Sad decisions

My mom has decided to let my dad go on Tuesday or Wednesday.  We meet with hospice tomorrow to discuss it and how to let him pass peacefully.

She is just bewildered and a bit befuddled.  How to live on one’s own after 47 years of marriage to a man who did it all for her?  She doesn’t even pay the bills and doesn’t know the online username and password.  I figured it out last week but she didn’t write it down and now I can’t re-create it.

We were holding off Christmas until dad got home but now that wont happen.  So we sadly opened up gifts.  It was the most half-hearted effort, and just made me sob inwardly the whole time while trying to keep a cheerful face.  Christmas is my mom’s favorite time of year.  She decorates to the nines and loves to surprise people.  To see her grimly go through the motions today was so heartbreaking for us all.

The worst was the last gift of dad’s.  Most of his stuff can be used by someone, so we doled it out around the group.  But the last was a classic dad gift.  For weeks he has been harping on nothing but the Sharp automatic steam mop.  Every year dad does this.  Gets on a roll about some item or other, then when he opens it, it is like heaven has rained down its’ blessings on him.  Garin opened it and I started to sob.  Garin had to leave and the rest of the night was strained and quiet.  We left after a dinner that no one wanted to eat.

I think the worst for my mom will be the memories that will now replace her love of Christmas. I hope this isn’t true but she is so brokenhearted.  She has asked us to just come and take down all the decorations as she can’t face them right now.  Understandable.

Christmas has been our family’s highlight.  Now I fear that for some time it will become a painful reminder of the last few agonizing weeks.  I hope that we will remember dad’s love of Christmas and his enthusiasm over surprises. I hope we remember how he loved to host dinner and tell stories afterward. I hope the hole in my heart will grow a little smaller.  Someday.


31 comments on “Sad decisions

  1. I am so very very sorry to hear this. It was one month today since my young friend died. His youngest sister (12)was adamant they had Christmas and pushed to ensure they did.
    My own Dad died over twenty five years ago. He was in his early fifties and Christmas is dreaded by my mom since. I hate the fact that she dislikes it, even though she still makes the effort, losing Dad and christmas was the pits.
    I will be thinking of you this week and I wish strength for you in the days ahead. I’m sure having read how strong your Dad has always been that he will carry you all through. My deepest sympathies to you, your mom and family and I wish your Dad peace.

    • What a brave girl, to insist on continuing tradition in spite of sadness. That will certainly make next year easier to bear, like getting on a bike after falling. At least I hope for them and me.
      I am afraid my mom will be the same as yours. Christmas was meaningful because of dad, they got each other gifts months in advance and labeled them Christmas gifts. Now it will seem so empty for her.
      Thank you for your kind words. I know how hard comments are for posts like this. You are a comfort.

  2. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m so so sorry. Don’t be surprised if your mom gets really angry and moody next Christmas. It’s a natural reaction, especially the first anniversary of his passing. You might want to write this down where you can take it out and look at it when it happens. If you possibly can, and it might take two or three years to do it, try to make Christmas into a special time to remember your dad, tell stories about him, laugh and cry, but celebrate his life. Think about presents he would have wanted, and laugh and cry some more. Remember that he would not want his passing to spoil Christmas for you!!

  3. You have done well here Lori to post this today. You will remember the joy your dad bought to Christmas, those memories will sustain you as you go thru the next few days. your dad left you many memories that you will remember him by, he was a joyful man, he would want you to remember him that way, grieve and then celebrate as he would. It will be hard and you will suffer inconceivable grief as you say goodbye to him, but his spirit will remain with you, it will keep you strong as you remember a good man, your dad.

    • Thank you Mr M. I know it will get easier over time. Memories are priceless.

      • They are Treasures Lori. You hold them in your heart, you share them with your loved ones, you never forget, they remain with you always……I am thinking of you at this time….i remember so well my dad in a similar situation.

        • This Christmas must have been tough for your family, wasn’t it the first without your dad?

          • No our second,last Christmas was our first and we were all together. We boys, there are three of us, ate our dinner wearing one of dad’s caps as our tribute to him. It was a lot of fun, as my dad was a happy man, he would never have wanted us to mourn him but rather celebrate the great life, relationship we had with him and with each other. When he died and we buried him, we were so happy with his funeral, we all did our bit on the day, it was the best send off anyone could have had. And yes it is sad, i am still sad because Iived with him for so long, and I miss him, but I am doing what he always told me to do, get on with life, enjoy myself, make the place I live in, our family home my place now. And I am.

            • Yes, you are and an inspiration to me.

              • Awwww thank you. I am me Lori. just tell you how I have dealt with stuff. you will do it different I am sure.
                One year when dad was alive we had a birthday party where everyone had to come dressed as him. Now that was fun, as dad dressed most of the time in his builders overalls and a floppy hat. you can imagine what people turned up looking like.

                • Too funny. For me it would have to be LLBean baggy sweats and their famous slippers. My dad lived in them. My son asked for his slippers actually, as they are so much a part of him.

  4. So sorry to hear this. May our Heavenly Father give you grace, strength and wisdom for all you will face in the coming days.

  5. Hi Lori,

    As someone who has just lost my Mum, I was trying to rack my brains on a way to help. The only useful of advice I can give is to make sure you have lots of support in place – if it can’t be friends and family, then maybe a counsellor or a GP.

    Eat and drink even if you don’t want to/ haven’t got the energy or inclination. Have plenty of rest. You must look after your body and mind in order to cope with the coming weeks – they’ll be tiring and tough.

    Sending you my very best wishes over the airwaves x.

    • Bless you Wendy. Your blog came at a time when I needed one who is going through the same journey as I am. I know how hard stress is on the body, I am already losing my hair and I think it is partly the constant feeling of impending doom I have that doesn’t allow me to rest or relax. Hard on the body and brain…and hair it appears!

  6. This is the saddest news I could have opened today Lori, I’m so , so sorry. Losing someone you love is never easy but for it to happen at this time of year is especially poignant as the holidays stand as a constant reminder. All I can hope is that you all remember is that your Dad personified Christmas for you and though it will be a time you may remember with some sadness, it may be also a time to remember how he always made it special and you can honour him by emulating his enjoyment of it. You’ll have superb memories to draw on.
    If your Mom is able to let him go on Tuesday, at least on Wednesday you’ll be able to say he died ‘last year’ and that might lend a bit of distance to it a little quicker.
    I send you much love and Huge Hugs xxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Yes, “last year” is a good thought and I can see how that can provide some distance to the rawness of the grief we will feel when it is over for us all. You certainly know more than anyone how to ‘carry on’ after such a painful process and loss, David and I appreciate your words of comfort. You are wise in experience and I am grateful to have you as a friend to draw from.

  7. Lori, I read your moving post. I didn’t know what to say that hadn’t been said by others. Then I read this. http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/time-flies-faster-than-i-can-spend-it/ Sue

  8. 😦 I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. Hugs to you. We lost my Grand a on Christmas day a few years back and I never felt Christmas was the same. This year though a robin came to the window ledge so I believe he still watches over us. x

  9. I am so sorry for this difficult time in your lives. May God wrap His comforting arms around all of you. I watched my dad let my mom go after 56 years – it was more heartbreaking to watch him than to lose her I think. I will say a little prayer for you all.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I know he is going to heaven and will be at peace but my mom went from her home to married and has never lived by herself. To learn at 71 is hard. Thank you for the prayers they are our best gifts.

  10. I didn’t read this post before the newer one. It pains me that you…and your family…are going through this. How does anyone do it, without prayer, contemplation, memories, a lot of crying, and “hold me…please?”

    • Difficult to do it WITH all of that as well, without a support network of like minded Christian friends. I am not a clinger but I have been clinging to anyone who will give me a hug, LOL and then I just crumple. Its the hug that breaks me down. But lifts me up in the end.
      Isolation at a time like this must be unbearable. I am trying to be there for my mom as much as I can as I am all she has here in KC other than her church family.

  11. I am so sorry to hear about your dad and about Christmas time and your concerns for your mom. I certainly understand. Losing our parents is very tough and it takes time and the grace of God and His loving kindness to heal us. It does happen. Slowly. And in God’s time. The memories are always there. It is different for each of us, but the same loss, the same sadness and the same memories that won’t ever let go. May God bless you and comfort you in your family’s time of lose. I will be praying for you all.

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