Christmas meltdown

Went to my sister for Christmas dinner. What a mess, everyone made a point of not mentioning Bruce at all. I exploded and yelled at them that his name is Bruce and had a complete meltdown. I was told I had ruined Christmas, well I don't care they all had their spouses with them. Next year I will make a point of not being here for Christmas. I will be avoiding the family for the next few weeks. I wish this season was over.

It has just been over a month since Bruce died and I feel I am no better than when he died. I did not choose this life of pain and loneliness and I am sorry if you feel uncomfortable with my feelings, try being on this side of the fence.

Comments for Christmas meltdown

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Jan 05, 2011
Sorry for the way your family made you feel
by: Pam


I am so sorry for the way for your family made you feel. I don't think people don't mention our loved ones names on purpose, I think they are scared and uncomfortable, wanting to make it somehow easier for us, without knowing that what they are doing is making it harder. I am so blessed in that I work at a church, and I have people that constantly come up to me and ask how I am doing, and will listen to whatever I want to say, for as long as I want. But my family is different, maybe because we are too close?

Christmas was rough for me too, I remember crying so hard on the way home, screaming that I have never had such a bad day as Christmas Day because he wasn't here with me, and reality was starting to sink in (it had been a little over a month since my husband died). The only thing is that once you have found this website you can say anything you want and people will listen to you, I am so thankful for the people on here. Just come back often and I think it will help you. Thinking and praying for you,

Dec 28, 2010
I understand
by: Anonymous

Wow, I truly understand your pain. This happened to me right after Lee's funeral. I couldn't believe how my parents went from asking about Lee everyday (sometime several times per day), sending him fruit, and going by to see plain old nothing after he was gone. I mean, no mention of him at all and as though his death never happened. I had to ask myself several times, did it happen? Was it a dream? I just could not believe how silent they got and the fact that they would not even utter his name.

So what did I do? I made reference to him. I said things about him to sort of force the fact that "I need you now (especially now!) as much as I needed you all then. I wanted and needed my parents to say his name at least and acknowledge the fact that he was here and we will miss him. Since this time (Sept. 2010), they came around only a little but still its like "the white elephant in the room" when it comes to Lee, who cared for them so deeply.

I am not sure if it is a generational thing or they are afraid if his name is brought up, I would break down... but, whatever it is, I have learned that talking about to ANYONE who is sincerely open to hearing your story really does matter who wants to act like the death never happened.

Find a trusted friend/relative/clergyman/support group you can share your most innermost thoughts. Also, I found the book "On Grieg and Grieving" by Elisabeth K. Ross was my bible during the first month of my loss and I still refer back to this wonderful resource from time to time. I am better but continue to struggle everyday...
Peace be with you during this time and in the future! You must hang on in there!!

Dec 27, 2010
by: Lyn Ann

My heart aches for you. No one really understands unless they have been there. I remember back when I still had Jim, that I never knew what to say to those that were grieving. And I have to admit that my usual approach was just not to mention anything in case it upset the person who was grieving.

And now, I realize that there is really nothing anyone can say or do to make anything better. I hate it when people say stupid things, but on the other hand I have gotten really uncomfortable when people I hardly know give me big sobby hugs and tell me to cry on their shoulder (this has happened more than a few times).

I live in a small community, with many older widows - most I know only as acquaintances, not friends. They all came to Jim's funeral. And you know what? - most of them didn't say a thing to me when they came through the receiving line - they just looked me straight in the eyes for a few seconds, and then squeezed my hand or gave me a small hug. I was a new member of the same club that they had unwillingly joined years before. No words were necessary.

It is really difficult just now, but try not to be too hard on your family. They love you and may be a source of strength for you later on in your journey. Take care and God bless. Lyn Ann

Dec 26, 2010
by: Judith

It's horrible when nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. They were insensitive to your pain and they are family. I'm so sorry you had to experience that.

I just got off the phone with a sister and I was telling her that I've had a lot of mourning the last few days and crying at the drop of a hat. She said " well now you won't be doing that anymore, right?" I responded with "I'll be doing it for a long time and anytime I feel like it. I can't schedule it since it's a grieving process and it will take as long as it takes."

We all need to practice that and say it until they get it.

I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell me or act like it didn't happen or that I should be over it.

Mostly I'm making a list of people to avoid in the future. And when they lose their mates I'll say "my it sure is different when it's your loss, isn't it?"

You are only a month into to this awful process and it will get less but in your time, not theirs.

Take care and don't worry about exploding.

Dec 26, 2010
So sorry
by: melissa

I am so sorry you had a tough time on Christmas. I know how hard it is when no one recognizes your loss..everyone just goes on like nothing is wrong and no one is missing. I had the same thing happen to me yesterday at my family gathering. My Gram/Mom has only been gone almost 2 months, and no one said a word. That is until I started crying, and then my cousin comforted me. I just wanted to scream, and believe me, I was inside.

I decided next year, I will make sure to voice loud and clear that a very important person is missing, and say a prayer. I just don't get it...why does everyone pretend nothing is wrong?? I know I was the closest person to her, but she was still Mom, Gram, and family to everyone else there too!!

I hope you are doing better today, and I will keep you in my prayers.

Dec 26, 2010
I agree
by: Patricia

There confused and they don't know what to say or they think they have the answers. It changes minute to minute, hour to hour and any moment in the day ~ it sneaks up on us when we lease expect it. Their lives have moved on and we're stuck in a vortex ever spinning back unto ourselves. Have no fear ~ we are here for you. Come and talk, you'll always have someone at this site. We're your support group and happy to talk anytime of the day or night.

Grief has no time table. New Years is around the corner and I know I'm scared of it. I'm only at 6 months and I can tell you I have meltdowns too. It sucks but I does get better, have no fear, you won't forget him and soon the sad memories change to happy ones. They say the "1st" are the hardest and I believe it.

I try to think of my life in chapters. The chapter of Billy and myself is over but there's still more to the book. I go back and re-read our chapters, cry and laugh. Always remember the new is always scary but we must move forward. Baby steps when you can and stop if you need to look around. Its not a race ~

Always, 1 step, 1 breath at a time

Dec 26, 2010
To Bruce's wife
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss. You have lost your life mate and no one can understand your pain unless they have also lost their mate. I am so sorry that the holidays turned out the way they did. I doubt family wanted to hurt you by not mentioning Bruce, they were probably thinking that it would be better for you if they didn't.

What they don't understand is that just because we bury the one we love, doesn't mean that we don't continue to carry them in our hearts. We may want family and friends to talk about him and the good times. All they have to do is ask us what we would like. But instead, they are quiet; feeling more comfortable in the silence.

It is not an easy road you are traveling, my friend. I have been traveling it for 5 years now and it is not as dark and dreary as it once was. There are shafts of sunlight filtering in now and again. I now realize that God has been by my side since it first happened, but it took me a while to realize that. Now, I cling to Him and disregard what family and friends do or don't do. They will probably never get it right anyway.

I'd like to walk beside you and carry one of your suitcases for a while, easing your load. If you'd like to share more intimately, I have an email that is just for this purpose: See you there. GT

Dec 26, 2010
Family? the cruelest of mammals?
by: HH


I would stick close to us for the time being. Your family has NO IDEA what it feels like to lose the very one that made us wonderful. To have half of you stripped away and be expected to heal immediately as though we were a lizard to grow another tail, instead of a widow that cannot grow another heart.

Your letter angered me, the thoughtlessness of your family is so brutal. And that from those that "Love You?"

Just hang on, it is going to be a bumpy ride with ups and downs highs and lows on this rollercoaster of grief. I know you want to get off, escape the ride, but ride it we must.

Express yourself here.....We will never turn you away and will always listen.

Dec 26, 2010
Avoiding the subject
by: Ms Mack

Funny how that happens........everyone is afraid to say the name of your lost love. They are so scared to stir emotions. So they teeter around the edges of your grief and avoid the subject. Everyone did that with me too and it would really piss me off. Back stepping doesn't help at all. Get it out in the open, let them know it's ok to talk about him. You'll find it makes you feel better, openly expressing yourself.

It's only 1 month for you. One month was my worst month and now, 5 months later, I want the silence about him. I guess it's different for everyone depending upon where you are in your grief stage. For now, just keep telling us your thoughts and express your feelings here. We really listen and cry with you, and for you. It is sincere and shared by all of us.

Say your prayers, it helps. Bruce is with you in spirit and will help you along the way. Take care and keep writing. You will resume your sanity but it takes time. My best to you.

Ms Mack

Dec 26, 2010
We Need to Talk About Them
by: Pat J

I lost my husband three weeks ago. Christmas was very hard for me. I was numb and just went through the motions. I spent two days fighting back the tears. Last evening my daughter was looking through some photo albums and started sobbing. I felt then it was OK to let go. She didn't want to upset me, I didn't want to upset anyone in my family. Once the flood gates opened for her I felt it was OK for me to cry in front of her. She said, "Mom if you felt you needed to cry you should've. I was fighting the tears back too." We talked about Joe and we both felt so much better.

Maybe your family thought they were protecting you by not talking about Bruce. Unless they've walked in your shoes they don't understand. I find it comforting to talk about my husband Joe. I have noticed a few family members looking at each other as if I shouldn't be talking about him. Oh, you ruined their Christmas by feeling your pain!! Do they realize your Christmas was beyond ruined? Don't beat yourself up for that. They needed to be more sensitive to your needs and not worry about their Christmas being ruined. I feel for you as one who is grieving. I don't even want to think about New Year's Eve. One day at a time.

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