Holidays can be hard when you have lost someone you love, but losing them during the Holidays is so hard. Loss and The Holidays

November is a hard month for my family.

If you’ve ever lost a close loved one, than you know that the Holidays can be a little hard. But, losing someone during the Holiday season is that much harder.

Four years ago on November 11th my husbands father passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. He was a sick man, with complications from diabetes, but he wasn’t dying. We went to bed with him with us and woke up to him being gone.

His name is Patrick, but everyone called him Butch.

Butch and I connected with our love of Christmas. He loved it, just like me.

That first year was so hard with out him. Our son was one and we were so looking forward to Christmas with a kid in the house. Butch was more excited than anyone.

Two years ago, on November 15th, we lost my husbands Grandpa.

Grandpa was also sick, but we really had no idea how sick up until a couple days before he passed. The doctors kept telling us he’d get better with a little hard work.

He never got better.

I took care of him the last few months of his life and I am extremely grateful to have spent those last moments with him.

Grandpa Neal was a good man and the only grandpa I really ever had. (All mine passed away either before I was born or shortly after.)

His death was very hard on me.

. And the Holidays without either of those great men are hard. Really hard.

But if there is one thing you learn when losing someone you love, it’s that life goes on. Even when you think it shouldn’t.

The Holidays are no different.

Even when we are at a point in our grief when we just don’t feel like celebrating anything, December 25th is still Christmas. Thanksgiving still happens on the third Thursday of November.

And our loved ones would want us to Celebrate with family and friends. They still want us to enjoy our turkey dinner. They still want us to enjoy the mess of Christmas morning.

Even though our hearts are telling us “This isn’t fair. Butchy is missing out.”

Its not true. They are still with us.

In fact, I believe they have the best seat, front and center.

The first year was the hardest, by far. Especially the first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Butchy.

With the loss so fresh and the grief so strong, the whole family had a hard time enjoying it. But, we came together and did the best we could.

What gave me the strength to even get out of bed when both of them passed, was my kids.

When Butchy passed CJ had just turned one in October and when Grandpa passed he was three and Savanna was one.

They needed me and my husband to be their pillar of strength, yet they were the ones giving it to us.

Plus they were at such a fun age when it came to the Holidays. They were just learning the magic of the season and all the fun things to do.

We couldn’t just stop the Holidays because we were to sad.

And Grandpa and Butchy would never want that, that is one thing I know for sure.

With Thanksgiving next week and Christmas right around the corner, I cant help but feel like something someone is missing. Because they are.

But, we have two little kids and whole family excited to spend the Holidays together. Making memories and eating good food. 

Just the way Grandpa and Butch would want it.

Just because they aren’t sitting at the table with us, doesn’t mean they aren’t with us.

They both live in our hearts and will enjoy the Holidays from the best seat in the house.

If you are going through a loss of a loved one right as we enter the Holiday season, please know it will get better. It will be so hard this year, and hard every other year. But, as every year passes you’ll learn to slowly enjoy the magic of the season again. You’ll find strength in those around you. And you will always carry your loved one with you in you heart.

Happy start of the Holiday season!



13 thoughts on “Loss and The Holidays”

  1. There’s no good time to lose a loved one, but over the holidays I think it feels so much worse, because you can’t help but think of it year after year. My grandfather died in December and I remember that first year was awful. He loved Christmas, and I know he would have wanted us to enjoy it, but it’s hard. Now 17 years later, its a lot easier. We remember him fondly, and smile at the memories we made rather than feel sad.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

  2. This post has me crying. I haven’t lost a parents–but I was pregnant and lost a baby a month ago. Happiness and celebratory joy seems far away right now although I’m certainly trying to keep looking foward and keep living.

    1. I am so very sorry for your loss, it’s a loss I can only imagine. Stay strong momma. Thanks for sharing with me.

  3. So sorry for your loss. I’ve had a few friends who’ve recently lost someone in the last few months and this holiday season is going to be a tough one for them. Prayers to you, them, and everyone else in the same situation. It’s not easy.

  4. Hi there. 🙂 Found you through #AnythingGoes and sort of touched on this same topic on my blog yesterday. I absolutely relate. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Butch and Grandpa, but I have no doubt they are both with you and your family in spirit. Beautiful post.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. The holidays are definitely hard when you’ve lost a loved one or two, especially when you know that they would have adored your kids. Many hugs and well wishes during this holiday season.

  6. I’m sorry you experienced these losses, and especially so close to the holiday season. That always keeps that loss associated with the holiday.

    I lost my 14-year-old son at the end of August in 1991. The first Thanksgiving was especially hard. We didn’t want to attend the family celebration. Had I known how it would go we would have stay home. I wasn’t ready, but there was great pressure to attend. We were told we needed to be with family. That might have been true if it had been only immediate family. However, I did not know half the people that were there or I had only met them superficially at other holiday dinners. Those people had never met our son and could not possibly have understood whom we were missing. Yes, they knew we were grieving, but it was awkward. For half the people there Jason was the elephant in the room, not a much-loved child they were also missing. That hurt.

    One of our church families lost their 13-year-old son in a car accident two days before Christmas. He had three siblings. All the presents were under the tree. Some of the siblings were too young to really understand. The oldest had also been in the accident that killed his brother and he was feeling somewhat guilty to have survived when his brother died. That accident resulted in a new law being passed in California that limited certain kinds of driving for those under 18. The father was a deputy D.A. and his family worked hard to push for the law to save other parents the grief they experienced. For a few years they took a family trip over Christmas because it was still too hard to celebrate at home the way they used to.

    We still don’t decorate for Christmas since Jason died. We had no other children near us at that time. Jason was the one who loved decorating and celebrating. We’re rarely home for Christmas, so we don’t miss it.

    Losses are life-changing events — especially when you lose a child who still lives at home. You see the empty place at the table three times every day. We and the other family leaned on God and got through it. It’s been over twenty years for both families. God’s grace and enough time heal. It doesn’t ever quite fill the empty place in your heart, but it no longer dominates your thoughts and you can move on. But holidays can still be hard.

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