Remembering our loved ones during holidays

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Remembering our loved ones during holidays

Postby momppsp » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:17 pm

It has been really tough the last week with Thanksgiving and upcoming Christmas. This is the first year, as many of you, that Mom is not here and to boot, today is Dad's birthday. I got a little 18inches or so) Christmas tree and decorated and put it on their grave today. I so miss going to the nursing home to see Mom during the holidays, as weird as that sounds, I'd give anything to see both Mom and Dad one more time. It is everything I can do to not get in a funk. My MIL passed on Dec. 19, 5 years ago and buried her on Dec 24,2003, her birthday was Dec. 30 so, the holidays are not a real happy time around our house. I haven't put up a Christmas tree in 3 years. December's a real crappy month.
Just feeling a little sorry for myself.
Let's lean on each other to get through the end of the year.
Just been thinking a lot about what we lost and guess we ought to be grateful for what we still have.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
Deborah-Mom w/PSP symp 9yrs+-diag. 6/04
received her wings January 10, 2008
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Postby les » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:45 am

Dear Deb:

I agree. We all need each other to lean on here, especially as the Christmas season approaches. I feel really bad too. Everytime I hear a Christmas carol I want to turn off the TV or radio. They all remind me of my mom. Actually everything to do with Christmas reminds me of her.

I have to find my Christmas tree. I don't even know where it is. Somewhere in my house.

I am trying to think of what I'm going to do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. All I know is I don't want to sit around and be sad. I suppose I will go to church with my sister-in-law Christmas Eve which I have never done before (it will be something new) and I don't know about Christmas Day. I am just going to try and make the best of it. I keep thinking it is just two days to get thru.

All I know is I don't want all these friends of mine who are all happy and everything feeling sorry for me.

I know our moms would want us to be happy. It's still really hard though because we miss them so much.

I guess I should just be grateful my mom is not suffering anymore from PSP. She is not suffering anymore but I still am. I think it is about time that I let go to from all the bad memories and all the pain and start living again. I don't want to be a prisoner anymore of PSP!


(My mom, who I loved the most in the world passed away Jan 29/08 from PSP but she is now free!)
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Postby les » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:00 am

I had wanted to add one more thing on here.

The whole year before my mom passed away she and I would talk about her giving me a sign that she was okay after she passed away. We talked about it often and I told her to do something that would blow me away.

Two weeks ago something happened to me and it blew me away. I don't want to say what it was or anything on here but I know in my heart it was a sign from her.

I hope all of you don't think I'm crazy but it did happen and it did make me feel better and I know that she is with me watching over me in spirit anyways.

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Postby momppsp » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:56 am

Les: No, your not crazy about the sign. After Mom passed away my little sister was going back to her house to get all the paper work and on the way back, she felt so sad and lost, with car windows closed she felt a rush of air over her and she always thought it was Mom's spirit leaving and was telling her she was ok. So, I think we all get a sign sooner or later.
Please don't sit around on Christmas. It will be sad but with the help of family, we will get through it.
Take care.
Deborah-Mom w/PSP symp 9yrs+-diag. 6/04
received her wings January 10, 2008
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Postby Bonkers » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:23 pm

I know I think of my Mom a hundred times a day now that Christmas songs are playing. Mom used to hum and sing all around the house. She always joyed and delighted in the Christmas season soooooo much! Mom left us physically on Nov 6th--so the holiday season isn't what it should be in our house right now.

But I've decided to start new traditions while incorporating some of the old ones. My life is different now without both my parents so why shouldn't my "celebrations" be different too????

I went out and bought a small 3 ft. Christmas tree. I bought a blown glass angel ornament in honor of my Mom (angel is dressed in a dark green flowing gown--my Mom's fav color was green) and I have a teal, iridescent glass blown butterfly ornament for my Dad---then I went out and bought myself a gorgeous reindeer ornament with all kinds of glistening and glitteryness! Maybe someday I will feel better about getting out the older ornaments that Mom had--but for now--for me---this new little tree and the new ornaments will do! Made me feel better anyway without having to face the unwrapping of Mom's stuff. And in future years if I decide to get Mom's stuff out---I can donate my new little tree to a nursing home or hospital or someone shut in. I'll keep my new ornaments and add to the older ones. I miss my parents so much--especially my Mom at this time of year! She and I always shopped together and called each other with ideas and stuff.

AND now for the sign that my Mom gave me so that I knew she was okay...

After Mom passed I kept telling my sister that I wanted to hear from Mom that she was okay. My sister kept telling me "she;s okay" but I kept telling her that I wanted to hear from Mom myself...

the very next trip to the farm (where Mom & Dad lived for over 60 years) I wanted to see some sort of sign telling me that she was okay. Dad died a little over two years ago and there has been a red-tailed hawk that flies over the farm just as we drive up the lane and a lot of times the hawk is sitting on a post or a tree as we leave. Wellllll..... on that very next trip to the farm after Mom passed there was a SECOND HAWK!!!! It was sitting on a light wire by the fruit trees and it was teeter-tottering back and forth. Never saw a hawk do that before. And just as we came up the lane--this unbalanced hawk flew from the light line low to the ground and arched up into a nearby tree about halfway up.

How did I know that this was a message from Mom????? My Mom was not great on balance and grace sometimes---Dad and her always joked about it. Mom loved fruit trees and I had just planted them this fall in honor of her. I wanted her to have a fresh peach or apple come this spring. And also, Mom was scared to death of heights. Perfect sign from Mom! Teetering on the line, over the fruit trees, and not off the ground very far!

And as this second hawk flew low and landed in the tree--the other hawk came and circled above her. And now----we see both hawks all the time at the farm.

The day we moved Mom's things from the nursing home back to the farmhouse--- both hawks circled and circled over us, the farm and the house. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that these two hawks are messengers. And I feel a comfort when I see them--a feeling of peace and that things are good and are being watched over.

I strongly believe that our loved ones can see and hear us even though they have passed over to the other side of life. And when you hear or see or feel a sign---you instantly KNOW it is them. And I do not let anyone tell me no or pooh-pooh the idea of messengers---I know in the depths of my heart what is right and what is true and what is a message from my Mom and my Dad. I just know. EAch person knows in their own way.

I always just thought I believed in messengers and angels and the sort but the last 4 years of my life have proved to me that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there ARE messengers and that there ARE angels amongst us and over us and with us. Some of the things that have happened to me in the last four years----have made me a STRONG believer in them. THere are no other explanations for some of it.

So, yes, I look for the hawks eagerly now!!!! And I am seldom disappointed. And I am starting new traditions with some old ones blended into them. Life is always changing and we must change and adapt too---it is growing older and wiser in many, many ways. I know some of us are experiencing sad, sad Christmases but I do hope your Christmas is a glorious one. Remember Christ and what the season is all about. For He has given us hope in the fact we will be reunited with our loved ones someday. Until then, we have to learn to keep on keeping on!

I love all of you on this forum! It's like home to me. So many hearts filled with love!!!!
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Postby momppsp » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:25 pm

Bonker: Love your story. It gave me chills then a huge smile, which are rare this time of year. I would love to see the hawks. I haven't really gotten a sign from either Mom or Dad but, I know their ok and together. I haven't put up a Christmas tree in a couple of years and probably won't this one. I did get a little tree, decorated it and put it on their grave Tuesday which was Dad's birthday.

My daughter and I have done something we have never done. Adopted a child through the Catholic Charities Community. Actually she is 16 years old and went shopping yesterday and really, really enjoyed the spirit of Christmas. I only wish I could see her open the needs and wishes she had.

I guess everyone here has new traditions. It is time for change as hard as it may be.
Deborah-Mom w/PSP symp 9yrs+-diag. 6/04
received her wings January 10, 2008
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Postby Beth » Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:28 pm

Dear All,

Yes, holidays are difficult. I know my father wouldn't have approved of how I put the lights on the tree, but at the same time, he was the one to teach me to solve problems, and doing it "my" way made my life easier. He would approve of the train around my tree, each car a Wabash RR car (long since gone, but his father worked for them). Mom would love to see that I cherish her nativity set as much as she did.

MOST OF ALL, they both would be so happy that out of this horrible disease, some good has come. Someone I met on another forum who lost her father to PSP is coming to visit for the holidays. We both carried the bulk of the caregiving for our parents and literally have walked in each others' shoes. She's coming all the way from Australia! I'm enjoying doing all the little things which Mom and Dad did for us, hoping to give her a Great "Up Over" Christmas here. It even looks like the snow I "ordered" is coming on the day she arrives! For me, doing this for her is taking away a bit of the pain of loss, and I think for her, the excitement of being away from all familiar is easing her pain a bit too.

For me, I do believe life post PSP was harder than life with it (as strange as that may seem). I had a melt down when the forum told me I had a new password, one which made no sense to me, and was more than I cared to remember (I couldn't find the spot to change it) I though the disease took my Mother, and now I can't even communicate with others. Obviously, after I settled down, I found the reset area and can still contribute.

As you struggle with the upcoming holidays, please give a little thought of three of us gathering at my home, over 4 years after Mom's death, more so for my Aussie friend. It all takes time, and obviously there are things which hit hard. Please know we'll be thinking of you and praying that the days ahead will be gentle to you.

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Postby LRS » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:32 am

Hey Everyone,
I've been having a bit of a hard time with the holidays too. Thankfully we went to PA to be with my husbands parents for Thanksgiving. It was a bit bittersweet. We go every year. Last year, mom was just starting to not be able to speak well and to fall. I remember calling everyday checking in on her and being so scared to be away from her. This year, she isn't with us anymore. It seemed odd to be out of town and not to call on her. Mom always had the most beautiful Christmas tree that I've ever seen. A few years ago, she just stopped putting it up. She "loaned" me all her ornaments and helped me decorate my tree. Last year, she couldn't help, but she She was a perfectionist at it. I had kind of been dreading getting my tree started this year. But, over the weekend, I got it up and decorated. I decided it was not only going to be in celebration of the birth of my savior, but, in honor of my mom too. I kept hearing her as I put it up....saying, that ornament doesn't belong there, there's a hole in the tree you need to fill it in...not enough I thought it wasn't going to turn out well, but, its the most beautiful tree I've ever had. I've had tears here and there sitting and looking at it. We have a few family gatherings planned, and I know they are going to seem so weird without mom being here. I really miss her. I'm glad we all have each other to talk with. Sometimes even those we love the most and who are closest to us don't really understand. I pray that you all can/will have a wonderful Christmas. And, we all do have so much to be thankful for.
God Bless
*Mom, Jean, 72, symptoms of PSP since 9/07, diagnosis of possible PSP 2/08, met her Savior 9/15/08.*
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Postby cats1424 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:18 pm

Hi All,
I am also having a hard time with the holidays. I just can't seem to find anything that feels fun anymore. My father who was 83 died in January of this year and my husband, 64, died Sept 17 this year from PSP. Thanksgiving was really hard, my brothers and sister all decided to spend Thanksgiving apart. They just don't seem to understand or maybe they don't want to understand how hard this has been. If I mention my husband's name my sister almost always either changes the subject or suddenly has to hang up.

I'm having a really hard time remembering my husband before his PSP symptoms started and nobody in my family wants to discuss him except for my brothers wife. But, she is always in the middle of something or getting ready to do something so our conversations are usually short.

Everything was so hard during my husband's journey with PSP. Now that he is gone I thought things would be easier but I was wrong. If anything things are worse.
Diana- Husband diagnosed March 28, 2005. Received his angel wings September 17, 2008 64 years old

Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.
Art Buchwald
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Postby Robin » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:04 am

Here are links to two good articles on grief during the holidays: ... .18.05.pdf
(you may have to cut and paste this web address onto one line in your browser's address box)

The second organization listed above, American Hospice, has many useful articles on its website dealing with grief. Go to their home page at and then click on the purple box labeled "Articles."

(I read about these on the CBD-related Yahoo!Group today.)
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Postby les » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:21 am

Well I am forcing myself to put up my Christmas tree this weekend but I am not going to this party my friends put on every year which is on Saturday.

I sort of just want to be alone with my daughter this Christmas and I don't want to listen to Christmas Carols.

My daughter got a lead role in a musical so I am looking forward to seeing that next week.

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Postby les » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:29 pm

Hi everyone have a really good Christmas and a Happy New Year!


miss my mom who passed away on January 29th, 2008 from PSP. Merry Christmas mom wherever you may be. I miss you and love you!
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Postby Crazy Mary » Thu Dec 25, 2008 7:27 pm

I along with all of you miss my loved one as well. Bruce was so much of what Christmas was for us all. I don't think we realized how much until today. We were all a little scattered. Dad not wanting to go anywhere and Mom of course staying with him. Missy my youngest with the family in St. Louis, Mark in VA getting ready to leave for Irag,and Josh hasn't been around for several years for the holidays. I invited Bruce's sister to stay here instead of going to a hotel when she came up to visit her kids. So we sat up til 3 am talking about Bruce and going through pictures.
I fixed breakfast this morning said a prayer we ate and then I went to Jen's house my oldest. Maddie opened her presents with that thrill that children get with anticipation. When I did up goodie baskets I put in a picture of Bruce in his dress whites on a Christmas card for all of them.
For the first time I heard Maddie call Bruce by his name. She said that's my PaPa Bruce, she had never even called him PaPa before it was always Pepop.
I miss him so much my heart aches,but I know he is watching over us and as my tears fall,I know that some day soon I will be in his arms again. He will be my rock again and I will be whole again.
wife of Bruce 54 years old diag.2003 symptoms since 2001. Freed of PSP on Aug. 19th 2008
Crazy Mary
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Postby marmee4 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:16 pm

It's a proven fact that holidays are the most depressing time of year for many people, especially those dealing with loss or illness. The year after my parents died, my sister bought a bunch of wooden curtain rings and glued photos of my parents into them and gave each of the 6 children and 15 grandchildren a very special Christmas ornament .. she tied a beautiful tiny ribbon at the top of each one. She also divvied up all my parents' tree ornaments, some of which the children had made over the years, and gave each of us a box of 3-5 very sentimental and some ancient glass ornaments. What a sweet and healing thing!

And this year, with my hubby in this downward spiral of PSP, I was just too TIRED to even think about dragging out all the boxes and decorating, so my sweet daughter who lives with us took it upon herself to spend an entire day decorating and she transformed our house into a sparkling and enchanting Christmas house!

Just thought I'd share. As many of you said, you have to keep going - and remember to honor your loved ones by keeping traditions or making new ones. The important thing is to remember the "Reason for the Season" and be joyful in spite of the hurt.


Husband, Eddie, age 66, diagnosed in March, 2005, symptoms since 2000; was escorted by a host of angels into the loving arms of Jesus on Friday, November 6, 2009,at 6 p.m., surrounded by his loving wife, childen, and extended family.
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