Posted by: Milla | 2012-12-03

Want to enjoy Christmas with my family for once.

For several years now we would go to pick my grandfather up at the old-age home and every year I see the exact same thing. When we arrive early in the morning, so many of the elderly are sitting on their porches with a bag of gifts or something they baked and some of them will blurt out before you even get the chance to greet them about how excited they are that their kids are coming to get them for Christmas. Every single year we would return late noon to drop my grandfather off and atleast half of the folk are STILL sitting in the exact same spot, still waiting for their families to come!
I know that some of them might not have the best memories, perhaps their families notified them earlier on that their going away for the holidays, but some of them I know have pretty much been abandoned, recieving no phone calls nevermind visits from their families. I have opened my home on many occasions when my grandfather asked if he could bring a friend a long who has been left so alone ans I would gladly welcome all of them to spend Christmas day with us, but they obviously want to see their own kids and grandkids and I can''t fill those shoes no matter how badly I wish I could.

I can''t deal with it, it eats at me for the entire day, it breaks my heart and angers me beyond belief. How do people do such things? Enjoy the merriments while they know their own aging parents are all alone?? And how must I enjoy the day with my family while I know these things?? 90% of the time I feel like I''m just slapping on the happy face so that I don''t spoil it for the kids or my own grandfather. Please give me some advice for dealing with it, I just want to enjoy one Christmas with my family, I feel that this might be the last one we get to spend with our grandad.

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Our expert says:
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Thanks for this message, Milla. I wish far more people with older relatives in a home or even those living at their own homes, would realize how viciously cruel their neglect can be. I used to find it heart-breaking, visiting an old aunt in a home, how even just the sound of your footsteps in the corridor would switch on bright smiles of hope at each open door, and you knew their faces and hearts fell as one walked past, and you were not the person they were praying to see.
People who literally wouldn't do such a thing to a dog, cat or budgie, apparently feel fine about doing it to an old relaive or friend.
But don\t reuce the joy for your own grandad and maybe a friend of his, by worrying about all the others you can't bring home - that doesn't add to the sum total of joy in the world. Do the best you can where you can, and encourage others to do what they can.
Every Christmas / New Years may be their last ( indeed, i may be the last for any of us ) lets not waste them selfishly. Maybe if people would give up one of the many Parties they go to, which are often empty events anyway, and at least visit one deserving relative - or speak with the management of such a local home and adopt a granny or grandad for the festive season, they'd learn to appreciate and enjoy what they have, all the more.

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