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Thread: Coping with Christmas this year

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Coping with Christmas this year

    Gee I hope this post doesn't come across as being totally selfish, but I was just wondering (hoping!) if anyone has any thoughts on coping with your first Christmas after a loss. We have a total of 5 get togethers over a week with different parts of both of our families, and just the thought of spending time with those who have been non supportive of me throught this miscarriage, as well as those who don't even know about it, fills me with absolute dread Add to that a DH who has been not totally sympathetic of my feelings about Christmas this year - he thinks I should just go to it all and put on a brave face, and he thinks that I am trying to "punish" them all somehow for their lack of support. I wish he could just understand that I really don't care about Christmas this year - I'm not trying to punish anyone, I just feel a bit like the whole Christmas thing is just shallow (if that makes any sense) after what we have been through.

    I'm prepared that I do have to make some effort for my DDs sake, because to me Christmas is mainly about her anyway, but I literally feel sick at the thought of having to act all cheerful and happy when I just don't feel that way - it is just going to be emotionally draining I really just wish I could go to sleep and wake up with Christmas over!

    I just don't know if I should give some of the gatherings the flick this year, which I know is going to create tension with the family members involved, or what. Ideally I'd like to just get away somewhere with DH and DD and give all of it a miss, but unfortunately that ain't going to happen If anyone has any thoughts/suggestions on coping with it all they would be very much appreciated!


  2. #2

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    Aw hun :hugs: I don't know what to say but just wanted to give you a huge hug.... I hope it all gets better for you soon. Be gentle on yourself.

  3. #3

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    susannah, big hun. i think that is ok to feel this way and you are not being mean, you are protecting yourself and that is perfectly normal. if you are worried about offending or hurting those you are close perhaps have a little chat with them and say that you love them and are thinking of them but you need some time and space to yourself this year during all the celebrations. it has been a tough time and they will and should understand. no one wants to force you to enjoy yourself - what is the point. i think DH is looking at it from the point of view of how it may affect others (them being sad at you not being there) but he should be there looking at it from your point of view as others can look after themselves. we all invest lots of things into relationships and it is ok to draw from others that which you have given before. it is a time for taking and you can give back later.
    hun, i am the same this year and have been quietly talking to a few of those that i care about and they are all understanding. i know what you mean about how draining it is to put on a cheerful face when you really just don't feel that good.
    good luck xx

  4. #4

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    I think this article on coping with infertility at Christmas can also be applied to loss... have a squizz anyway and hope it helps xx

    http://www.bellybelly.com.au/article...ping-christmas
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  5. #5

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    Maybe you can fake gastro......no one argues with that.

    xoxoxoxoxoxo, it's a hard time for lots of us mate, we have to take care of ourselves and each other.

  6. #6

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    I haven't exerienced what you've been through but I guess if you were after some practical strategies for coping if you really do HAVE to go I might suggest:

    1. Set a specific time limit on how long you are going to be at a party and communicate this to your hosts. (ie. yes we will come but we will have to leave at 3pm).
    2. Set a strategy of who you will be most comfortable talking to at the gathering and try to spend more of your time with those people. (For me, I would hide out in the kitchen, under the pretense of helping).
    3. Congratulate yourself on when you survive 1 hour of each party or when you get home and have survived!
    4. Remind yourself that going to the party is going to make other people happy, even if you are not happy. Eg DD might have a good time, relatives will enjoy seeing you.

    If your DH isn't being supportive, then I would avoid discussing the matter with him too much at this point.

    Hope these strategies help!

    Ruth

  7. #7

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    I am also going through this at the moment. This was going to be a busy Christmas period for us - but now after the loss of Nathaniel it all seems so different. We have a wedding to attend this weekend for a very close friend of mine and it has been playing on my mind. We made the decision yesterday to not attend, as it is too difficult to know how we will feel on Saturday.

    I think you need to take each day. If you wake up on the day and think you can't cope - then don't force yourself. I think sometimes it is the decision-making in the lead up to something that makes it so hard. Once you have actually made the decision it feels like a weight has been lifted. I keep getting caught up in the 'what will they think' scenario - and both DH and my mum have reminded me repeatedly that
    1) I can't predict what people will think
    2) I should not care what they think - if I am upset than I have every right to be and not to worry about other people's opinions.

    Take care of yourself. Maybe try to have your DH understand a bit more, as you will need his support. Mine has assured that me on Christmas Day if we don't want to attend a rellie event, we don't have to.

    Hugs to you.

  8. #8

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    I've been there. It's really hard. After my 1st m/c (and then subsequent infertility) I found Xmas extrememely difficult due to the focus on children. If you really don't feel like facing these gatherings then don't. Tough luck if people don't understand. I know from experience that many people just don't understand how difficult life can be after a loss (as it is absolutely impossible for those who have not suffered it to comprehend) and can be quite insensitive to your feelings. I actually found that family gatherings weren't too bad as long as there were no pregnant women or newborns there. My biggest problem (which I still had up until last year or the year before) was shopping centres. I used to avoid them like the plague at this time of year. If I did go and saw kids lining up for santa I would cry right there and then and if I saw a newborn or a pregnant belly I'd be off as well.

    You just need to make sure whatever you do you take care of yourself. People can't get too offended if you say you need to have a quiet Xmas due to your difficult year. If they do get offended they will eventually get over it. I hope you get through the season without too many tears.

  9. #9

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    this is such a painful time of year. i sat down with my dh and explained why i hurt so much (this should be Yeti's first christmas, we should be sharing all the millions of little things that parents share with their children). then i talked to my parents and brother, and he talked to his family. i made sure that any event we were to go to does not have any babies, and canceled for the ones that do (even close family). the pain of canceling for them is better than the pain for me (and my dh when i break down). i've been working on ways to remember our son, from a handmade christmas stocking, to putting his name on our cards, to buying a toy and giving it to a charity. basically, everyone at the parties we will go to know that i am a wreck and that our time at their homes will be limited. i think the best thing you can do is sit down with your dh and get his support -- that will be a life saver for you throughout the entire season. and then, like Ruth suggests, choose the parties carefully, and limit the time you spend at each. it is important that you take care of yourself, ultimately, at this time, rather than thinking of others' reactions to your absence. if you don't, the consequences will be much worse than just a few hurt feelings. good luck, my dear, and big hugs. m

  10. #10

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    It is such a difficult time of year when every one is happy and you just can't be. You should not be happy for the sake of everyone else. They don't know what you are going through so you need to do what is best for you. Last Christmas was just 4 weeks after we lost Cooper and I was a zombie, I couldn't make decisions for myself and just went where someone took me. I spent the whole day crying or sleeping and it was awful. This year as I can make decisions I have told everyone that I am not doing Christmas. I need to look after my emotions. Luckily I have a very understanding DH and family so they are supportive of my decision. You need to protect your emotions and do what is right by you and not what everyone else thinks - they haven't lost a baby. I hope you can get DH support and this will help you through. Take care

  11. #11

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    Hi Megsmum

    This is a hard time of yr and i to feel the same as you this will be my secound christmas since loosing my lil girl and for some reason am finding harder i think last yr i was still slightly numb to the whole thing but i have had no support form my in laws and they said some pretty awful things to me when i lost my angel and i just cant bare to face them we normaly go round there every yr for dinner but i am not i am having my family dinner at home and inviting my sis and her family and my dad round as my family were great through the whole thing i do feel bad for my DH as i said to him i am not gonna go round his parents and he thinks that we should i said no they havent even invited us so unless they do then there is noway i will be going over there they never make the effort with us not even a phone call to see how we are or the grandson they only live 5 min round the corner so i havent got the time of day for them sounds awful but at the min i do really dislike them i dont think i can pretend anymore as i have tried all of that and it actually made me worse i dont no what you can do to get out of it maybe do what lulu2 said fake gastro or something i hope you sort it out i think there is going to be alot of us in the same situation this yr.

    take care honey

    Munchy xxx

  12. #12

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    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded, your comments have been really helpful in making my decision about what to do this Christmas. Anyway, after much thought and mind changing over the last couple of days, I have decided that I am going to go to all the family get togethers that I can manage, and have told both sides of the family how I am feeling and have asked them to understand if I we don't hang around for long periods of time. So far so good in terms of family taking this news well, but we'll see on the day I guess. I'm going to be pretty upset if anyone gives me a hard time

    Some of my DHs work get togethers though we have decided that I won't go to, especially the ones where there are going to be pg women and babies - I just can't handle that ATM A couple of them are more important than the others but luckily for me are smallish gatherings (with people who know what has happened to us) so I'm going to go to them - unfortunately it looks like DH and his close colleagues are going to be made redundant in the New Year (just to cap off a fantastic year NOT!!!) and some of these people are my friends too, so I guess we'll go for however long I feel that I can handle.

    Big hugs from me and my gorgeous DD back to those of you also trying to cope with losses over the Christmas season. Take care of yourselves xx

  13. #13

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    As has been said by many, it is a tough time for many of us and we just cope in the best way we know how. My suggestion is to be kind to yourself and make sure that DD has a wonderful day as it really is all about her. Spend some quality time with yourself. If you do end up going to see the 'family' then don't be where everyone is, go outside, go for a walk, but most of all focus on you.
    take care and I hope you and everyone else gets through this tough time of year.

  14. #14

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    I know exactly how you are feeling, i had m/c in late november after 10 years of TTC, and the traumatic death of a very close family friend in september and i feel christmas is just too close. we've had a few parties, some i felt i had to attend, one i attended and only a few people knew about m/c and were watching out for me, i left the decision to attend to the last minute. another one, dh declined the invitation it was only two weeks after our loss. for christmas day, dh's family always has breakfast, we take turns and this year just happens to be our turn, would love to cancel buy dh insists we go ahead, i guess this is important to him so will do. for lunch i usually feed my parents and the in-laws and any extra's floating around, this year i have refused, i just need time. my mother (77yo and dad 80yo) keeps saying, it could be our last christmas, i keep telling her to go to my sisters (i'm one of six) it shouldn't be just up to me. i'm not taking on anything else, i need time to recover.

  15. #15

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    First of all, I'm sorry for your loss. I'll keep you in my prayers.

    Don't try to make yourself feel any sort of way right now. You're at where you're at. It's okay not to feel the holiday spirit. It can be especially hard if people don't know about your loss, but you have aright to your own business.

    Sending a cyber hug.

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