Setting expectations for the holidays after the death of a child

The first Christmas after Charles died by suicide, I expected it to be hard. All those firsts are hard–first birthday, mother’s day, father’s day etc. Hell, Arbor Day was hard.

For the second Christmas after Charles’ suicide, I was sure the holidays would be better. After all, the first one happened and I survived. How bad could this second one be?

December 1, 2017 slapped me hard and shut me down. My head was a mixing bowl with too many ingredients and it was hard to complete anything with more than two steps. It was unexpected and I was unprepared so for this holiday, I’m trying to do things ahead of time, have few expectations and ask my friends for help when needed.

For those of you who have other children and you feel you have to bring the holiday celebration home despite your grief, please do ask for help. Don’t do this alone. That’s what your friends and family are for.

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Dear holidays, I hate you

 

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

6 thoughts on “Setting expectations for the holidays after the death of a child”

  1. I hope this year is better for you Anne. I’m glad your family is coming.

    I’m really scared about the Holidays too. Normally Black Friday is my favorite day of the year! The shops, the people, the amazing sales. This year? No interest yet. it does take time.

    Hugs Anne,
    Call me if you want to!

  2. A-M – I hope your third December is easier than the last two. I have no doubt that it will be. They always stink, but the first few are just misery.

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