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Offline Darren S  
#61 Posted : 22 December 2018 10:50:45(UTC)
Darren S

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Originally Posted by: Saint Snow Go to Quoted Post

What I sort of inadvertently developed is a 'closed door' mentality. It's like I keep the deeper thoughts of loss/time passing behind a sturdy door. I can think about them on a fairly superficial level and consciously recognise the feelings and intellectually understand the matter. But if I open that door, the one which lets the emotionality of it flood out, it's like a huge roar through my brain. I always slam the door shut. I don't know what would happen if I let the door stay open and I confronted the rush of emotions, allowed them wash over me, but I fear what it would do to me. So I don't let it.

Great thread, and I particularly resonate with Saint's thoughts on the matter. Christmas and New Year is a time when you inevitably look back, not only the year that has passed but also on all our years, including our childhoods, how things have changed, and who isn't there anymore.

I am very lucky compared to those who have lost all their family. My parents and my wife's parents are all still around, we are both eldest siblings and I especially have a large family - 14 of us will be in Cirencester for Christmas Day. I hope that my children will look back on their childhood Christmases as I do on mine.

I have been around on TWO for nearly 17 years now, and I think my age bracket - those of us in our late 40s, is probably the single most represented age group on here. Most of you have also been on here for that amount of time. I have met a few of you, most of you haven't met anyone else from TWO, but I'm sure you'll agree that we feel like we know many of each other. The TWO meetups of the previous decade have stopped happening in the same way that others described meetups with friends that will now "never happen", and many of those I did meet no longer post. Similarly, it's easy to feel wistful about the days of old on TWO. It's a cheesy thing to say, but I'm sure many of you will agree that TWO is like one big family. 

Edited by user 22 December 2018 10:53:38(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Darren

Arborfield, Berks (61m asl)

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Offline Caz  
#62 Posted : 23 December 2018 06:48:25(UTC)
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I’ve just read an article about stress levels being really high at Christmas and it mentions the things we’ve been discussing and the advice is:

Don’t have too many expectations.  For many of us, Christmas evokes memories of past ones and we may have many unrealistic expectations. Recognising expectations are potential disappointments frees us up to enjoy it as it is.

I think that’s sound advice. I’m a born organiser and ex-perfectionist, all year round but more so at Christmas!  I used to stress over getting things ‘just right’ but learned it was more fun for everyone if I just set things up initially and let them flow in their own way.  Nobody else notices if things are not perfect because the ‘perfect plan’ is only in your head and nobody else sees it.  If there’s a mishap, laugh it off and get on with it because you’ll remember it in future years and laugh about it even more.

I have lots of funny memories of mishaps.  Red Christmas pudding because Mum forgot to take the red paper off before cooking it. Plastic tainted turkey because she left the bag of giblets in.  Cooking my sister’s turkey because her oven broke on Christmas Day!  Two years ago at our house, my sister’s mum in law scattering peppercorns on her smoked salmon starter and all over the table when she unscrewed the pepper grinder by mistake.  No problem!  No stress!  Nobody died or got injured!  I had a spare starter to replace the peppered one!  Oh, how l’ve Changed!  And how much more fun it is!

My favourite Christmas movie is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. It’s total chaos but the message is spot on.  It’s not what you do, it’s who you do it with and it’s about fun rather than routine and perfection. Anything goes as long as it’s enjoyable.

 

Relax!  It’s Christmas!  Just let it happen!  

 

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.

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Online Brian Gaze  
#63 Posted : 24 December 2018 09:01:19(UTC)
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I can report that in our privileged part of the country fighting broken out yesterday in the Waitrose car park. It is not a joke. The car park was full and when a space became free several women started competing for it. In the end they got out of their cars and a fight ensued. Today it will be the pushing and scrambling for cut price turkeys. That has also led to "problems" in years gone by, generally with men getting aggressive with each other. What a sad state of affairs.

Brian Gaze

Berkhamsted

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Online Chunky Pea  
#64 Posted : 24 December 2018 09:48:48(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Caz Go to Quoted Post

Great post Gandalf!  That’s my take on it too and I agree about it being easier said than done for some people. Aren’t we the lucky ones who are not prone to depression!!!!

I did suffer for a while in my mid forties, when our daughter went to college and it was suggested I had the ‘flown the nest syndrome’, although maybe it was the mid life crisis that I referred to earlier.  I felt a great weight pushing me into a black hole that I could see no way out of.  I knew I was there and I knew my constant dark mood was irrational but it wouldn’t go away.  I couldn’t pinpoint a time when that dark cloud descended or anything that had triggered it.  I could see no happiness in the future and no light in the darkness, however much I tried to turn my thoughts around.  I think I gave up trying eventually because the effort was too much.

Nothing else had changed in my previously happy life, other than Gemma growing into a lovely young independant adult, which is all I really wanted for all my kids.  I didn’t really talk to anyone about it than occasionally saying I felt a bit fed up - a gross understatement!  I didn’t see a doctor because I didn’t know how to explain it and thought it would sound trivial and silly coming from me, the strong independant woman!  I was alone!

Hubby suggested a bit of winter sunshine so we booked a family holiday to Florida.  I couldn’t even get excited about that as I knew it would just be a temporary fix.  All I could think was that I might enjoy it for two weeks but then I’d have to come home to the black mood.  

I did enjoy the holiday and it may have helped a little but it wasn’t a miracle cure.  Fortunately my darkness lifted, just as it had descended, with no trigger and no time I could pinpoint.  I just realised one day that I hadn’t been in darkness for a while.  It had lasted for only a few months and thankfully it never came back.  So I’m one of the lucky ones!  It’s also one of the experiences in my life that I don’t regret or wouldn’t change because it’s helped me understand depression.

I know that whatever anyone else says, won’t make a sufferer better but I think anyone suffering will feel better for talking about it.  When you’re in a dark place, you’re the only one there but others have been there before and know what it’s like, so you’re not alone!  

 

Caz, your attitude to life is a true inspiration. Can't even begin to imagine what you have suffered regarding the loss of your son, but that you continue to stay positive about life is incredible. 

Depression is a strange thing. Was diagnosed with 'chronic depression' years back and was given a big load of pills, which thankful I had no inclination to take. The way I see it, the inherent morbidity of my mind is just in my mind only, and thankfully, my mind is able to understand that and deal with it, and in a twisted and paradoxical sort of way, I think seeing the world through such a distorted lens helps you understand the world more for what it is and in a more understanding way. 

"There are nights when the wolves fall silent and only the moon howls"

--George Carlin.

Offline Gandalf The White  
#65 Posted : 24 December 2018 13:26:10(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Caz Go to Quoted Post

I’ve just read an article about stress levels being really high at Christmas and it mentions the things we’ve been discussing and the advice is:

Don’t have too many expectations.  For many of us, Christmas evokes memories of past ones and we may have many unrealistic expectations. Recognising expectations are potential disappointments frees us up to enjoy it as it is.

I think that’s sound advice. I’m a born organiser and ex-perfectionist, all year round but more so at Christmas!  I used to stress over getting things ‘just right’ but learned it was more fun for everyone if I just set things up initially and let them flow in their own way.  Nobody else notices if things are not perfect because the ‘perfect plan’ is only in your head and nobody else sees it.  If there’s a mishap, laugh it off and get on with it because you’ll remember it in future years and laugh about it even more.

I have lots of funny memories of mishaps.  Red Christmas pudding because Mum forgot to take the red paper off before cooking it. Plastic tainted turkey because she left the bag of giblets in.  Cooking my sister’s turkey because her oven broke on Christmas Day!  Two years ago at our house, my sister’s mum in law scattering peppercorns on her smoked salmon starter and all over the table when she unscrewed the pepper grinder by mistake.  No problem!  No stress!  Nobody died or got injured!  I had a spare starter to replace the peppered one!  Oh, how l’ve Changed!  And how much more fun it is!

My favourite Christmas movie is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. It’s total chaos but the message is spot on.  It’s not what you do, it’s who you do it with and it’s about fun rather than routine and perfection. Anything goes as long as it’s enjoyable.

 

Relax!  It’s Christmas!  Just let it happen!  

 

Another good contribution Caz.

We've had some similar mishaps, particularly leaving the bag of giblets in the turkey.... always check both ends.... 

Fortunately we discovered it part way through, although removing a warm bag of giblets is worse than removing a cold one...

 

Have a great Christmas.

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Online Hungry Tiger  
#66 Posted : 24 December 2018 15:13:05(UTC)
Hungry Tiger

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Posts: 24,862
Location: South Cambridgeshire

Christmas for me for a long time has been a difficult time. 3 years ago it was made much more so. My father who had been ill with dementia for 3 years passed away just 3 weeks before Christmas 2015. I had the awful process of having to have his funeral just 1 week before Christmas Eve 2015.

I had always been very close to my father and all this shot me to pieces from which I still haven't got over all this time later on. To have read a eulogy to someone you have been very close to especially a parent with a Christmas tree just 6 feet away from you is a most dreadful experience. It really is.

I have been looking after my mother ever since. As time passes I feel these things however bad are a part of life. You don't get over it - You come to terms with it - The emotional pain dulls over time. Well thats how I feel about it now.

I have read other peoples contributions to this excellent thread - and I can see that I'm not alone in having bad things to contend with over Christmas.

I'd likew to say a big thanks to all those who have contributed to this thread on here. Indeed you're a great bunch all of us here on TWO. This is a great forum and it's good so many have been able to share their thoughts.

Thanks to all of you.

Gavin S.

TWO Moderator.

Contact the TWO team - twomoderationteam@gmail.com

South Cambridgeshire. 93metres asl.

Offline Caz  
#67 Posted : 24 December 2018 20:22:59(UTC)
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HT, I understand exactly.  When I lost my son, my mum took my hands in hers, looked me straight in the eye and said,  ‘Carol, it does get easier to bear’.   That was the most comforting thing she could have said and she of all people knew, because three years earlier she lost a son, my younger brother.  

She was right too!  There isn’t a day I don’t miss him but there isn’t a day I don’t bring back happy memories of him.  We were very close, he was my first born and was like me in many ways, so we had a good understanding.  He never married and he always said it was because he couldn’t find another woman like me.  

He actually died two days before my birthday, which he’d absolutely hate if he knew!  If that makes sense!  People bought me cards but nobody wished me ‘happy birthday’ because of course it wasn’t that year, but it has been for the past two years and it will be every year in future.  I had to wait four weeks to arrange his funeral as there was a post mortem, due to his sudden death.  

The morning of his funeral I had a call from the hospital asking if I could take my mum in for a test the following day.  My husband and I took her and we were told she had terminal cancer.  She died exactly five years to the day my brother died.  

But all these dates are only dates on a calendar.  We’re without those we’ve lost every day of the year.  No more so on anniversaries.  Dates really aren’t significant to our loss, or to getting on with life.  That’s the way I see it and it helps!

I am going to enjoy Christmas, especially as I know my son and mum would want me to.  They wouldn’t want me to be sad!  I wouldn’t want anyone to be sad if I died.  Would you?  

Merry Christmas everyone!  Remember, it’s just another day.  But it’s a day in your life, so live it!  

 

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.

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Offline Arcus  
#68 Posted : 24 December 2018 20:32:31(UTC)
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Well said Caz - it is just another day.

I'd also say how great it is to have the outlet on this forum for people to not just talk about weather, science & politics, but also the emotive stuff that sometimes gets lost between the cracks of normal "real world" conversations, and often members feel easier talking about on here. I know it's meant a lot to many on the forums over the years.

So a big thanks and Merry Xmas to Brian for keeping the non-earning section of the site going. Well done Sir - and long may it continue!

Ben,

Nr. Easingwold, North Yorkshire

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Offline llamedos  
#69 Posted : 24 December 2018 20:40:17(UTC)
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This is one of the best threads I've ever seen on TWO...the contributions have been incredible.

My single enduring memory over the last few years has been chatting with Dougie every Christmas Eve knowing he was going to spend Christmas Day alone.

Never forgotten my friend.

A peaceful time to all on TWO. 

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Offline David M Porter  
#70 Posted : 24 December 2018 20:44:03(UTC)
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In the last decade, there have been a couple of Christmases when someone who was quite a close friend of both me and my family passed away. Just before Xmas 2008 a man whom I had got to know pretty well in a model railway enthusiast's group both me and my dad are members of passed away from a brain tumour aged 69. We had only learned about 6 weeks or so earlier that he hadn't been keeping well but had not known just how serious his condition was. The three years later, a few days before Christmas 2011, another man who was a personal friend of me & my dad who was a member of a different model railway club died after losing a brave battle against skin cancer. He was 74

The only occasion I can clearly remember when a relation of mine passed away close to the festive season was when an uncle of mine died suddenly on Friday 4th January 2008, after suffering a heart attack. Very sad though his passing was, he did at least get to see one final festive season.

"Sometimes what we accept as the truth may not be the full story".

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Offline David M Porter  
#71 Posted : 24 December 2018 20:49:52(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: llamedos Go to Quoted Post

This is one of the best threads I've ever seen on TWO...the contributions have been incredible.

My single enduring memory over the last few years has been chatting with Dougie every Christmas Eve knowing he was going to spend Christmas Day alone.

Never forgotten my friend.

A peaceful time to all on TWO. 

Good to see you on here again John, and I will also remember Dougie this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you too, and to all TWO members.

"Sometimes what we accept as the truth may not be the full story".

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)

Offline Caz  
#72 Posted : 24 December 2018 21:09:09(UTC)
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Yes, Dougie’s in my heart too!  An inspiration and a lesson to us all.  It was a pleasure knowing him and he braved life right to the end!  He just got on with it!  

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.

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Offline llamedos  
#73 Posted : 24 December 2018 21:13:40(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: David M Porter Go to Quoted Post

 

Good to see you on here again John, and I will also remember Dougie this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you too, and to all TWO members.

Thank you David and the same to you

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Offline David M Porter  
#74 Posted : 24 December 2018 22:02:42(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: llamedos Go to Quoted Post

Thank you David and the same to you

"Sometimes what we accept as the truth may not be the full story".

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)

Online The Beast from the East  
#75 Posted : 25 December 2018 00:39:44(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Brian Gaze Go to Quoted Post

I can report that in our privileged part of the country fighting broken out yesterday in the Waitrose car park. It is not a joke. The car park was full and when a space became free several women started competing for it. In the end they got out of their cars and a fight ensued. Today it will be the pushing and scrambling for cut price turkeys. That has also led to "problems" in years gone by, generally with men getting aggressive with each other. What a sad state of affairs.

Tesco here was  total chaos with no trolleys either and the morons going mad 

Obviously I don't have kids or family etc, but I would never behave like this to make the "perfect Xmas" as if it was a matter of life and death

The pub was terrible as well. Full of idiots who look like they only drink once a year. 

I cant wait for this nonsense to be over

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User is suspended until 31/01/2293 12:26:49(UTC) Gray-Wolf  
#76 Posted : 25 December 2018 00:53:27(UTC)
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We , for the first time in my knowing and probably my Partners?, are having Father John for the day/night.

He is a retired Vicar ( Cannon of the diocese of Bradford?) and his second wife died of a return from Cancer in October.

He always thought he'd go first.

Triple bypass in his 40's, 'indulgent' life of feast not famine you might say.

Long Story short. Do I invite Audrey to the meal or do we stay mute?

She was his Wife but she was our friend.

Well? What do you think?

Koyaanisqatsi

ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

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Offline Caz  
#77 Posted : 25 December 2018 05:28:52(UTC)
Caz

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Originally Posted by: Gray-Wolf Go to Quoted Post

We , for the first time in my knowing and probably my Partners?, are having Father John for the day/night.

He is a retired Vicar ( Cannon of the diocese of Bradford?) and his second wife died of a return from Cancer in October.

He always thought he'd go first.

Triple bypass in his 40's, 'indulgent' life of feast not famine you might say.

Long Story short. Do I invite Audrey to the meal or do we stay mute?

She was his Wife but she was our friend.

Well? What do you think?

If Audrey would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day, Yes!  If John has a Christian heart, he’ll be OK with it.  If not it’s just as well he’s retired!  

Merry Christmas!

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.

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Offline Gandalf The White  
#78 Posted : 25 December 2018 09:19:27(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Gray-Wolf Go to Quoted Post

We , for the first time in my knowing and probably my Partners?, are having Father John for the day/night.

He is a retired Vicar ( Cannon of the diocese of Bradford?) and his second wife died of a return from Cancer in October.

He always thought he'd go first.

Triple bypass in his 40's, 'indulgent' life of feast not famine you might say.

Long Story short. Do I invite Audrey to the meal or do we stay mute?

She was his Wife but she was our friend.

Well? What do you think?

I agree with Caz: put what is right for Audrey and both of you first.   I'd make sure everyone knew who was going to be there to avoid any possible awkward moments.

The sun is shining here, we have a white Christmas courtesy of overnight frost - and the turkey has been wrested into the oven....

 

Happy Christmas!

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User is suspended until 31/01/2293 12:26:49(UTC) Gray-Wolf  
#79 Posted : 25 December 2018 09:23:06(UTC)
Gray-Wolf

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Originally Posted by: Caz Go to Quoted Post

If Audrey would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day, Yes!  If John has a Christian heart, he’ll be OK with it.  If not it’s just as well he’s retired!  

Merry Christmas!

Audrey is his dear departed Caz.

Sorry for the confusion!

All the best, now at them sprouts ! they'll not trim themselves you know!

EDIT: I seem to have been my usual confusing self again don't I?

It is my intention not to ignore the loss of Audrey and treat it much the same as I would with Aud among us.

I just hope it does not exacerbate John's grief?

I know that the first Chrimbo/Birthday/Mothers/fathers Days without can be challenging.

I'd also not wish to clip John's wings if he wants to remember her and bring her to the table?

Edited by user 25 December 2018 09:28:56(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Koyaanisqatsi

ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

VIRESCIT VULNERE VIRTUS

Offline Caz  
#80 Posted : 25 December 2018 11:11:42(UTC)
Caz

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Posts: 18,500
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Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands

Originally Posted by: Gray-Wolf Go to Quoted Post

 

Audrey is his dear departed Caz.

Sorry for the confusion!

All the best, now at them sprouts ! they'll not trim themselves you know!

EDIT: I seem to have been my usual confusing self again don't I?

It is my intention not to ignore the loss of Audrey and treat it much the same as I would with Aud among us.

I just hope it does not exacerbate John's grief?

I know that the first Chrimbo/Birthday/Mothers/fathers Days without can be challenging.

I'd also not wish to clip John's wings if he wants to remember her and bring her to the table?

  Well, that’s something for us to laugh about next year Gray!

My answer is still exactly the same though.  Don’t ignore Audrey!  She was, and still is a part of your lives.  You can’t ignore that!  Don’t be solemn about it though.  Remember her briefly with fondness and happiness, definitely not with sadness.  Father Ted, no that’s not right, erm!  Your guest will not want his loss to be the cause of any sadness for any of you.  He’d feel awkward and guilty if it did. 

Don’t plan it.  Don’t make a speach or anything. Don’t tread on eggshells around him either.  Just go with the flow.  You’ll know what to say when the time comes.  Relax and enjoy!  

I find it comforting that we can just casually bring up our lost loved ones in conversation without awkwardness but without shutting them out.   

[edit] Sorry, of course, it’s Father John!  

Edited by user 25 December 2018 11:13:49(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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