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Getting Through The Holidays

As the holidays draw nearer, we have a dread of putting on our Holiday Mask, which is one of the reasons behind using the graphic above. We will make it through the holidays and afterwards ~ we'll be looking good! Below you will find some suggestions from our members regarding things we can do to make it through.

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Hugs To My Mom

It's that time of year again.
The time you hate to see.
For it was when I went away,
And left you behind in misery.

Oh Mom, I know you can see
and feel the hugs I send.
I send them to you daily;
Through the hugs of your friends.

I can see how rough it is
for you this time of year.
But when it comes around again,
rest assure I am right here.

I will once again see you cry.
Along with the others nearby.
I will reach down & take your hand,
I'll wipe that tear from your eye.

So, let this message I send to you,
be an everlasting thought in mind:
It's that time of year again, Mom,
But I'll get you through it this time.

And when you feel down & discouraged,
Just reach your arms toward me.
I am there to hold you Mom,
Forever and for all eternity!

~Kaye Des'Ormeaux~
Copyright 1999 Kaye Des'Ormeaux
Dedicated to the ones who need to feel the hugs of their angels.
Special Dedication to Rosemarie
in Honor of Andrew
In Loving Memory of Andrew

Shani's Suggestion:

Christmas is around the corner, and I know how hard this time can be for bereaved parents. I don't know if you would be interested is sharing this with members - but I have a Light-A-Candle memorial on my website. I include the links to homepages, if applicable, as well as photos or images of their choice. I will scan photos (never a charge) if they are mailed to me to be included with the candle. Lighting a candle is one small simple way I can help others remember their loved ones. Light-A-Candle is not just for the holidays, but a always-free service provided year round.   I thought this might interest you. I hope you have a lovely holiday season!

To light a candle  

To view candles

Jackie's Suggestion:

One thing that may help you to cope with the upcoming holidays is to make some changes in they way you celebrate. Don't do exactly what you have done for so many years past. Make small changes that will allow your holiday to NOT be a carbon copy of all of the others. Change your menu, the time of mealtime, where the meal is held (let someone else do the cooking), celebrate on Christmas Eve with the family then do something completely different on Christmas Day. These may seem like small things but they will allow you to go through the day without constantly thinking to yourself, "last year Jason did this" or "last year Jason sat here". It will enable you to creat NEW & different memories. I'm not suggesting that you exclude your son from your holidays but remember him in a special way. Maybe a particular candle that is kept burning throughout the holidays to remind you that he is with you always. Holidays will never be to you what they once were. How could they...your whole world has changed. But you will get through this difficult time of the year by taking it one day at a time and by doing what you feel comfortable doing...not what someone else THINKS is best for you. These people are well meaning but they don't have a clue as to what you are going through. My heart aches for my daughter and son, even though it's been many years since their deaths and so too will your heart continue to ache. But with time, that ache will become less sharp. I have 4 poems on page 4 of the MMIAS poetry page...maybe they can be of some help to you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers throughout this holiday season. God Bless!

Jackie Comeaux
Michelle's & Jerry's Mom

Beckie's Suggestion:

Every year since I have had Craig & Alexis to help us get through Christmas, we go through their toy boxes & take out the toys they don't play with anymore & that are in good shape and donate them to charity/ the needy in memory of Jacob. This gives the less fortunate children an xmas & makes us feel good knowing we do this in memory of Jake. Believe me it makes our holidays so much brighter when you give the gift of toys/love to another child.

Beckie Clymo

Karen aka Blulady's Suggestion:

Since my special angel, Roberta Jo, was my first born and my sons never knew their sister, we honor her with a new ornament on her tree each year. This is my angel's 33rd year, so my tree is totally hers now, filled with beautiful white ornaments, soft blue lights, and memories. My sons, Dennis and Scott, are grown and have their own apartments, so we get together and have a day of baking cookies and decorating them, then divide them up and each son and his lady takes some home with them. The last several years, the Christmas get together has been a shared event, with the place for celebrating being at Dennis' one year, then the next at the Scott's, then at my place ~ and we keep it rotating. With the addition of the two young ladies in my sons' lives, new traditions have been added to our Christmas celebrations. One of my favorites is when Kristi makes her fried ice cream for us on Christmas morning! We also enjoy non-traditional dinners such as ham, lasagna, and even pizza at times. I struggle more with the fact that my daughter isn't with us than my sons' do, so any variety we can add to our Christmas celebrations gives me the opportunity to be reflective without becoming depressed. Do whatever you need to do as an individual, or a family, to make you Christmas celebration a meaningful one for all of you, and yet have your angel a part of it. Holiday Blessing to each and every one of you and may all of our angels be watching over us.

Karen aka Blulady

JR's Mom's Suggestion:

We adopt Angels from the Giving Trees set up in most malls. That way I still have the feeling of buying Christmas presents that I would normally be buying for our son "J.R." I think the worst feeling that I had was having "J.R." killed a week and a half before Christmas and having to watch other people shop for the children that year. Shopping for other children really helps my heart out around this time of the year.

JR's Mom

Lori's Suggestion:

My name is Lori. I lost my sweet girl on Oct 9,2000. Her name is Megan Leigh Newstrom and has a star where our story is page four. I have three other kids Loren 16, Tyler 12 and Travis 11. Life for me has been a struggle. I know in my heart where Meg is and she's healthy and happy but my heart still yearns for my little girl to be with us. As for the Holidays this will be our second one without her here. Last year we went snow skiing at Christmas and I think will do it again. We never had been and did have a good time despite missing Meg. I put a tree at the cemetery last year and invited all her friends and family members to put an ornament on her tree from them. I also had lights on it that worked we kept them on with batterys. She had the prettiest tree ever. Meg also collected Dreamscycles which I'll buy a Christmas, one every year and date in on the bottom. So there are things I do to keep going without my sweet girl. I just take her with me as I do them. I know without a doubt I will see Meg again and won't that be a celebration for the both of us but for now I have to make a difference like Meg did. I'm trying to get Pediatric Onocology Awareness out there. I'm also heading up an foundation in Meg's name to start trying to do fundraisers to help families in the bone-marrow units across the world. Just something to think about during these hard times.

Lori Newstrom

Donna's Suggestion:

What gets me through the holidays is I burn candles for Donnie..I place Donnie's picture in the middle and then the candles around him. It is beautiful. Friends and family know what I do so when I go over there is a picture of Donnie and candles burning. Then I go to the cemetary and visit Donnie we put up a christmas tree there and bring Donnie his favorate foods. He loved to eat and his grandma made the best butter tarts. So that is what gets me through the holdidays.

Donna Leslie

TCF's Suggestion:

Put up a stocking of your Angel Child along with your other children's stockings. Iinstead of them being filled with presents, write notes to him/her telling how much we loved and missed them, and Merry Christmas in Heaven.

Decorated a "Memory Tree" with cards, pictures of your Angel Child, baby shoes, handprints, angels, gifts, doves from the funeral & floral arrangements, little handmade ornaments given to or made by your Angel Child ~ anything personal you have received or collected over the years from them. Of course, I decorate with lights...lots of lights which make the "memories" stand out. The tree topper can be a huge bow with the last picture of of your child attached to it. The tree can give you great comfort each time you pass by it and it's a reminder to my friends and visitors that YES, this person lived, YES, this person was loved deeply and YES, this person made a difference in my life and his/her life counted as much as anyone's....and the memories live on.

An Angel Tree. Purchase beautiful chain angels to be placed on Christmas trees. In order to not have them stolen from your Angel Child's grave You can write a note, for example: "As Christmas approaches, many of us forget that the true meaning of this holiday is to give. We know that my Angel would have given his/her last toy to a child without one. In remembrance of our child: those of you who come to visit our Angel's grave may take an angel from his/her tree and hang it in your home to help keep my child's spirit alive."

Last year, the mom who suggested this went through 200 angels. We could not keep them on the tree long enough. We received notes and gifts at the cemetery from strangers who said they could not take something without leaving something in return. And how special our child must have been. Even six months later a stranger approached me at the cemetery and asked if I would be putting the angels up again this year because every time she got to the tree, they were gone. The joy you will receive in giving the angels will be great. You will know there is a part of your Angel Child in so many homes and every time these people look at their angels, and think of your Angel.

Memory Candles/Special Poems. Take a very special candle holder and put a candle in it for the holidays and take it to the dinner table at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Go through the collection of poems thatyou have collected since your Angel's death. Choose a special one for the holidays and read it before the meal with the candle lit and leave the candle lit all during the meal.

For more suggestions and ideas please see:

Sharing Ideas For The Holidays
TCF Newsletter

Kym's Suggestion:

Last year at this time, Cheyenne Autumn sat with the Family enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner. Five days later, We lost her to Heaven forever. I Have decided that In Honor and Memory of Cheyenne Autumn, to become a Partner In Hope, for St. Judes Hospital for Children battling cancer. We All Know the pain of losing our Children and these children know the pain of cancer, Something that should NEVER touch the life of a child. Their parents are either walking on the same path as us, or preparing to walk this path. In Memory of Cheyenne Autumn, I also have purchased Teddybears, to send individually to a child, suffering from cancer, at St. Judes, for Christmas. If you recall, me telling, My Beautiful Cheyenne , never owned her own Teddybear, and if at all posssible, with GODS Help, NOT another child will go to their grave, without knowing the Love of a Teddybear. If you are within the reach of Ohio, Pa. or W. Va, and would like to become a Partner in Hope, Call, k105, at 1-800-537-0063. We all struggle every day, working to pay our bills, and have the good things in Life. Right now, we are Healthy, but these children are dying of cancer. Losing Cheyenne Autumn, destroyed us, as you have been there. But to go thru the pain and treatment of cancer for a child, I can not imagine. The money goes towards their treatment, All of our Children are Children of GOD, and these ones need America's Help.

GOD Bless You,
Love Kym

Kym Smith

Lori's Suggestion:

This is has been one terrible year for us. With the Holidays quickly approaching, we, as a family wanted to do something to honor Michael's memory. It had to be something that didn't cost too much, but is effective. It was during one of our family discussions that we reminisced about how what Michael did each winter when he got a new winter coat. He would take his old one (still in terrific condition), and encourage a few of his friends to do likewise, and they would go into Asbury (A financially depressed area) and just walk up to someone who was without, and hand them his coat!! Michael would come home beaming, saying how good this made him feel. This was the catalyist for our Winter Project "Won't You Keep Me Warm?" We started a coat drive telling people. "What a great day to go home and clean out your closet...and FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT!" As a result, we collected over 200 hundred coats that day! We presented them to the Mercy Mission for the Homeless, and all the coats were gone within an hour !! Then the local Youth Group heard about it, and began to support it also, lots of more coats coming. I was also beginning to receive phone calls from Organizaions that needed coats! When I got a call saying there were many children from this one area that were coming to school coatless. I contacted my local PTA and we began a drive specifically for children's coats, hats and gloves!

We may not have much by way of material wealth, but let me tell you the warmth we feel from the love and appreciation will keep us happy for a LONG time to come.

Because this project is such a success, we have decided to do it every winter for now on. I think Michael is thrilled by it, and proud to have his name on it!

Lori Rathgeber

The Coat Drive
Lori Rathgeber

Jan's Suggestion:

I took my daughter Elise's flowers that people had sent her while she was in the hospital and dried them into potpourri. I then filled glass ornaments with the potpourri and tiny golden angels, and decorated the outside with angels, too. I gave an ornament to all the special people in her short life to hang on their trees each year in her memory.

Jan Petz

Lin's Suggestion:

My suggestion about getting through the holidays without lori, 3 children and I call the nursing home down at our corner. We find out what elderly people (we pick one man and one woman) who do not have family. We get their size and we anonymously donate gifts to them. Its usually slippers and P.J.'s for the man and slippers and a robe for the lady. We NEVER tell them who we are but simply sign the packages "Love Santa". The folks at this nursing home are very old and the chances of them "walking" out of there to go back to living alone are pretty nil. So we do this in memory of Lori and we have one rule, the workers at the nursing home are NEVER to tell who gave the gifts. Everyone should believe that there IS a Santa!!In our house we believe in Angels and Santa!!!

Lin Koenig
Mom to Angel, Lori

Debbie's Suggestion:

Hello. My name is Debbie and I lost my son Josh at age 15 to suicide. Josh took his life on November 6, 1996. The reason I am writing to you now is because of a project called "Memory Trees of Light." I am one of many State Tree Coordinators. What we are doing is setting up a Pine Tree outside of our homes with names of victims on the tree. Each state will have a tree if all works out as planned. The names of our loved ones will be on index cards, laminated and little yellow ribbons attached to each card in my state (Tennessee) is what I have planned. The yellow ribbon is in honor of Suicide Prevention. This tree is to memorialize our loved ones that we have lost to suicide and to know that they are not forgotten. The trees will be lit each night, and will stay lit all thru the night. There will be access to this tree for anyone to come by and attach their own loved ones name to the tree if possible. Suicide, depression, and support group information, etc., will be available for anyone to read while they are visiting. My deck is where I will have all of these things available for anyone to stop by. If you are receiving this email and you have lost a loved one, or friend to suicide and would like to have their name attached to a State Tree, please fill out the below information and send it directly to my email address ( with the subject line saying "Memory Tree". I need to stress that I am not able to come back to this website daily to check to see if someone wants a name attached to a Tree because of time. I have visited this site many times, my son's name is here, that is why I am passing this information to this group.This is a very important issue, and we need to know that our loved ones, and friends will not be forgotten at the Holidays too. Please send this to anyone and everyone. You can email me with any questions. Thank you all so very much. Below is what information I need.

Lost one's name:
Relationship to you:
What State:
Email Address:

Thank you again...remember please pass this on and please feel free to email me with any questions.

Mother of Angel Josh ^i^
Josh's Page

Donna's Suggestion:

Every year it was tradition to buy our son a new ornament. We kept these in a separate box and for 4 years, we even had a smaller tree for him to put his ornaments on. Then he out grew the stage of wanting to decorate. But we still used his and planned for him to take them with him when he left home. But that was not to happen. Jesse and his best friend Jason were murdered in May of last year. We debated on whether or not we would even celebrate Christmas as all last year. We have no other children, so what was the point? Then we decided that we would still put up a tree in Jesse's memory. His friends came over and decorated it with Jesse's ornaments. We even kept the tradition of a new ornament and will continue to do so. It helped his friends to do this, because we have to remember that they are grieving too. This year will be no different. The tree will go up, a n! ew ornament purchased, and they will come over and decorate it. We are also putting up a new picture collage this year of all 18 Christmas' Jesse shared with us.

Donna Stoner
Tribute To Jesse

Dianna's Suggestion:

I started a Christmas memory tree for those lost to suicide, and have parents send a ornament in their childs name with their dates on it. For those that can't afford the expence but want an ornamenet have them send their info and place one for them. Take a picture and email it too the group or a special place on the internet. But start early enough because it can get so over whelming. I actually started to late. Really right after Christmas is the right time to start for the following year. This year I think I will do it in pictures.

Sunshine In My Heart

Chris's Suggestion:

My idea is for a tree of hope that is asking your church, villiage, town etc., to erect a christmas tree and to have a light on it with a laminated card bearing your childs earth and heaven date and also if needed funeral date. This can be done for anyone in your community and the cost can go to a charity (a different charity each year would be fair).

Sunshine In My Heart

Robin's Suggestion:

Since this is the first year we all will spend without our son, (he was only 19 when he drowned on Mother's Day of this year) I really don't know how I will get through this Christmas, but we are going to Florida to spend it with my mother as we don't want to be here. I do like some of the other suggestions that other moms have posted. I will go to his grace and place a tree, but I just wish Christmas would just go away as I really don't want to do any kind of celebrating this year or any year for that fact. My heart is truly breaking without my son. He is spending Christmas with Jesus so that is some comfort.

Forever Charlie's Mom

Doris's Suggestion:

Send out Index Cards with early Christmas cards asking everyone to send back their faviort memory of your child with their Christmas card this year.. Then wait until Christmas Eve or Christmas to read all memories with your family... It is a way to have your child there with you.

Angel Andrew

Patricia's Suggestion:

This is a wonderful idea for remembering your loved one and helping another person who is suffering from a loss during this time of year. I hope that you find this helpful and healing to both you and the person with whom you share this. Having lost my own sister this year, I will be using these ideas to help my mom through her first holidays.

Patricia Stevens
12 Days of Christmas for Grieving Parents

Brenda's Suggestion:

This is my 19th year without my "Angel Marsha." She died at the age of 8. Was very outgoing and never met a stranger. The first Christmas, a friend whose daughter had died, brought me a ornament for my tree. Every year since then, I have bought a "Hallmark Daughter Ornament" for her. I have also started putting a candle on her grave on Christmas Eve and it burns all night and day. I guess the main thing that gets me through the holidays is our Bereaved Parents Candle Light Memorial Service. This way I am making a time that is special just for her. This year it will be on the 14th and I can't hardly wait! After all these years it still hurts not to be able to buy her anything except flowers.

Marsha, Mommy loves you!
Brenda, Marsha's mom

Recommended Reading

Holiday Hope
Remembering Loved Ones During Special Times of the Year
By The Editors of Fairview Press
"Holiday Hope" is a compilation of advice, stories, poems, activities, and even music for coping with grief during the holidays and other special times of the year, including anniversaries and birthdays. Over a dozen experts--therapists, clergy, counselors--have written short essays filled with practical tips and proven techniques for handling personal loss.

How Will I Get Through the Holidays?
12 Ideas for Those Whose Loved One Has Died
By James E. Miller

A Decembered Grief
Living With Loss While Others Are Celebrating
By Harold Ivan Smith.

Book Shoppe

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Changes last made on: Wed Jul 01, 2009