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The Saddest of Christmases


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Hello - I'm here because it's Christmas and I'm knocking around my apartment and I don't know where else to go or what else to do right now. I figured I'd come to a place where people would understand the sadness of this day.

I found out today that my best friend in Alaska, Gwenny, died on Christmas Eve. She would have turned 71 in a few weeks and celebrated 23 years of sobriety shortly thereafter. I met her in AA 22-1/2 years ago when I first got clean and sober. We had a wonderful and supportive friendship for all those years. At the end of 1999 I moved to MA to take care of my mother so had not seen Gwenny since then, but we stayed close through snail mail, email and phone calls.

Gwenny never talked much about the disease, it's progression or her decline. She would report on her most recent scans and the next recommended treatment. She never talked about lung cancer as a terminal diagnosis or the fact that it would take her life. She didn't talk with her family about it either. Gwenny spent her last weeks in a nursing home, using O2 24/7, suffering from memory loss, cognitive delays and severe pain, but still talking about the PT she expected to start so she could get strength back in her legs and walk again.

After a valiant 6-1/2 year battle with lung cancer with mets to brain and bones, I am relieved to know Gwenny's suffering has ended. She endured multiple rounds of chemo, xrt and surgeries. Her faith sustained her throughout the years since she was first diagnosed and she maintained a positive outlook 90% of the time. I admired her strength and courage. She believed she would go to a better place and now she is with her Lord at last. I'm happy for her.

My heart just aches for the loss of my friend. I lost my mother 3 years ago and I still miss her, but the pain has lessened over time. I know the pain of this loss will ease over time as well, but it hurts like hell right now. I cried a lot earlier in the day and then started thinking about all the good, not so good, sad, angry and wonderful times spent with my friend. We went through a lot together and separately, but always as loving friends. Life will never be the same without her, but I have been so blessed to have known her.

I feel better for writing in this forum. Thanks for listening.

Mary Lou

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we always have big soft shoulders to lean on and ears to listen with! I am so sorry to read this. I know this is a difficult time right now! Take comfort in the good memories you ahd together. They help. THe love for each other you shared lasts forever always... My thoughts prayers and Condolences go out to you tonite and always!

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Mary Lou

I am so very sorry. I know that there are no words that can help right now but please know that I understand and I feel your pain.

Please keep in touch and lean on us. We will be here for you, I promise.

Much love and many warm, caring and understanding hugs


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I am here to try to respond to you.

It is so very sad, most especially at Christmas time, to lose someone, more importantly, to lose a long-time, close and loving friend.

This may sound unrelated, but I lost my father many years ago at Christmas, and I have never forgotten that.

It made Christmas become a memorial in a way. However, I know that my Dad would not have wanted me to claim his death as a symbol for this season.

We went on (and coincidentally, my Dad was a member of AA). He was sober for 15 years prior to his death. He was so proud of those years, and so were we.

I understand how much pain you feel because my heart still feels it, but is soothed by his success for having succeeded in fighting a lot of issues. He didn't die from cancer, but from heart disease.

Though, cancer is with us this Christmas, with Bill, my husband.

In the end, Bill and I know that it is a lonely journey. That is why I have been here. Here is where they understand. God bless them all. They know and instinctively know what to say to relate.

Come back, let us know how you are doing.

We always listen.


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