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  #11  
Old 12-03-2007, 07:00 AM
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So sorry to hear about your loss, Debbie !

Our life cannot always be full of happiness but it can always be full of love !

Thinking of you and your family.


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  #12  
Old 12-03-2007, 07:38 AM
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...A life well lived...I love that saying...And it is a celebration...I've been very lucky in my life to not have to deal with this type of thing first hand...but it's coming...All I can hope is that I can go through it with the dignity that you are showing, and the love that others are showing you! I'll say a prayer for you, your husband and your Mom in law!
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:36 AM
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I am so sorry for your family's loss mammaduke. I wish i could say some magic words and help your family heal through this time, but i don't know the right words to say. Please except my sincere condolences and your family is in my prayer and thougts.
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2007, 09:12 AM
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so sorry to hear off your loss

My parnters mother passed away just over a week and a half ago and was was buried in spain where she lived.

My partner had to fly out for the funeral.

I did discuss taking down the tree and the cards etc, but she loved christmas so we have decided to leave everything up.

It will be a hard time though

Once again my sympathy goes out to your family


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  #15  
Old 12-03-2007, 10:26 AM
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I'm so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family during this difficult time.

I'm in a very similar situation myself this Christmas as my father-in-law just passed away in October. I know how difficult it is to watch someone you love so much experiencing the pain of such a horrible loss. It broke my heart because I couldn't "fix" it. I couldn't do anything to make him feel better. It was the most helpless feeling I'd ever had.

You asked how you could help him. I remember asking the same thing and receiving some great advice.

First, let him just "be" whatever it is that he needs to be. If that's sad, angry, overwhelmed...whatever, give him the gift of his emotions. They may not be the same as the ones you might have in the situation but everyone processes grief differently.

Second, make the grieving process as easy as you can for him. Since grieving, planning a funeral, dealing with a loss of that magnitude can take over your whole world and leave room for very little else take care of whatever day to day stuff you can so that he can focus on dealing with the incredibly overwhelming task at hand.

Finally, be there in the background to pick up the "slack". When my FIL died, I was the "go to" person...meaning if something "menial" needed to be done, I did it. When the family needed to go deal with some of the funeral arrangements, I stayed behind to answer the phone and take delivery of flowers that seemed to come by the truckload. When they ran out of something (soda, ice, paper products, etc.) I volunteered to run to the store to pick it up (I say *volunteered* because sometimes a family member just needs to get out of the house and do something "normal"...so if they would rather do it, I let them). I answered doors, I did dishes, I ran errands and anything else (including scrubbing MIL's carpet...she became obsessed with cleaning the carpets before the funeral) that came up.

In the weeks following the funeral, my DH shared with me that those were exactly the things that he'd needed. However, the one thing that I didn't make time for or prepare for was my own grief. I loved my FIL (stubborn, pain in the behind that he was) and I, too, experienced a loss. So, in the middle of helping everyone else, make sure you take some time out for yourself.

As for having a Merry Christmas? I don't know. DH's family has decided to celebrate Christmas because that's what FIL would have wanted. Things will be different this year and a little bittersweet no doubt, but we will try to strike a balance between remembering FIL and having a happy holiday. We want his spirit to be a part of the Christmas celebration but we don't want his absence to be the focus of it.
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2007, 01:11 PM
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I am so so sorry for your loss. I hope you and your husband are coping well.
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2007, 01:27 PM
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Thank you everyone for all the kind words & prayers that we have received this past 2 days. You'll never know how they are helping us get through all of this since it was so sudden.
Her roommate said they were up the night before watching Christmas shows, & that she could hear her snoring at 5:30 that morning. At 6o they went to wake her up & she wouldn't awake.
I took last night after everyone left & my husband finally settled down to sleep, to do some crying.
Thank you again everyone for all your support, it does help us both.
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2007, 05:01 PM
Holly Cl'Oz Holly Cl'Oz is offline
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I'm so sorry for you. This is hard at any time when a death is unexpected but I know it's especially hard at the holidays. The first holiday without a loved one is so hard. I do hope you try to continue with your holiday plans. You've lost your mother in law but life is unpredictable and you never know who you could lose in the coming year and you might regret not having a last christmas with someone else. But mostly try to follow your husband's lead. He'll need to work through things in his own way and he's very lucky to have a wife that cares so much.
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  #19  
Old 12-03-2007, 05:50 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss, things will get better in time.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:29 AM
MerryLady MerryLady is offline
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Originally Posted by mammaduke View Post
This morning we lost my mother in law, she died in her sleep. The only gift under the tree has been hers. It is really hard for him to even look at the tree now without remembering that gift that is still there. He won't let me remove it. How do I help him now ? I need some advice I've never had to deal with this.

Mammaduke,
I'm so sorry to hear about your mother in law.
Its always difficult to lose a loved one and even more painful when it happens around this time of year.

I have dealt with this before and it never gets any easier.
First thing I want to tell you might seem obvious, but its something a lot of people don't seem to realize...You ARE allowed to be sad.

Its just human nature, when you lose someone you love, even if you believe they've gone on to a far better place, they aren't with you anymore right now and it hurts. So, allow yourself to mourn, to cry and let your husband know its ok too.
Men get told since the time they are little boys to be strong, not cry, so its even harder for them to express sadness.
Let him know he's safe expressing any emotion he feels in front of you.
Once you've accepted that you have the right to your feelings, you can start to heal.

Another thing you can do this Christmas season to honor your mother in law, is that you and your husband can give a donation in her memory to her favorite charity or something that she was passionate about.
One of the last things I want to mention is that although it hurts and feels like it will hurt for ever, someday the pain will start to ease.
As I said before, you have a right to be sad, but sometimes its not being sad that people who've lost a loved one feel they have no right to, but joy and happiness.

Just as its ok to feel sad, its ok to celebrate too. All your feelings, whatever they are, are legitimate. This applies not just to this year, but Christmases in the future.

When someone passes away around Christmas time, families often feel strange about EVER allowing themselves to have a merry Christmas again.

If you ever start feeling guilty about wanting to enjoy the holidays, just remember that she would have wanted you to.
It might be hard now, but when you are able, talk about your mother in law, set aside time to remember how she loved Christmas. If there were special things she did, talk about that and even take up those tasks yourself and do them in her memory.

Once again, I'm so sorry for your pain and I hope my words just hope my words can help, at least a tiny bit.
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