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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Call me Scrooge

Posted November 18, 2012

I can’t tell you how much I am dreading the holidays. Frankly, I wish I could just take the calendar and flip it to January.

The reason: This will be my first holiday season without my mother. Not only that, but her birthday is the day after Christmas. I dread approaching each special day without her by my side and without the traditions we always shared.

I have interviewed so many people around the holidays about what it is like to lose someone important in their lives during this time of year. I specifically remember the soldier’s family who still set a place for their son at their Thanksgiving table even after he died. I also remember the family of a murder victim who retreated to a remote cabin at Christmas in order to commemorate their loss in private away from the glare of the public eye.

And while I hope that I was compassionate as I told these stories, I now know that I really didn’t understand what they were going through, because I couldn’t. Amanda Lamb's mom celebrates her birthday

I ran into a friend from church at the grocery store the other day as I was going through an ornament display contemplating how I might tie them onto the handles of gift bags. She came up behind me and commented on how she couldn’t believe that I was already thinking about Christmas. I whipped around and proceeded to tell her just how much I hate Christmas.

The truth is that I don’t really hate Christmas. I hate that I will have to spend it this year without my mother. This notion still seems very surreal to me. Not doing the holidays is not an option when you have children, so I will somehow soldier through the turkey, the decorating, the cards, the parades, the pageant, the gifts, the gatherings and so on.

But not a minute will pass on these days when I don’t think of her. Hopefully, each year will get a little less painful.

So, pardon me this year if I come across like a Scrooge. It’s not personal. It’s just where I am at this moment, and there’s no amount of eggnog or twinkling lights that’s going to turn it around.

Amanda Lamb is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.



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  • grannybam07 Nov 26, 2012

    You grieve on your own time table not someone else's. Take one day at a time, if that is overwhelming, then take one hour at a time, one minute, whatever you can do. It's been 5 years since we lost Momma (my mother-in-law who treated me as her own) and for some reason this year is harder for me than others have been. I'm on my own time table & will make it through the days to come but it might just be one breath at a time.

  • veyor Nov 23, 2012

    Amanda, last Nov. 15th my mother had been dead for 56 years. I still miss her, especially during this time of year.

  • pirategirl12 Nov 22, 2012

    inshore123, you are mean and hateful....I think you must be in awe of her because you felt the need to comment not once but THREE times. Get a life.

  • pirategirl12 Nov 22, 2012

    Amanda, you are absolutely entitled to feel that way. I wish I could give you the song and dance about remembering the good times...blah, blah, blah. Truth sucks. No other way around it. Mama died 8/8/08 and I am STILL a scrooge. I pretty much hate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just the way it is. Thoughts are with you...enjoy your beautiful girls and focus on them. :)

  • coachsneighbor Nov 22, 2012

    Amanda, as usual you have summed up the feelings of many in a few poignant words. We, my 16-year-old twins and extended family, are spending Thanksgiving and Christmas without my husband, their father, who died of metastatic melanoma at the end of July. This year we have also lost my husband's best friend and brain surgeon, who died of pancreatic cancer less than a month before Adam died; my sister's father-in-law, and now my sister's mother-in-law has been diagnosted with a glioblastoma and has only weeks to live. We understand. Am going to a turkey trot this morning in hopes of encouraging endorphins.

  • cmmsbft Nov 21, 2012

    oh yea...You are a scrooge

  • cmmsbft Nov 21, 2012

    Just write your book and quite dragging this out for crying out lou...zzzzzz

  • cmmsbft Nov 20, 2012

    Just write the $5 book for crying out loud! You are boring us to tears.

  • shc0729 Nov 19, 2012

    My dear mother in law died unexpectedly 30 plus years ago just a couple of days before Thanksgiving. She was preparing to make pie crust for pumpkin pies. During this time the bowl that she was using with the just sifted flour was pushed into a cabinet only to be discovered after the holiday. To this day when I see or hear of pumpkin pie I automatically think of her and the shock of her unexpected death.
    Cherish your good memories.

  • jabbo22 Nov 19, 2012

    My prayers are with you and your "friends" who have posted here. I lost my dad 7 years ago and soooo dreaded the first Christmas without him. He was all about Christmas, just like a kid! But I made up my mind that I would honor him and have a fun Christmas for me and my family and also my mom. And do you know what?? It wasn't as bad as I had dreaded it would be. We actually had fun and talked about how much Granddaddy would have loved so many of these things. We kept up with the traditions he and my mom started and I grew up with. It was a Happy Birthday party for Jesus and a Celebration of my dear dad.