What Grieving Loved Ones Need During The Holidays

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Photo Credit:  Pinterest

The imminent holiday season has amplified my loss.  Christmas carols that once symbolized holiday cheer now sound like nails on a chalk board. The thought of writing holiday cards now seem like an exhausting task.  This year rather than searching for the perfect comfy blanket for my Dad as he watches TV, we ordered a him a grave blanket.  Nothing feels right.  My holiday cheer is quickly fading into holiday fear.  I am not the same person I was last holiday season.  My heart is heavy as stare at my father’s empty chair and remember what was.

I already am finding myself saying no, no, no rather than ho, ho, ho.

Grieving my Dad is a colossal emotional storm.  Since my Dad died in January, there have been highs, lows and valleys.  To simply say, “I miss my Dad” is a massive understatement.  I did not just lose a father; I lost my best friend, my hero, the person I went to for everything.  Not a day goes by that I do not miss him and wish that I could hear his voice one more time, hug him one more time or tell him I love him just one more time.

I consider myself fortunate to have spent such an abundant amount of time by my father’s side.  I enjoyed his company and valued his advice. Since I was a little girl my Dad would tell me, “You’re my best friend.”  So much that when I went for a reading this past September the first thing the medium said was, “Your Dad is telling me you are his best friend.”

My Dad spent the final week of his life in a hospital next door to my office. Every single morning before work, sometimes as early as 6:30 AM I would sneak into my father’s hospital room.  Many times I would just stand there and count his breaths as tears rolled down my cheeks.

During one of my final visits I desperately wanted to crawl into bed next to him and hold on tight.  I needed to hug my Dad but there were just so many tubes with no beginning or end.  So I did what any normal 40 year old woman would do.  I held my breath, pushed the tubes aside and tried to squeeze next to my Dad.   Within seconds my father was awake, machines were hissing at us and I’m not quite sure if he was amused or annoyed.  Let’s be realistic who wants to be abruptly woken up by their grown daughter practically pushing them out of an already uncomfortable hospital bed.  Despite all that, he smiled and whispered, “Lisa honey what are you doing, please stop before you hurt yourself.”

In the middle of beeping machines and endless tubes we smiled, giggled and then cried. Between tears and the unbearable pain of my heart shattering, I mumbled, “Dad, can I please lay with you?”  And what do you think he said?  He smiled, and said, “Please no, you’re too big get a chair.” 

Together we laughed, I quickly grabbed a chair and held onto my father’s hand as I cried endless tears.  I didn’t want to let go, I didn’t want to forget the powerful, comforting grip my Dad had as he guided me throughout my life. I cried harder than I ever cried that morning.  Well….I cried until my Dad told me to stop getting his hand and sheets wet with my tears.  And then I giggled again.

That was my Dad.  

Even during a gut wrenching, heart breaking moment he managed to put a smile on my face.  He was and always will be my light in the darkness. He was not just my father, he was my best friend.

I will never stop missing my Dad.  

I am eternally grateful for the people who continue to support me throughout this grief journey.  Sometimes words help, and sometimes words are not needed.  Sometimes there is a power in silence, in just being there.

Friends…this holidays season more than ever, please come and sit with our family. Please continue to be there for us, to witness the pain and hold our hands as we navigate our ebb and flow of grief.

Sometimes, just being there is greatest gift you can give as we grieve a person of significance.

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23 thoughts on “What Grieving Loved Ones Need During The Holidays

  1. Hi I lost my mom dec 29 2015. This will be my 1 st thanksgiving and Christmas without her, I’m not looking forward to it, I dt feel right celebrating especially Christmas when my mom died, so your story relates to me to, thanks for sharing your story!

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    • Hi Pam, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for reading & commenting – looks like we are both getting ready for holiday firsts 😦 Sending you lots of love & prayers

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      • Hi Lisa, Thanks, I enjoyed reading your story, I could really relate to what you wrote, yes we both are getting ready for the holiday 1st, I m so not looking forward to thanksgiving, I’m not looking forward to dec 2 that’s my moms birthday, or Christmas. Since she died 3 days after Christmas, everyone says it gets better, for me it hadn’t , it gets a little easier to go on, but when she died a huge part of me died, I feel like I’m just floating thru life now, I’ll be thinking of you over the holidays and praying for you, and I’m sorry for your loss as well, I really enjoyed your story, thanks again, god bless!

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      • Hi Pam, I understand, I feel the same way. Lots of big days coming up and I miss my dad, my best friend. Thank you for commenting. Please stay in touch. I have a page on Facebook where I’m on much more. It’s a wonderful group of people xo

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  2. Thank you for posting this. I lost my husband three months ago today. And I am definitely not looking forward to the holidays. Last year we had a beautiful holiday … and I just can’t believe he’s gone! He was so young and I am devastated. Wishing everyone healing and love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you lots of love always, but alittle extra this holiday season. Thank you for reading and you can always message me if you need an ear to vent to ❤️.

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  3. My Dad’s been gone 10 years. My Mom just passed away in July. The emptiness of them being gone never goes away. The thoughts of parents are always there. Holidays, birthdays, anniversary days, certain restaurants, the beach, vacation spots, just sitting on a chair dining room table and looking at the place they used to be at. It doesn’t get any easier. I can tell you this, the memories that run down your cheeks today will one day soon bring a bright smile to your face! ❤

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this, and I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate so very much. My Dad, he was my best friend too. He was even my husbands best friend. And he passed away from cancer on December 24th 2015. Just a few weeks before his 70th birthday on January 15th, and the day he was finally supposed to retire. Christmas Eve 2015 was the worst day of my life, and I had never cried so hard or hurt so badly before. He was supposed to have beat cancer with flying colors in 2013, and became a Grandpa the same year, and he went for all his checkups, but having a 5 year survival rate of 93% we were not too worried. He talked about having a new lease on life. But then summer of 2015 they found something during his checkup. In August he was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, and given an abysmal survival rate. And they even still tried chemo, so I was very confusedat his actual prognosis. But because he had a pace maker, they couldn’t do a complete imaging of his abdomen, just a CT, and they didn’t catch that he already had a mass growing around his bowel that was shutting him down. We only knew he was actively dying 5 days before he actually passed. We couldn’t even really get a response from him when we tried to talk to him and say goodbye. He should have been in hospice from the moment he was diagnosed. And they still don’t understand what happened. With a survival rate above 89%, that type of thing just doesn’t happen to those folks. And he had a 93%.

    I am propped up with two different antidepressants now, or I couldn’t function. Losing him flipped a chemical switch in me. Now this week, walking in to retail stores on Tuesday, the day after Halloween, and seeing the Christmas trees already up and capitalizing on Christmas in full swing, I wanted to rip it all down. I wasn’t ready to deal with December before it was actually December.

    My sincerest wish is to talk to him one more time, because so much was left unsaid. I dream of a medium finding me on the street because Dad asked them to, and helping Dad talk with me just one last time.

    Strength to you dear, in this very difficult time. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry. Watching a parent suffer is a painful, life altering experience. I am sending you lots of love and prayers for strength. Please stay in touch

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  5. Hi. I could of wrote this post myself. I’m say here crying for you and for myself too.my dad was also my best friend and hero. He fell down the stairs in december 2014. Spent 17 days in a coma before dying in January 2015. Christmas will never ever be the same again. I miss him like crazy every second of every day. There’s not a second that passes where he’s not in my head.my grief has made me really poorly so please try to look after yourself. I know that’s easier said than done. My grief and stress caused me to have a stroke in may. That’s what the drs are putting it down to.im so very sorry for your loss xxx

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    • I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing and commenting. Sending you love and prayers. Please stay in touch…if you use Facebook my page is “A Daughters Love” see below on my blog I’m on that more and try to be as interactive as possible, it’s a wonderful group of people. xo

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story. It was like I was reading my own story! My dad passed away August 14th and I’m really struggling. I’m deeply dreading the holidays and I just started enjoying them again. You see me brother passed away 15 years ago December 28th. All those feelings are coming back. Reading your story reminded me I’m not alone and others are struggling too. GOD bless you!

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    • Hi Sheila, I’m so sorry for your loss. You are not alone, we all have each other to figure out how to survive the pain. Feel free to message me anytime Lisa XO

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  7. My daddy died four days after Thanksgiving last year. He had been at home for and bedfast for nearly a year and I was his primary caregiver.
    Our Thanksgiving last year was bleak and at Christmas we were all too number to feel anything. So this year will be our first……. dreading it and missing him.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This will be my first Christmas without my daughter Brittany….She passed away April 22, 2016. She was twenty-nine. It will be her thirtieth birthday. My Beloved Mom will have been gone twenty-six years. My first holiday without both of them is going to be very hard. I am so very sorry for the loss of your dad. ~hugs~ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I lost my Mom in July and feel like a child again because I still cry everyday because I miss her so much she was 98 and although my mind knows how blessed I was to have her so long my heart is broken. I was with her everyday as her main caregiver and the days are not getting easier. I am not sure how I will get through this holiday season let alone her birthday Jan 3, your post made me feel like I’m not alone .Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sorry for your loss. Losing a parent does make us feel like children again, I know exactly what you mean. We are not alone, we all have each other as we figure this grief thing out. I hope to hear from you again XO

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  10. Glad I found your entry. We lost our Dad in May and the whole family continues to grieve and find strength through the pain. Some days you manage, others its unbearable. This holiday season has been pretty empty for me and I’m really just ready for the year to come to an end. Much love and prayers to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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