Denise
    Nov 30, 2013 @ 06:03:05

    This, too, is our first holidays without my dad – my mom especially is so very sad. All the rituals they had for 50 years; one day, just gone. Just like that. And it’s my second without my son. Holidays are family time. It’s inevitable to feel the loss of those you loves. These are the scars we bear, and no one gets through life without them. Sometimes I take comfort from others, sometimes it’s just me and my grief. When I can, I remind myself it’s just for now, just for this moment, and I remember to breathe. And I mean that – I take some slow, deep breaths that I imagine going into my heart. It might not take the pain away, but it helps me not resist it so much. As I wrote in my last post – when my heart closes down, it shuts the pain deep inside of it. When my heart is open, it’s not that the pain is gone, it’s that there’s the possibility of something else.

    Peace to you and yours especially now; and I hope all is well with your son.


    • Aimee
      Nov 30, 2013 @ 13:04:38

      You always have such wonderful words, Denise 🙂 Thanks for the well-wishes for my son too. He’s been feeling well, but he goes to see the neurologist this week. Maybe we’ll find out what’s been causing his issues. I’ve been holding my breath–cautiously optimistic.


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