CHRISTMAS ANGELS

by Patricia Jones
(Lake Villa, IL USA)

Joe and the 3 lights of his life

Joe and the 3 lights of his life

I woke up this morning with the most terrible depressed feeling. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and to have to circle the W in the marital status field was traumatizing. My husband passed away 2 1/2 weeks ago and I'm having difficulty wrapping gifts for my three grandsons. My tears were falling on the wrapping paper. My husband loved Christmas and loved his 3 grandsons more than life itself. I know I will have many new challenges to deal with over the next year.

I read a blog from another member about a Christmas Angel she received from the funeral home whose services she used. It was a porcelain angel engraved with their son's name on it.

I don't know if it's too late for this year but I am going to get my son and daugher a Christmas Angel with their dad's name on it (either ornament or display type). That way every Christmas they will bring the Angel out and their dad will be part of the celebration of the birth of our savior.

Christmas blessings and peace to all of my fellow grievers

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Dec 23, 2010
GRIEVING AND CONFUSED
by: BJ

I lost my husband, Jerry, on july 20th, 2010, very unexpectedly and fast. I have a very dysfunctional family and am receiving very little sympathy or understanding. I live about 2 to 21/2 hours from my family and they have expected me to be there for numerous celebrations and i have gone, but rather not. I have 1 son and his wife and grandson and granddaughter. They were really there for me for about a month after the funeral and since then have guilted me for not attending every ballgame and event. My parents and 5 siblings are doing the same.

My home has become a total disaster and when I am home, I spend many hours sitting in my husbands recliner. I sit and think of the things family have said or done and I do not want to go there anymore.I want to stay home for Christmas and do nothing. My sons birthday is Christmas EVE and he told me he will be with his in-laws. My Grandchilden are 10 and 12 and I don't want to disappoint them and my son does not explain that I am grieving but says grandma didn't show up again! I feel so torn apart,my jerry and I always took them out to dinner for his birthday and now just him and his wife are going. I am to go to the in-laws with the kids and they will come later or I can drive early Christmas morning and see them before they leave to go to the sister-in-law at 1PM.

My immediate family already celebrated Christmas and I have been invited to my husbands family Christmas night. What should do, I have been in the chair all day trying to make decisions. Can I just stay home and take care of me? I struggle with hurting my grand Children because my son does not understand me wanting to stay home.

I want to be with Jerry and not trying to be squeezed into my sons changed schedule. Does anyone out there have these type of decisions, when you are grieving so badly and everyone not considering my feelings. Please help me with this if you can.

Dec 23, 2010
Christmas angels
by: Mari

I have not put up a Christmas tree but I have lights outside due to the grandchildren wanting them. It does not feel like Christmas anyway.
My husband did everything around here and I am totally in charge here now. I wore my wedding rings for a long time but do not feel married anymore. I always have him on my mind and in my heart, every hour.

I am a widow and it is not fun.

I stay busy and that keeps me going. My church is a great blessing and I am busy here managing the complex. I also have done a lot inside the house. Sometimes I wonder if my husband would recognize the place. But that is me, I cannot really relax.
I still sleep on my own side of the bed out of habit. I have bad and good days.

The new great grand baby will sure be a blessing and that will make 5 generations going strong.
But in a way that makes me more lonely for my husband. I plan to put flowers on the grave on Christmas. I hate to go there. It makes me cry.

I thank God for the years we shared. I know I will be alright but will always miss him.
I might add that the fellowship at church really helps me and prayer helps. My angel is with the Lord and not suffering from his heart anymore.

Dec 22, 2010
Christmas Angels
by: Lyn Ann

Dear Patricia - the angels are a great idea. My husband died about a month ago. Our son is 17, but Jim also had 4 older daughters. His children are the only ones besides me that understand the significance of losing him.

After the funeral I found many photos of Jim, including ones with his kids. I had the best ones framed and gave them each a number of them, as well as keeping copies for myself. Like your Christmas angels, somehow it made me feel really good inside to know that they had these mementos of their father - the same ones that I had.

As for Christmas, I am avoiding the worst of the seasonal memories by escaping - last week my son and I left for Australia to spend Christmas with my family. This has helped a bit, but other memories have surfaced - I have discovered that you can't really escape. But I think maybe I expected that anyway.

I continually think about you and all of our fellow grievers - and I pray for everyone every day - for peace.

God bless, Lyn Ann

Dec 22, 2010
My heart goes out to you
by: Cindy

Patricia,

My husband passed away last month and I know how very sad you are. My tears have been falling every day. We were never blessed with grandchildren, but he did bless me with two beautiful children. We were married for almost 35 years and the grief is more than I can handle. I know the pain, and it is so new and I was told it will get better but will never go away. I know this Christmas is going to be so difficult. I just don't even want to think about it.

It has been very comforting being on this site because we are all going through the same things. Like someone told me, not a site we would like to be on, but life has caused us to be here and there is nothing we can do about it. I loved my Rusty so very much and we had a wonderful marriage. He was so good to me and I miss him more and more every day.

My prayers are with you Patricia!

Cindy

Dec 21, 2010
Christmas angels
by: Mari

I am very sorry to hear of your loss Patricia. I know you are very sad and it has only been a short time. The picture of those precious children and their daddy shows the love and he had for them and they obviously adored him. What a beautiful family.

Your loved one is safe with the Lord and there will be a grand reunion in heaven someday.
I realize we are left here to cope with the loss and it is not an easy road. It takes faith in God to get through each day and the healing process we just have to get through.

I think that is a wonderful idea about the angels. It will mean a lot to the children.
The healing process is different for everyone. I lost my husband Nov 22 2009 and still miss him so much. He adored the grandchildren and he loved me too.

There is a great grandbaby due, a little girl around the 26th and I am sorry he will not see the baby. I have many pictures of him holding grandchildren. He loved them all. Some of them are grown up now.

I thank God for our years together and always pray for comfort.

Take care of yourself and keep posting as there are a lot of wonderful people on this board. God bless you.

Dec 21, 2010
christmas agnels
by: jules

I think Christmas Angels is a wonderful idea, that way your children will know that their dad is looking after them.

I feel for you losing your love so close to Christmas, but you must know that his spirit is with you always. You carry that in your love for him.

When my love died I bought my daughter and myself a special locket that is hollow, and has a screw opening where you can put a small amount of ash, so John is with us always. My son opted for a small discreet sandstone box for ash, which he has on a bookcase alongside some of the rocks his dad collected on fossiling trips, it doesn't obviously look like an urn, just like part of a rock display.

This is the way we remember our loved one, though when someone asked about my locket, and I told them what it was, they were a little bit shocked, that it was "weird". Well, it feels completely natural to me and my children.

We each need to remember in our own way.

One Step, One Breath
take care
Jules

Dec 21, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss. My dad died almost 2 months ago. Aside from what I am going through, my parents were married 34 years, and my mom is a wreck. They have a total of 3 grandsons also. I told my mom to spend more time with the kids, and they would help her like they help me. But she says the kids make her miss my dad more. My dad loved being a Papa, and loved his grandsons more than life itself.

Just some ideas - we are having a quilt made for each of us out of my dads clothes. And we've made photo books on Shutterfly (they are easier to look through instead of pulling down big photo albums).

I don't know how we're all going to get through this, but lean on family. And those grandsons.

Dec 21, 2010
I know the feeling
by: Pam

Replying to Christmas Angel
I know the feeling. Suddenly you are single and have to take care of all the business (like checking boxes about your marital status). My husband had a fatal disease and died suddenly. I had been seeing a therapist before he died. After he died, I said I hated being single again. That wasn't what I wanted. She said she has married couples that come in and sit down on her couch and talk about whether or not they are going to get divorced. If they can decide whether or not they are going to be divorced then I can decide whether or not I am married. So, for now I feel married. I still love my husband and for now, am far from wanting to "let him go."
Yes, I have filed "single" for payroll withholding. I still wear my wedding rings and intend to for a long time. I'm not rushing into anything I don't want to and am being really careful to take care of myself. During my husband's illness he was massaged twice a week by a massage therapist. I was massaged twice a month. I have kept that up as a way to help my body heal.

Years ago before we had children I used to cross country ski. I thought about downhill skiing but figured out that to start downhill skiing "out of the blue" after 30 years would be too dangerous. Once we have any real snow, I'll take a few cross country lessons to relearn a skill I once knew. I have been really patient and understanding of myself.

One skill I not quite good at is calling up female friends and arranging activities like going to a play. Well, I'm getting there and I know I will improve that skill.

I work in a high school. For eight years I left school knowing I would see my husband at home or perhaps meet him for dinner. Now, the hardest thing I do all day is leaving the building after my last class and walk out the door knowing he won't be at home later.

Although he was ill for about 3 years and I knew his illness was fatal, nothing prepared me for life without my husband of 29 years.
The single best thing I have done for myself is to attend a twice monthly Grief Support group sponsored by my local Hospice Agency. It is a sacred space of 1 1/2 hours twice I month. You don't need to be in the mood to talk but it is helpful to hear other people go through the same feelings you are having. At least the first year after my husband died I felt like I was operating with half a brain. One of the Hospice facilitators said I was exactly right, "That part of my brain was busy mourning my husband." It is so helpful to know what we are all going through the same thing.
So, for now I am married and that is the way it is.
Pam

Dec 21, 2010
Christmas
by: Anonymous

I have not put up a Christmas tree. I am too upset to look at a Christmas tree. I have not been to any shops that have decorations, maybe next year. If you feel that you can not celebrate Christmas then do not, no one knows what we are feeling. Be kind to yourself. Have you noticed that all the husbands on this site were loved so much and all were taken at such a young age. Time does make it a little easier I can not tell you how long your pain will last but you will learn to live with it.

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