Tree is up

LeogirlDecember 14, 2004

Hello to all. Is it just me or is time tricky to all of us? My husband died 3 months ago and in some ways it seems he's only been gone for a few weeks and in other ways it feels like forever. Christmas has always been a really big deal in our family, like many of you, and this year we all realize it won't be the same. I had decided that I would put up just a tree, simply decorated, maybe my lighted church and nothing more. I didn't plan to do it until the week of Christmas because I didn't want to sit and stare at it every night. But then I started thinking that with my Mom's health this could be her last Christmas and it's my 6 month old grandson's first Christmas. And then I remember how Bob died suddenly and it made me realize that none of us know when it's our time. I asked myself if I knew this was my last Christmas how would I want to spend it. Then I decided to spend it that way. It's hard to believe that after all I've lost I could still take for granted that I'll have next Christmas to get back in the swing of things. Sometimes I think I need my head examined! So, last night my son helped me get the tree out and set it up. I started decorating it and will finish tonight. And, yeah, it's hard but it's worth it. Because if next Christmas doesn't find me on this earth my family will have the memories of our last Christmas with the tree and the decorations and the love - and, of course, we will still be missing Bob but we'll light a candle for him and we'll send our love to him. And if next Christmas does happen to find me still around we'll just do it all over again. I just pray that I keep this strength so I can do this for the people who have done so much for me. Merry Christmas to you all!

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Thank you so much for your post, Leogirl. My son died on Nov. 24 and we have thought we wouldn't put up a tree until Dec. 23 when my daughter arrives with her family. I have two other sons and two little grandsons. I thought we would just set up the little pre-lit tree we got for our porch last year and decorate that since we won't have a tree up for long. Your post, however, has made me re-think that. We have nearly always had a real tree. The little boys are 2 1/2 and 15 months. I think it would be best for them and the rest of us to have the celebrations go as much as possible like our family traditions have been. Thank you for your insights.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2004 at 12:41PM
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I'm glad you put your tree up! That is so good. You are so right about us never knowing if it will be our last or any of our loved ones who are still here.
I want to post on another thread something that a friend of mine decided to do about her tree this year.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 12:26AM
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I am in the process of encouraging my mother to do all things Christmas. It would be really easy for the both of us to just shut ourselves into our homes and sleep right through Christmas because my brother is gone - But it's not healthy, and Joel loved Christmas. We used to love doing Christmas things together, like setting up the tree. I just feel that Joel wouldn't want us to go without a Christmas just because he's gone. Life isn't supposed to just stop because someone you love is gone. Life continues to happen, and Christmas will continue to come every year, so we may as well make steps to enjoy ourselves and keep our old Christmas traditions alive.

We had family friends who lost their only child in a car accident when he was 18. They haven't celebrated Christmas since his death in 1994. I keep thinking about them, and about how Andy would have wanted them to enjoy themselves at this time of year. I guess it's just too hard for them.

But, that being said, I don't think my Mum would still celebrate Christmas if I died. Maybe everything is different once you don't have any of your kids around.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 11:27AM
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I myself lost my husband 4 months ago. Nothing is the same. I had to leave the house we shared (it was rented) and move in with my daughter and her husband and 2 girls. I had to get rid of over half of my things because there is not enough room here. I have the upstairs to myself. I have not put up a tree here, but did unpack my Nativity Set and set it out. My husband and I always decorated every year. My daughter and girls put up their tree down stairs. We are going to my other daughters for Christmas Eve and have my other kids and their families there. It is a very sad time of year, but you are right, none of us know when it will be our last Christmas here on this earth and when the first Christmas in Heaven will be for us. I have been getting so depressed the closer Christmas gets, but I realize I have too many family members who need me here right now. I know their Dad is having his first Christmas with Jesus and I should be so happy for him, but I miss him so much. I just told my sister that I am thinking of taking my rings off and giving them to my daughters for Christmas, but when it gets down to where the rubber meets the road, I don't think I can do that just yet. What do y'all think. God bless all of you.

Karen NC

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 7:36PM
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You've had so many losses...your husband, your home, the things you had to give up, your private life. I think you would be making a mistake to give your rings up yet. Those rings are yours, given to you by your husband (I assume). Please keep them where they belong for now.

I know you don't feel lucky right now, but I believe to be surrounded by so much family really is a blessing.

Take care.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 9:11PM
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Karen, Before you give the rings up think about how YOU feel about it. Maybe right now you are just thinking about how nice it would be for them and how good you would feel about giving them the rings. For me, it would be way too soon. Actually, right now I don't think I could take mine off - ever. I'm 45 years old and if nature runs it's course that may be a very long time. I just can't bear to part with them but I realize everyone is different. I don't know if I'd be strong enough to cope with the number of losses that you have had to deal with; I'm sure that it isn't easy. When there is so much "business" to deal with that you can't deal with your loss it makes it hard; I'm in that situation and right now I'm not sure if I'll get to stay in our home or not but at least I'm there now. Keep in touch - I've found this site to be very comforting and a good outlet, too. Take care - Leogirl

    Bookmark   December 16, 2004 at 6:30AM
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Nell Jean

A very wise attorney told my FIL once,
"Don't give away anything you think you might ever want back."
They're precious. They'll keep.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2004 at 11:59AM
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Dear Leogirl: Thank you for your message. I did go today to have my wedding band cut off, but the man that has to do it wasn't in!! Is that a sign! I just don't know. Don and I were married for 30 years and 1 day. He died the day after our anniversary. I miss him so much. It's really hard when a piece of you is gone forever, isn't it? Was your husband sick? My Don didn't know he was really that sick until 2 days before he died. I didn't know about his cancer until 2 1/2 weeks before he died. I do hope you and your family can have a good a Christmas as me and mine. God bless you.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2004 at 8:17PM
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I am glad you put your tree up. when we are faced with decisions like that, one must think, what would our loved ones want us to do? of course they would want us to carry on and experience this and perhaps your dear husband smiled down you when you made the decision to put up that tree.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 4:52AM
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Karen, yes, I think you maybe were given a sign. Things happen for a reason; I'm believing more and more that there are no coincidences. As far as your question about my husband being sick - he had told me the day before that he needed to get an appointment with his cardiologist. He had been really tired lately but he also had been working really hard around the house and I thought that was the reason.He was remodeling an apartment next to our house,changing it from an apartment into what I had lovingly named The Dog House. We had plans for it to be the place to have friends over during football season and he wanted a poker table so he could have the guys over to play cards every now and then. He worked so hard to get it ready before football season and never got to enjoy it. But, back to the question: If there was anything going on other than the tiredness he didn't tell me. He had by-pass surgery in 1985 and had experienced angina from time to time which is normal. Too bad we cannot have hindsight first; looking back and knowing my husband the way I do I should have known that if HE was saying he needed to get an appointment then something had been going on for a while. Usually I had to push and push to get him to go. I don't know why on earth that didn't occur to me at the time. Sounds like even though you knew the seriousness of your husband's illness before his death it was still a shock because it was not very long before he died. 30 years is a long time and I'm sure you do miss him greatly. I talk to Bob a lot and I have from the start. I know sometimes he's around. The night my family and I returned home from the hospital we had 3 light bulbs blow in a matter of minutes. Remember, no coincidences! I even find that after I've told him how much I miss him and how awful this is, etc, that I end up telling him that I hope that knowing how much I'm hurting isn't making it hard on him where he is now. I guess we want to try to protect them even after this life. I think after the holidays I'll be able to deal with things a little better. I'll be thinking of you all.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 6:53AM
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Dear Leogirl: I am so sorry that you lost your husband so quickly. I guess I should be greatful that I had Don for the last few weeks of his life and could tell him how much I loved him, over and over again. But, ya know, I still feel like there was so much left unsaid. I guess it is ok to tell him now what I want to tell him. It is very hard with out him. I know I don't need to tell you that. The fact that Christmas is just a few days away now, I miss him all the more. I think we are going to put him picture on the bar with a candle lit beside it for Christmas Eve. Is that to morbid to do? Do you think it will put a somber mood over the evening? I guess he is in my heart all the time, why do I need to put his picture up where everyone will feel bad when they look at it? I am just so depressed!!! I do hope you will have a wonderful Christmas and I will pray that you get through it the best that you can. God bless you.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 7:36PM
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Karen, I think the candle and the picture together is a great idea. Everyone will remember he is gone from this earth anyway and those things will be helpful to you...some warmth and light from your dear one.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 11:29PM
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