Missing Your Parents During Christmas Time & The Holidays

I had a serendipitous conversation with a MyDomainMint.com hosting & domain tech support person this evening. I was messing around with my blog and had to call them for support. After we figured out what the issue was and got the site back on track, he asked me about my blog and what it was about. He then told me that both of *his* parents had died, too — FROM CANCER! Part of me, most of me, believes that my “accident” in messing up my site for a few minutes was no accident – that I was meant to have this conversation with this person. I think this blog shines a light on the stuff that’s dark and gives people a place to say — yeah.. me too…

Christmas time and the holidays can feel pretty lonely when you don’t have parents. I spent my thanksgiving last week with my chosen family – people who I have chosen over time to be my family, and who over time, has chosen me right back. It’s a beautiful gift I have been given in the absence of my blood family. They are kind, considerate, loving, open minded, accept and love me for who I am, and my GOD they’re fun!!!

 

CONNECT WITH SOMEONE ELSE WHO MAY BE FEELING LONELY

If you’re missing you parents this holiday season, try to find someone or a couple of someones who really need you and focus on them.

  • Perhaps a child who’s lonely
  • An orphan who would like company
  • A child who’s family is not very supportive (perhaps being a big brother or sister)
  • Buying a gift for a child who doesn’t get Christmas or holiday presents
  • Sending a card to an old person
  • Spending time at a nursing home with people who don’t have any more family
  • Writing a card to family and friends you would like to keep in touch with, updating them on your life or just saying hello
  • Spending time with a friend – any friend
  • Spending time with a friend who’s also lost a parent
  • Going to a meeting. I’ve gone to a Motherless Daughters of Central NJ Meetup meeting and have met a ton of other women who have also lost their mothers. There’s a meetup happening this December. They also have a NJ Motherless Daughters facebook page.

 

CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Sometimes, we have people in our lives that have no idea we are suffering and it may feel like a rejection or that they don’t care or they are too busy with their own lives when they don’t reach out to us. This happens sometimes when your parents pass away.  It may be a good time to reach out our hands and say either we need help, a simple hello, or a simple, hey I care about you.

I think the important thing to remember in one of the above scenarios is to LET GO OF THE OUTCOME. Put your intentions into good– believe that you deserve them, but then the minute you send that card, email, text — let go of the outcome and just accept that you were able to do something that was hard, difficult and totally vulnerable. Have an UP prepared (an event that after you do it, you know you will feel good. A movie, a talk with a friend, a beer if that’s your thing, TV, a rollercoaster if have one near by and you’ve got good weather).

Don’t just sit there. DO SOMETHING with your grief!

 

  • http://jetlifefilm.wordpress.com Evan

    I lost my dad the day after Christmas, 2009. I am going to spread his ashes in his hometown of San Diego, California this upcoming summer. Also, I am a film student and I will be creating a documentary about my journey across my country and towards closure. and I would really appreciate it if you helped me spread the word and gather support for “JET Life.” Here is the link to my website: http://www.jetlifefilm.wordpress.com. Thank you for your message and potential support, Lisa.

    • Lisa

      Hey Evan,

      I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. What did he pass away from? Your journey across country sounds like an awesome idea. I’m really interested in staying in touch and finding out how this film and the work you are doing help you bring you closure. I’d love to interview you for my site. Also, I’ll add you to my resources page. Let’s connect about this!

      Lisa

  • Deborah Davis

    Hi Lisa: Interesting I am in central NJ also and lost my mom to complications of parkinsons and pneumonia on nov 14 2011.

    I feel lonely without her. She was my best friend. I am also an only child but i am 52 years young and doing a masters in health care admin online.

    How do i join daughters without mothers and where is this group you spoke of?

    Debbie

  • Lisa

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom, Deborah. As a female, I feel that it can be really tough to lose our moms. I have a half-brother (same mom, different dads) – but I grew up as an only child because my brother didn’t really live with us.

    That’s great that you are getting your masters, good for you!

    The Motherless Daughters of Central NJ is through meetup.com so you have to have a meetup.com account, which is free – http://www.meetup.com/MyMotherHerDaughter/

    Where in Central NJ do you live?

  • http://amalebrain.blogspot.com/ amalebrain

    Hi Lisa

    This is a very interesting blog. Just like you, I lost both parents. So, I know exactly what it feels like not having them around. This is something I suspect I will never entirely get over but I think I’m learning how to live with it. Mum passed away last year. I miss her greatly!

    • Lisa

      Thank you for your comment. When did your dad transition? My dad’s been gone for 7 years, my mom for 2 1/2. Feels like yesterday sometimes. Christmas was my mom’s favorite holiday. She spent so much time and energy around making it all look pretty. It was hard to try and decorate this year but I’m trying to make new traditions. I’m thinking of you.

  • Carol

    I just stumbled on to this blog because I’m really missing my parents. My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV gall bladder cancer on Christmas Eve of 2004 and passed away 8 months later. My dad passed away 2 years after she did. No matter how old I get, I will never stop missing them. I had a friend that lost her mother early and would always say she’d give everything to have 5 more minutes with her mother. I know that feeling now.

    • Lisa

      Carol wow — your parents transitioned so close together. I feel mine were pretty close, 5 years apart in 2004 and in 2009. They were so young, 54 and 62. I miss them every day as well.

      I would give anything to have 5 more minutes with my mom. I tried my best to slow my life down so I could spend time with her at the end of her life. Illness isn’t lucky, but it gave us time to process and spend time together.

      Both my parents had cancer. I’ve changed eating habits over the last 7 years big time. I’m hoping this will help me live a longer, healthier life.

      How has your life changed since they’ve been gone?

  • Rai

    I lost my parents on a 22nd of december 16 years ago in a car accident. I have learnt to be comfortable with my situation, I am not saying I didnt grief but I was able to find joy in our time together. Having two sisters really helped me, we are very close.

    I now have a baby boy, and this year has been very hard for me in realising that I needed my parents and they were not there. It feels like if the wounds are re opened… just that now no one really died. And grief is stronger almost new…

    You hear so many theories about griefing… my experience is that grief can be a part of life of a joyful one, but right now I am overwhelmed ….

    • Lisa

      Rai, thank you for writing. Your story brings to light one of the many faces of grief – that it’s forever. Although grief shifts over time, there are so many times that wounds are re-opened, usually when we least expect it.

      How are you taking care of yourself this time of year? What are you doing to process your grief or express it?

  • raquel

    I really miss my parents specially this holiday season.. =’( i lost my father november 18, 2008 and i lost my mother november 18, 2009. it seems like end of the world for me and for my siblings, and the hard part is I am the eldest and 6 younger siblings left behind.. So sad when your love one really want to live yet you don’t have money to send them to the hospital.. =(

    but after all happened I am still thankful because god make a way.. I am here in canada right now and supporting my 6 younger siblings back in philippines and all of them are schooling, looking after themselve.. I know my parents are proud of them. I really miss them soooo much, there’s no words to explain how much i love and miss them..

    • Lisa

      Raquel – wow I can’t believe you lost your parents within a year of one another – on the same day! What happened to them? No one was able to get them to the hospital because of health care? If you don’t mind me asking, how young are you? It sounds like such a hard life situation… I’m sending you love.

  • Karen

    I just lost my parents on May 20, 2012. It has been nearly 5 months and I feel alone with out them here. I am the eldest of 3, I have 2 younger brothers. My parents died in a car accident, so it was a sudden, unexpected loss for us. My parents were in good health, mind and body. For 5 months I have tried to process my feelings. The feel of this loss has been so overwhelming for me. They were my best friends, my confidants, my “go to people”.
    I have many pictures of them throughout my house. I look at their pictures and cry. Tears of having them for 51 years and wanting 50 more and having them in my children’s lives who are young adults and cheated of grandparents at a young age.
    Missing them everyday. The phone calls have stopped. The dinners with them have stopped. My dads emails are nevermore. Questions of where to start my life again. I wish I had more time to talk, eat and share with them the goings on in mine and my children’s lives. So many questions left to ask and left without any answers.
    We now have been through their 54th anniversary, fathers day and my fathers birthday. My husband, my children and me spent grandparents day at the cemetery and had a picnic to celebrate their lives and send our love to them. We played 2 songs that we played at their funeral and were able to smile, me with tears, but remember the good times we spent together, and the love we felt for them. After an hour we left with a kiss on our hand to the headstone, a sign of “I love you” in sign language (as we always said goodbye this way) and a feeling that they were okay and our lives will go on with their memories guiding us and giving us hope that we will all be together again.
    I loved my parents to no end. But the loss has been devastating to me. My family has supported me through this with love and understanding that it is going to take me a long time to heal. I wear different hats at different occasions. I hide a lot of my emotions so no one really knows what I am thinking. People have stopped asking how we are doing. Their lives have gone on and I’m stuck.
    I have never felt loss like this. I have joined a support grief group in my community. We have met twice and it’s nice to have others to talk to and listen to about the same heart ache that I am going through. This is my first step in the healing process for me.
    I can only hope that life is going to get better and easier as I go from day to day. But this is a day to day healing process. I will make it with the love and support of my family and friends. But it is going to take time…

    • Lisa

      Karen, words can not express how deeply saddened I am to hear about your parents. It must be so hard on 10,000 levels to lose them at the same time in such a tragic way. It must be so painful… my heart goes out to you and your family.

      Grief is not an easy process, but I think it’s great that you are looking to heal… The group sounds like a very healthy start. I think it’s good to be around others who can understand what loss means, even if it’s not the same exact kind of loss.

      Do you enjoy writing? Painting? Do you feel like you could express your grief in a different way in addition to the group?

  • bonnie

    I lost my mom back in 1987. I was quite devestated with her passing, and my father was as well. He withdrew from me at a time when i needed him most. I decided that after a year it was time to get out of Baltimore City, and moved to Florida. At first it wasn’t bad because it seemed that my father was comming down all the time. It was great having him back because i was always a daddys girl. After 10 years he remarried, and although he still came down it wasn’t as much because his new wife still worked. 2005 i lost my oldest son. I never felt so much saddness in my life. It totally consumed me. I felt like i was in a black hole that i would never get out of. It took a year before i learned how to get on with the living. Then 3 years later my dad died. He had a massive stroke 3 days before i was going to see him on my birthday in October, It was so hard not being able to be there with him the whole time. He held on for a month, never really comming out of a coma. When the put him in Hospice to end his life i was there along with his wife. The minute i got to his bedside , and said dad he turned his head to recieve my kiss. I know he knew i was there. I was there when he took his last breath. I was jealous because i knew he was going to be with my son, and my mother. I told him to tell them i loved them. Now i carry on without either parent. Life is not as good as it once was, but i still try to find the laughter , and the joy in it. Christmas is here, and for everyone suffering a loss it is the hardest time of the year. This is the season we want them all around us, but we know it will never be again. Life goes on, but not because we have a choice about it. If we did then everyone would live forever!

    • Lisa

      Bonnie, I’m sending you so much love in this moment. It’s so hard to lose our loved ones.. especially after trials we’ve had with them emotionally. What kind of Christmas plans do you have this year?

  • Clare Neal

    I lost my mum to cancer in August this year, she was my best friend and my whole world. Mum had a stroke in April which left her weak on her left side she was fighting to recover with physio and was determined to get back to a more normal life. In may mum had a chest infection and having copd the constant coughing wasnt really looked in to by professionals at the end of may she was fighting for breath and we persuaded her to go to hospital as the nebuliser the ambulance was not having any effect. they admitted mum on the 20th she was placed on oxygen therapy which did not work very well so they did a ct scan, on the 22nd we were told mum had incurable lung cancer that had spread to her liver.(my nan died from liver and throat cancer) we were stunned but mum asked how long we were told 12 months with pallative chemo. We had to resign ourselves to the fact we only had 12 months left with my precious mum.. mum had two rounds of chemo and was so ill she was bedridden. by july we were told she has 3 months left watching her laying there losing her hair was heart breaking. by the end of july mum had deteriorated again and we were told we had weeks left with mum. by the 11th august mum was gone. she died at home something we promised her would happen. I layed my mum out and kissed her one more time as the undertakers took her away. part of me died that day too. I had lost my dad to dementia just 18 months earlier and again i was there as he took his last breath. losing dad was hard enough but i feel i will never get through losing my wonderful mum. I visit their joint grave every week and will be going christmas morning to see them. no one understands, i am full of rage, scared i am going to have a break down and depressed beyond belief. my husband tried to understand but i cant make decisions at the moment and we are rowing constantly over stupid stuff. i said i think i need to see a counsellor in the new year to help me through it. yesterday my husband said i need to see this counsellor in the new year before this tears us apart (not the first time its been said) I seriously cant cope and was even considering booking into a hostel as he said thanks for ruining christmas. my reply was i dont even want christmas but i was trying to make sure it was nice for him. Im not the easiest person to live with at the moment i know but it feels like any understnading there once was is now gone. sadly this is one of the times i need my mum the most as we could talk about anything. my soul is broken as is my heart i dont know how to go on..:’( my mum was 66 and my dad was 71 when they were taken.

    • http://www.losingyourparents.org/ Lisa

      Dearest Clare,

      First of al, I am sending you so much love. Losing your mum and dad is the most painful thing in the world. And watching them at the end of tier life an being there for them, what a beautiful gift you gave them. No one else could have done that for them but you.

      I know your spirit is broken and your heart left in a pile, but please know the feelings you are feeling are important and also will come and go. My heart is aching for you right now. I know what you are feeling somewhat.

      Breathe.

      Going to counseling is a positive thing. I’m glad you have a husband to help support you. He is never really going to understand. No one really will. Your feelings are yours.

      Hope is faith holding it’s hand in the darkness. Try to have some hope that you will be whole again one day and promise yourself that you will do the work get there. Melt into pieces and then use the pieces to build something new.

      My Christmases will never be the same. I will never get to dance with my dad at my wedding. But I have new opportunities for new traditions that I can create. Let yourself feel. This is all very new.

      Do something just for you. Record on your iPhone your feelings everyday or write or find something you can really sink your teeth into. A creative class? And love yourself. Love your process

      And write me anytime.