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    An_198053 posted:
    I posted on this site back last March when I lost my Mom to Alzheimer's and was dealing with my loss after having been her caregiver for some time. The past few months I've had my ups-and-downs, but for the most part had found me smiling at the memories of her before she became sick once I had processed the initial grief. However, now that the holidays are upon us I feel so very empty inside and find myself close to tears much to my surprise. Intellectually I know this is probably normal, as it is our first set of major holidays without her, but I also think that it has hit me months after the fact as well. Has this happened to anyone else?? For a while I was looking at it as a new chapter in my life and felt happy to have the freedom to enjoy my life that I'd been missing while caring for her, but now I don't like feeling so sad. Advice, anyone?

    My brother and his family (as well as my husband and our grown children and their husband and fiance) are coming for Christmas and I want to have everyone write a special message of what they would say to her if she were here today, seal it up in an envelope, and put it in her Christmas stocking on the mantle, and when we put the stockings away this January I will seal it up and no one will ever look at it...we will "retire" her stocking with her name on it. Is this just my emotional, sentimental self, or is this stupid?
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi and welcome back,

    It's good to hear how you've been doing and absolutely YES, it's normal for the holidays to affect us like this - especially those first big holidays but even into the second year's and beyond though it does get easier for most - AND that you can think you're healing well and then be blindsided by it all just sinking in.

    Your stocking idea is really lovely. Just be aware that it's possible not all family members will want to do this and that's okay. You do it anyway and anyone who joins in.... great. I don't think it's stupid at all.

    I think we all plow into the first few months of grieving in different ways and so much can depend on the relationship, whether it was a surprise or not, whether you were a caregiver or not. For me, I got very energetic with work and did big creative projects at home. Those helped to pull me forward but, like you, it all really hit again later, though those blindsides get less frequent and less intense over time.

    Allow yourself to laugh and cry through these holidays. (((hugs)))
    addesMAMA responded:
    later reply but that is an awesome idea!! i want to 'send' balloons up for my Grandpas birthday!!

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