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Posts: 2,123
... when holidays remind us of our fur babies come and gone.

Since we don't have a family, our boy, Piezon, was a big part of our holidays. Our siblings have their own families and think little of us throughout the year. So, Piezon became our son ... our true family.

Thankfully, last year, on our first year without Piezon, my cousins came to our house for the Christmas. We didn't have to spend it alone. Now, this year, our cousins aren't able to make it. Not sure what we're going to do. The only way to ever see or be in touch with our siblings, is if we get in touch. They don't get in touch with us. We didn't like always traveling to see them, so, with Piezon we felt like a family and celebrated on our own for most of the years with him. This year, we may be having to travel again, if only not to be reminded of the missing piece in our lives.

Who knows what to do for Thanksgiving. We sometimes traveled to the coast with Piezon, and stayed with the three of us there. We may just do that with just the two of us.

I hate to sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself too. I have a wonderful life with my husband. I do feel hurt that our siblings don't realize our only family is them, but I hate to dwell on it. It just hurts a little more when the holidays are upon us. Sorry to sound like a "crybaby."

Hugs to all,


Posts: 2,719
Dear Lori,  I only have one brother left, my other one died in 1983 at age 35.  I am not close to my younger brother either and he never comes to see me.  We live 75 miles apart.  I had Dallas as an "only" child also since we were empty nesters.  I know how you feel and wish I had a solution.  I went through my first holidays without Dallas but by the next April I adopted my little Pom Molly and I felt better.  Of course this is a personal decision to adopt again, but for me it helped heal my heart.

Bless you, your husband and the spirit of your beloved angel.

Love,  Diane

Posts: 94
Dearest Lori:

I can really relate to husband and I don't have any kids...our Buffy was our little girl and she went to the bridge 5 weeks ago.  I have 7 other siblings who all live in South Dakota, Minnesota and Idaho and we really don't stay in touch...long story.  We live in Florida and last year we went off to Idaho for Christmas...left Buffy with some dear friends who take such wonderful care of her...had I known it was going to be her last Christmas, we would have stayed home, 

We get tired of doing all the traveling...the road runs both directions, but there's always an excuse.  So I don't even bother anymore.  I feel you pain and I myself don't know how I will get through it....the memories are going to have to be my clutch. 

So when I put the Christmas stuff up and see Buffy's ornaments, sock, etc I will probably have a very difficult time.  She had her own Christmas card list that she sent cards out every year...and what was sad, all those people that she remembered...we didn't even get a call or card from when she passed...I just think that's wrong. 

I am going to try to keep myself busy with doing something good for Animal Shelters around here.  Animals seem to appreciate the simple things in life...more than humans do.   All the money I spend on Christmas for nieces and nephews, etc...I am donating all that money to the Animal Shelter we adopted Buffy from...I will send them a thank you card indicating their Christmas went to the dogs this year.  I am sure I will get a few responses and I am ready for them!    I am on a mission...and for the sake of will be accomplished!! 

Keep us informed of how things are going.  Sounds like you and I will need alot of emotional support within the next few months...we'll make's just going to be tough!



Posts: 2,123
Lois ~ I LOVE your idea to donate the money to the shelter. That cracked me up. I stopped shipping gifts to the nieces & nephews while Piezon was still with us. I got tired of not even hearing if the gifts arrived at their home safely, let alone getting a "thank you."

Hey ... we live in FL too, and my family lives in the midwest still (where I grew up). My husband's family is spread out in different states. There are way more of my husband's family than mine though.

Your Christmas will be tougher than mine. I already went through my first holidays without my boy. It's not quite as tough this year (my 2nd without him), but not having a family is always a reminder. As I said in my first post in this thread, last year my cousins came to our house, so it helped me get through it without Piezon.

I'm here for you if you need me.



Posts: 11,059
The holidays are stressful for everyone in some way!  It is sad when family members won't make the effort to include siblings that they know have a difficult time at Christmas. When you have shared so many holidays with Piezon,  it just makes it all that more difficult. 

My daughter (my only child) will be spending her third Christmas away from home.  My husband and I have a very quiet Christmas morning now....but are getting somewhat used to it!  You have to find new ways to celebrate the holidays.  They won't be like the holidays of yesteryear, but they can still be faith and fun filled.  I hope you and your husband have a wonderful holiday season!



Posts: 398

   While the Holidays may bring Joy to so many they can also be most depressing to others. The first year that I lost my Gizmo in October 2008 I could not be bothered with Christmas as I was deeply involved with my own grief. I just went through the motions of living. I too like what Lois said about donating to the shelter. I found that by helping others on this site and donating to the local SPCA has helped me a lot. Now, with the addition of Dino who serves as Gizmo's legacy I come to accept oughwhat cannot be changed. Gizmo lives through me and I can live each day only if I keep him in my heart and mind. I still pray each night at his grave even though it has gotten cold up here in the Northeast.
     Lori, I wish I had the answers that you need. I could only mention that you should do things for yourself that will make you happy. Piezon would want you to be happy.  GOD Bless



Posts: 1,901
i just do not have a solution here lori.   i am so sorry that at the warmest time of the year your families are not there for you.     the whole family plan has gotten out of whack and people just don't seem to be close like they used to be.     it is a crying shame that happens.     i am lucky.    although i grew up as an only child my family is quite close knit.     my mom died just b4 i was 10 and my grandma raised me afterwards.    she and grandpa had 9 kids so there were always alot of aunts/uncles in my life plus tons of cousins.  unfortunately many of the uncles and 1 of the aunts has passed on.  
i have always been included in the family holiday plans and i am very grateful for that.    that is a time when we really want that warmth and closeness that only family can bring.    i feel so badly for those that do not have that.  

perhaps you and your husband could start planning on doing something special for the holiday season................something that you have always talked about doing but never got around to it.   maybe that would give you something to fill up your mind and time and take away from the 'family lost' feeling.   

and yes it is hard without our furbabies around.   i know i am kinda dreading the holiday season this year without jude.    it won't be quite as much fun to bring home a bunch of turkey from aunt sharon's to share with the cats without her looking for her portion.   

i hope that you and your husband can find a happy alternative here for you this holiday season.   please let us know if that happens.


Posts: 842
Hi Lori, the holidays are so emotionally loaded, I think that's part of it.  I'm on the opposite side of it--I wish my siblings wouldn't pay any attention to me, because they're always full of trouble.  I really dread seeing them.  It might sound trite, but have you thought of some charitable activity?  And maybe just go out to dinner somewhere new?  I do this myself when some years I just can't handle the family.  Whatever you do, don't stress about it, it'll work out OK.



Posts: 596

Lori, I am going to put on an electric candle for Bubba, beginning the eve of his birthday through the first of the year. That way he can still light up my life, my home and my heart. The candle will burn from 12/07 - 01/01. His birthday in the 8th of December. I can still feel like he's part of my holiday season.


Posts: 2,123
Oh Gosh, thank you friends, for your supportive posts. I didn't mean to sound pathetic. When I wrote the post, we just had a mishap with one of my husband's brothers regarding Thanksgiving, and it stuck in my craw. They were supposed to come here this time, and of course, that fell through. These things seem to happen every holiday and we always figure something out. When we had Piezon, it went a little easier though.

I know I have some resentments to work on, and it's my problem, not our siblings. I'm a person who likes to look inward and try to grow, so I'll work things through eventually.

We've been dealing with these issues for years, even before Piezon. Each holiday season we try something different. We've gone to food kitchens and gone on vacations, etc. We'll see how things fly this year. Never a dull moment though. My husband's (new) job is now in jeopardy too, so things are ever hopping here.

rottiesrule ~ I LOVE your idea on the electric candle for Bubba. As I've mentioned before, my boy's nickname was "Bubba" and his birthday is December 4. I hope you don't mind if I steal the idea. It sounds very comforting.

Thank you again, and may you all be blessed this season.



Posts: 23

I understand, too, what it is like at holiday time.  I lost my only sibling when I was 21.  I have two step siblings and step-neices and nephews, but my husband and I did not have children.  Our Patti, who has been gone 2 years now, was our first dog together.  I have two other dogs now, but I like to volunteer at the shelter where we adopted Patti.  I take dogs to off-site adoptions, etc. 


Posts: 1,982
Families are just "broken" now.  So few have their grown children near them to spend the holidays all together.  How I wish families stayed in one area like they used to.  You shared special occassion's and holidays with everyone.  No one wins with this new mobile environment we live in.  Everyone transfers for the job opportunities, and little do they realize at the time the precious things they are giving up for themselves and their children.  It's really very sad and everyone in the family pays the price for it. 

We did the same thing, my family are all in Michigan and we transferred to Atlanta 30 some odd years ago.  For the job opportunity, for the beautiful weather, for the better living environment for our family.  Now we've all missed so much, my mom has passed away, there's no going back with everyone's life set in place here for so long.  Now my daughter has done the same thing with her family.  It's just a loss that keeps on going from one generation to another.  I hate it, but at the time when you are younger, it all makes sense and you are entirely wrapped up in your own family and children.  I really miss - what I lost, what my children lost growing up with no family around them, and now as adults, they have no extended family around them to share their live with either. 


Posts: 2,123
Sandy ~

I couldn't agree with you more. Twenty-plus years ago, we moved to FL because we couldn't make it financially in Chicago anymore. If we could have made it there, we would've stayed. I tried moving back many times, but financially we just couldn't afford to live there, and still can't.

My husband's brothers all moved to different states too. Their kids are grown. They all live near each other and don't need extended family such as us.

I grew up with only one sibling, and saw cousins on some occasions, but not all. However, I was lucky to have my grandparents all nearby. Oh, how I miss them. They truly showed me the meaning of family.

You are right, families aren't what they used to be.


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