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grubby
December 9th, 2007, 08:17 PM
This will be a 2 part question.

As everyone knows, my mother passed away Dec 2, 2006. I am close with my step-father and in some ways, he is the best grandparent my kids have. He will be at our house for Christmas and we will spend the weekend after Christmas at his house, as we have every year. In fact, my step-father is the only I truly trust enough to leave my kids overnight with.

He has had a very difficult time this last year, understandably. My mom's death hit him extremely hard but he has been extremely supportive of me and my sisters. He swooped in and picked up the pieces and stepped up to the plate in so many ways.

But I sometimes wonder if my sisters and I are holding him back in the grieving process. We (all of us, sisters, I and step-father) are trying so hard to hang on to the traditions that we had when mom was around. I really don't know how to explain all this, but sometimes I feel that maybe we are truly holding him back from moving on with his life. Don't get me wrong, we will ALWAYS be a part of his life and his ours, I just don't know if our grieving is making him hang on to his grieving? Also, I am not a touchy-feely type of person and probably wound not feel comfortable talking about this to him really. In fact, I more open here at times than I am with my family (except DH and kids, of course.)

Second part, I have found a very nice ornament I thought about getting him, in line with my first question, I just don't know. I was afraid giving this to him would again hold him back from moving on. I have every intentions of leaving it for him to open after everyone left, as, again, we are not big on the touchy-feely thing and he could open it in private.

http://www.thingsremembered.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_10001_598062_-1_1

So what do you all think. (You know, after reading my own threads, I sound like such a basic case/drama queen, but really, I am probably the most practical person you will ever meet.)

Annsdil
December 10th, 2007, 02:00 AM
You sound like a very loving family and I am sure your Mum would be so proud of all of you in staying strong and supportive for each other in your grief.

If you can't say it, write a letter to your SF even if you do it as you have written here I think it said everything.

Or, whilst I'm not very good with words, how about a little note to accompany that beautiful gift for your SF, something along the lines of.....

"We were all blessed the day Mom brought you into all our lives, and we remain blessed. We love you so much. Do not forget that whilst Mom will always be in your heart, you have plenty of heart to share. May the New Year be the start of a new chapter for you, which we hope will be filled with as many fond and happy times as you had with Mom."

You had your traditions with your Mum, which you will ALWAYS have memories of, but even traditions can evolve. It's what's in your hearts that will keep you together.

1dilwhosreal
December 10th, 2007, 04:39 AM
You had your traditions with your Mum, which you will ALWAYS have memories of, but even traditions can evolve. It's what's in your hearts that will keep you together.

I really like this.

This is really the first Christmas you'll be celebrating without your DM. Last year's doesn't count because you were all probably still in shock and numb. This year, you'll really be feeling her loss. Unless something is glaringly out of place, do what you would normally do, then afterwards, evaluate it to see what would be the next step in the evolution of your traditions.

That would also be the time to talk to your stepdad and see what he thinks. Just as you would if he were your flesh and blood father.

Grace
December 10th, 2007, 04:42 AM
Hi Grubby, I don't think you're a drama queen at all - I'm a bit teary reading your post (I'm at work on my lunch break - how embarrassing!!:o). Lovely reply Annsdil, ITA. The only thing I would add is that if you're not comfortable with a letter, something I could suggest is a very understated comment that your SF can take away and think about that would let him know that you will not be resentful when he does move forward. I'm sure you know that no-one will replace your mother in his heart, but somebody may in time be a new partner for him, and that you're OK with that. You could say something like, 'We want you to be happy, and we'll always be supportive of that'. I can't think of some good words, and I know how hard this must be (I am an emotional blubbermess in private, but rarely share my feelings with anyone other than my DH, and you guys, who don't seem to mind so much when I'm a blubbermess, so I understand!!). My suggestion that if you don't feel comfortable with a letter, maybe a Xmas card with a nice message in with something along the lines of hoping the new year brings him happiness and new chapter (good words Annsdil!;)), and that he will always have your love and support, or just an understated comment to the same effect. Just a suggestion.

I hope this Christmas is much happier than the last one Grubby, I haven't lost a parent, but I have lost a loved one and I can tell you that the feelings never go away, but they do become easier to deal with with time. I think you're just lovely for having so much consideration for your step-father, he must count his blessings every day. On that, you have probably given him a lot more comfort in his time of grief than you have held him back, I'm sure it has given him so much comfort to feel needed by you and surrounded by people who genuinely care for his wellbeing.

Grace xxx

snafu
December 10th, 2007, 05:10 AM
Grubby-YOU know your "step"-dad better than we do, but I think you've got a great idea. Now I'm thinking about getting two of those orniments (one for DSD & DH and the other for PILs). I'll probally check with DH to see what he thinks.

grubby
December 10th, 2007, 11:18 AM
You sound like a very loving family and I am sure your Mum would be so proud of all of you in staying strong and supportive for each other in your grief.

If you can't say it, write a letter to your SF even if you do it as you have written here I think it said everything.

Or, whilst I'm not very good with words, how about a little note to accompany that beautiful gift for your SF, something along the lines of.....

"We were all blessed the day Mom brought you into all our lives, and we remain blessed. We love you so much. Do not forget that whilst Mom will always be in your heart, you have plenty of heart to share. May the New Year be the start of a new chapter for you, which we hope will be filled with as many fond and happy times as you had with Mom."

You had your traditions with your Mum, which you will ALWAYS have memories of, but even traditions can evolve. It's what's in your hearts that will keep you together.

Thank you so much Annsdil. That is beautiful and if you don't mind, I think will be "barrowing" it.

grubby
December 10th, 2007, 11:25 AM
I really like this.

This is really the first Christmas you'll be celebrating without your DM. Last year's doesn't count because you were all probably still in shock and numb. This year, you'll really be feeling her loss. Unless something is glaringly out of place, do what you would normally do, then afterwards, evaluate it to see what would be the next step in the evolution of your traditions.

That would also be the time to talk to your stepdad and see what he thinks. Just as you would if he were your flesh and blood father.

Your absolutely right 1dil. Last Christmas was a complete haze and for some of my sisters, it was a completely medicated haze. This year seems harder.

This weekend I was pulling out all of last years left over wrapping things and I found my mom's Christmas present from last year. I had already bought it before she passed and went ahead and wrapped it and put it under the tree. My DH must have put it in the box so they would not get lost. So, now it sits under the Christmas tree again.

Grace- My lack of touchy-feely is actually now a family joke. While everyone is leaving and giving out hugs, they always walk by and pat me on the head with a "good girl" comment. I can take it, just don't hug me.

grubby
December 10th, 2007, 11:31 AM
Grubby-YOU know your "step"-dad better than we do, but I think you've got a great idea. Now I'm thinking about getting two of those orniments (one for DSD & DH and the other for PILs). I'll probally check with DH to see what he thinks.

Snafu, I think that it would be a great gift to your SD and PILs. Definitely talk it over with DH, but I think it is wonderful gift and very thoughtful. I you are an absolutely wonderful step-mom and your DH and SD are very lucky to have you.

Annsdil
December 10th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Thank you so much Annsdil. That is beautiful and if you don't mind, I think will be "barrowing" it.

You can take it with pleasure. I'm glad you seem to have a legacy that will be passed down for generations to come of what a truly loving family is all about.