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Grief during Christmas Season

Updated on December 15, 2011

Hello dear readers.

I never thought I'd write a hub on my father's death. But after much reflection and the current circumstances, I need to reveal the secrets behind what it is like to grieve and in my case during Christmas.

My father to tell you the truth, was a difficult man, an authority figure, who was often a yeller. I do have fond memories as well from childhood and our love of music.

My father was shy and didn't have a lot of friends. He did his very best though to create an atmosphere for us at home. When he came home we ran up to him and kissed him. He cooked all the meals including Thanksgiving and Christmas. And he loved children- he had 10. I'm the youngest.

I have always felt special being the youngest in this family of 10. I feel like a cute teddybear who can hug anyone. I have an affectionate heart.

I am grateful really that I spent the last three years with my father. It enabled me to be at peace when he died. It was a relief after all that suffering he went through, all those times he almost died in front of me and calling 911. This was a rollercoaster of emotion for such an amount of time.

No one, according to a grief leaflet I read from my local church, accepts a death easily. And it is advised to let yourself FEEL what you need to feel, for as long as you need to. This was a surprise to me but appears to be the most reasonable way to heal.


In my father's last days......

It began when he was in the ICU in Norwood Hospital three years ago. He pulled thru and was surprised he said. He was in his home for awhile, making his own breakfast while wheeling around in his chair. Very independent. He was still quite himself, a loud speaker.

The best times for me were at night, when if I couldn't sleep, I came down to his room to speak with him. He was always awake- as he sleeps off and on- and he was grateful for my company. Mom told me he slept better when I spent time talking. We chatted. I got him gingerale. Sometimes I rubbed his feet with lotion. He told me how kind I was. This made me feel good.

Over time dad was in and out of rehab, back home, back in the hospital. He got weaker and in diapers. My sister became his nurse; she had to change his diaper and hoist him from the bed to the wheelchair. He sat outside in the sun in his chair. He rolled around; my nicece was there some of the time, he still yelled at her some----as he was known to do if she or any kid misbehaved.

Up until the end-----till 4 days before his last ICU, dad was coherent and himself. He at times did seem like he had dementia but it was only temporory. He was seeing people who were not there at times. Or he thought he had something in his hand that wasn't there. This did not bother me, I just wanted to be of help.


Dad never was affectionate ever. I guess all his brothers are not either. But as dad got older, and since I am a huggy person, I began hugging him and it became a ritual when I visited him to give him a kiss on the forehead as I leave. I know he liked it. He felt loved. I said "I love you dad" and he said "thankyou for saying that". I know that although he was unable to express his love, he did love us.


Where credit is due.

All of my sisters and brothers did their very best to provide comfort for dad at those last three years. It's pretty impressive really. These are the ones and some of the things they did:

bob- used his carpentry skills to provide safety in the home

mary- came to visit from far away and had spiritual talks with dad--he often asked for her

john- did pick dad up many times when he fell

joan- came to visit, was a nurse for a couple days, always brought his fav blue cheese

wally-shopped and bought 50 yogurts or more at a time. dad loved to stock up on food.

louise-worked geniously as a caretaker for dad the last year, and was compassionate and kind

joe- joe was very close to dad. Dad always smiled when Joe was around. Joe took pains to make dad happy and spent countless overnights keeping dad company in the hospital.

cathy- she did alot of shopping and bought and cooked his favorite foods.

bill- took dad to doctor appointments.

rose (me)- spent lots of one on one time.

You can never tell the good things you do, and leave out the rest.


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    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

      Dear tillsontitan,

      Thankyou very much :) My heart goes out to you as well, we can definitely relate. You take care and thankyou for your time. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      So sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. I know how hard it is to go through the first year of holidays and birthdays. I lost my Mom in November, six years ago but; one of her favorite things to eat was turkey wings. I handled the first Christmas pretty well until I took the turkey out of the oven when I just broke down and cried uncontrolably! Even my adult kids knew it was the turkey wings. We have so many good things to remember, hold on to them. Thanks for sharing.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

      Dear Fennelseed,

      I'm so sorry you lost your beautiful handsome son; I read your story. I hope you find peace this Christmas and thankyou for visiting and commenting so nicely. I feel if you or I can comfort others we are comforting ourselves too. ;)

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      I am also sorry to hear of your fathers passing. You have written a beautiful account of the love and compassion shown to your dear father during his illness. You are a very affectionate person, that is obvious in your writing, and your Dad would have appreciated so much the love and care you gave him.

      I lost my father six years ago and my Dad was the same, hugs were very rare, but my Dad, like yours, showed his love in many other ways including providing for our Mum and us 7 children.

      I think grief is a very individual thing, I know I find it very hard to talk about how I feel (I also lost my son 12 months ago), but I can write about how I feel, so I write and I write and somehow it does ease the pain.

      If this is the case for you also, then keep writing and we at hubpages will keep reading and offering support. All my best to you.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

      Thankyou very much, Mary of Bethany, for reading and commenting!

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA


      Thankyou. Yes, I feel wonderful that I was there to help him and wait on him and spend quality time with him. I have no regrets!

      YOu too. thanks

    • profile image

      mary of bethany 5 years ago

      Nice and enjoyable to read!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Rose, so sorry to hear about your father's passing, but you did get those very special moments to be with him and help him and tell him you loved him, remember those moments on Christmas day, they are a great gift .

      Have a beautiful Christmas my dear friend .

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks very much Dave.

      Grief is a strange thing.

      I don't want to think about it much nor feel much but my body has felt it before due to lack of appetite and sleep. I think it's reasonable to move on as I feel I'm doing. But I read it's healthy to keep talking about it, whether it's just mentioning it in passing or saying "My dad loved that music too" etc

      That is why I'm doing this.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

      Thank you Victoria,

      I thought as I wrote it, that not only was it helping me to pay tribute as well as talk about it, it may help others with thier loss.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Schoolgirl: Cherish in your heart, all of the good memories about your dad, and remember that nobody is perfect. Cherish in your mind, the timely lessons you learned from your dad and how you were able to put them into good use and practice.

      The negative will simply fade away slowly until only the good ones remain.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bless your heart. I dread losing my dad. It's so hard around the holidays. We lost my little nephew about two years ago, several months before Christmas. This is the first Christmas that we are getting together again at my mom's, and I'm so anxious, because so much has changed. It's hard. Thanks for sharing this. I think it's good for people who are hurting to see what others go through and how they deal with loss.