I lost my beautiful boy Troy on 12/15/07. He was 22. Today I sit in an empty condo in Park City, one of his favorite places, while the rest of my family is hitting the slopes. It is so hard to get over the sadness he is not here with us, the feelings of guilt if I allow myself to enjoy this vacation. I often wonder how long the pain will be with me and how long I will have to take two weeks off work in December in order to cope with this feeling of sadness that overcomes me this time of year. How do other's cope with the seasons and aniversary of loss?


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 I lost my son, Jareth, 21, December 11th 2009 and due to the military, we couldn't bury him until Dec 22 I find the holidays challenging. I tried to stay busy and not think about it, but caring family who is worried, come over and call and even show up at my house crying. This isn't my first time with suicide. My brother also committed suicide a few years ago so I kind of know what to expect, but it just is too overwhelming. The way I have coped this year is by staying busy with non-holiday stuff, staying away from happy people and spending time with my other sons and their families, who are hurting too and we feel comfort in each others company. I think next year I'm going to let others know, that as much as I know they care and are worried, I don't want the reminders. The day after Christmas was such a huge relief. It meant people stopped calling and quit needing to be with us.     I guess we all are different and have different ways of coping. You'll be in my prayers and thoughts.
Hello, Sheila; my name is Dianne.  I am sorry to hear about Troy; and I do understand your coping mechanism.  I lost my father to suicide when I was 15 years old.  My coping mechanisms were not the greatest at all, because it came back to bite me in the butt in my later years of life.  At age 15, I came from a family that made you keep your mouth shut and speak when you are spoken to.  So all the pain and anger and guilt that I was feeling in my teenage years, I swept it under the rug and went on with my life.  I did not have the Grief Support website to go to and talk to other people who may have been walking in my shoes back then; I just went on and carried my burden.  It was not until I lost my mother when I was age 47, when all the pain, anger, and guilt blew up in me.  I lost friendships, my family stopped talking to me because it was just so confusing to them how I was acting.  My past caught up with my future and I was a mess.  I finally came to grips with my father's death in my later years of life to realize that it was not my fault for him committing suicide.  The reason being is that I witnessed his suicide that dreadful day and I kept the thought in the back of my mine as to "why didn't I stop him from pulling the trigger."  My question to you is "could you have stopped Troy from doing what he did?"  What type of guilt are you feeling right now, if that's okay for me to ask?  I hated my father for doing what he did, but I did not know that it was a part of my grieving to feel angry.  I have forgiven my father for what he did because I had to realize that I could not help him by carrying his burden.  I did not know what to have done back then.  We have tools today that help us to recognize the signs of possible suicide, but in the end whose choice is it? You are going to feel the sadness of him not being with you; you are going to ride that roller coaster of grief; and eventually you will go into the process of healing.  Get with a support group that will work for you.  Not all support groups will be for you.  I found a wonderful Grief Support Group at my church.  I am going through the Grief Support class because I know that there are other people out there like me who need some type of support.  There are little things now that I am carrying from my mother's death where going to a grief support group is helping.  My mother passed 11 years ago and dealing with her birthday which falls on Mother's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas had been hard for me in the past; but since I started the support group I am starting to understand so much.  Yes your family is hitting the slopes because it is their way of coping with their grief.  I lost friendships because I felt that everyone should have paid attention to me and my sadness and my bitterness and my ugly behavior; but they did not want to deal with it, and I made such a big emotion out of it.  If your family go to the slopes, you can go too, and if you don't want to that's fine, don't go.  Do something else.  Celebrate by doing arts and crafts, taking a walk, going to the convalescent home and sitting with someone or reading to someone.  And if you do not want to do that, then maybe right now you want to have quiet time; but let it be safe quiet time alone.  I just started to volunteer my time at a hospice home for children who may or may not see next Christmas.  In closing, you cannot put a time on how long the pain will last with you.  But you can help yourself by accepting your emotions.  Your emotions are real and it is part of the grieving and healing process.  But be safe with your emotions.  Another question to you is that you said you take two weeks off of work every December in order to cope with your feeling of sadness that overcomes you.  By coping, how do you cope?  What are you doing to cope?  If your emotions causes you to do things out of the norm of your life (drinking more than you normally do; starting to do recreational drugs when you know you don't, etc; then that's not healthy emotions. If you are not in a Grief Support Group next year try one during the Holidays.  These workshops are offered and you will be surprised how it does help.  The main thing I will say to you before closing is stay close to God; trust Him for your healing.  Seek Him as to what to do for those days that you are feeling sad.  Talk to Him honestly and then sit quietly and listen to Him speak to your heart.  Let's talk again.  Take care and stay safe.
It's a hard thing to do and no easy way to do it. I lost my son 08/24/09. He was only 21, and I know your pain. On the anniversary of his death, I didn't go to work that day. During the holidays, it's o.k. to cry, and think about the good times you had with your son. People mean well when they say you need to get out of the house, but they don't understand. Think about childhood memories, those  little things add up to great big smiles.


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