Holiday “Rules” With a Terminal Spouse


Everything changes when there is a terminal diagnosis. Daily life has new challenges, everything takes longer and is harder to execute. Holidays can be exceptionally difficult, emotionally and physically. Here are a few ideas I came up with when I looked back on the last few holidays we shared. 

  1. Don’t have any expectations. Well actually, expect that if something can go wrong it will. This is the best piece of advice I can share when discussing holidays and expectations.
  2. Don’t go anywhere – have people come to you and have them come in shifts. Having a home full of people can be great, warm and loving. But is can also be stressful, overwhelming and a lot of work. 
  3. Don’t cook – order in, or have someone else cook at their house and bring it over. 
  4. Disposable everything. Plates, silverware, cups, napkins. Everything. You can get serving platters and utensils at the dollar store. The expense is worth is it. 
  5. Traditions. Past traditions may no longer be possible so this is the perfect time to create new ones. Add something you have always wanted to do or try. 
  6. No gifts. The exception is young children.
  7. Don’t put any pressure on yourself or anyone else. The holidays are hard even in the best of situations. You have to be prepared to just go with the flow. This is hard for everyone. 
  8. SOAK IT ALL IN. This could be the last one. 

– xoxo Victoria 

P.S. The picture is our tree for our last Christmas, funny, Duane asked me to get one – it was the first time we had had a tree in 10 years! 

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