How to get through the First Holidays after Loss

The weather gets colder. The days get shorter and we know, the holidays will be here soon. Right after Mike passed,  my friends distracted me for my birthday and threw me a “surprise” party.  It was awesome.  There were lots of friends there to show me some love.  That was 3 weeks after my husband unexpectedly died.

Thanksgiving 2 months later was hard when I shared the day with my kids and Mike’s family.  We were all sad but didn’t really know what to do about it.  We were together. We ate some food.  We kept a stiff upper lip and tried not to upset each other with how sad we felt that he was missing.  Maybe that was all we could handle that year.

Following Thanksgiving, I decided to be proactive and make a plan for Christmas, I. Could I run away from the sadness that was inevitable and heavy on my heart? I wanted to try.

I made reservations for a Caribbean cruise.  I took my two boys, 19 and 22 years old, on a cruise to Honduras, Belize and Mexico.  I needed to be distracted.  I did not decorate for Christmas.  I did not make cookies or send cards or even purchase gifts.  I did climb some pyramids, have a few massages on the ship and swim with dolphins.

Doing something different helped me and was a nice way to bond with my sons.  Making new memories and treating ourselves to some fun gave us more to think about than how much we missed their dad.

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