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My Dads last Christmas

(32 Posts)
myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 04-Nov-12 10:16:16

My Dad has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis and barely a year to live, so realistically this will be the last Christmas he is with us. Therefore it has got to be the best ever!!!

Could I have some ideas of presents and things to do to make it a fun and festive time for us all.

Christmas is such a poignant time for many people. Babies are born and people die all year but when it happens at Christmas it means every year after is different, things can never be the same.

Seems like your Dad did his tooth'n'claw best to be there with you all and you were gifted those happy and cherished memories.
So now, you raise a glass to him and have those long family chats about "d'you remember when he used to..."

At work you no doubt meet loads of people who have lost loved ones at Christmas ( lots of my patients are of the I hate Christmas...it's too commercialised ilk) I just say "It's a difficult time for alot of people" and leave it at that.

(Mostly though they just want a whinge about money and how 'American' it is becoming and think everyone should agree with them but I love Christmas so I don't take the bait)

SurprisedJerseySpud Sun 08-Mar-15 18:18:24

I'm glad you had a lovely day that Christmas xx

DraggingDownDownDown Sun 08-Mar-15 09:25:23

Update....

incase anyone remembers this.

Dad did make Christmas and in a pretty good condition too. We had a lovely day all together. I think he was holding on for it as he rapidly declined after that and died peacefully mid January.

I feel so very very lucky to have had a last Christmas with him and for him to have been in a good way for it.

Love you Dad x

ImaginateMum Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:11

Does he still have the energy to read stories? Lots of time snuggled up while he read might be nice. Or if he doesn't, you could read and they could all listen.

If he can still get through a story, it might be nice to record him? Then they can play that back in future and listen along.

CarnivorousPanda Tue 11-Dec-12 21:32:11

Bonkers sorry to hear your news. We were in a similar situation a few years ago with FIL.

I think just to spend time together as a family and be guided by what your dad wants/is able to do is the best way. I do think when time is suddenly short, the important thing is just to be together and make the most of what time you do have.

almondfinger Tue 11-Dec-12 20:27:22

Oh, you poor, poor thing. My dad had a couple of last Christmas's too. I remember the last as he cooked us a gorgeous meal and my sister and I got to help him. We played board games by the fire and he got to watch 2 of his grandchildren play. We usually fought like cat and dog at Christmas (the whole family) so this peaceful Christmas was v special.

My heart goes out to you. That terminal diagnoses is the worst thing that can happen to any family and at this time of year it's a every worse I think. Enjoy the time you have left with him and make sure he knows how much you all love him.

TiredMule Tue 11-Dec-12 20:14:34

I'm so sorry bonkers. My dmil was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in March and was told she would not be here for Christmas. She's still here, so we are hopeful to have Christmas with her. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to make it special, but to be honest as long as everyone is there, and the children are happy and excited, that will make the day the most special. Take lots of photos and videos, maybe the children could make a Christmas decoration with him to keep. Bring it forward if you need to. I'm so sorry, this is an especially bad time of year to be going through this (((hugs)))

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 11-Dec-12 17:19:26

Thankyou everone. I have already given him an early Christmas present - a blanket with our photos printed on. Have also got biscuits and festive chocolate to give him. A photo poster has also just arrived for him.

He is moving to a hospice tomorrow and we are taking the boys on Sunday. Mum is bringing a couple of their Xmas gifts so he can see them open them. Thought I would get some crackers to pull. Any other thought of what I could do?

WhereTheWildOnesSnow Tue 11-Dec-12 15:08:25

Im so sorry to read this OP, I was in pretty much the same situation last year, I really dont know what to suggest as he may not even be aware of whats going on by then.
Can you do "Christmas" early, all get together for a special meal, doesn't even have to be about gifts just about spending as much quality time with the family as possible. My heart goes out to you all.

twinklesparkles Tue 11-Dec-12 13:07:05

How about having an early xmas hun?

<3

twinklesparkles Tue 11-Dec-12 13:05:25

Hugs for you hunny <3

My grandad is terminaly ill, hoping he makes it until christmas. I won't be able to see him before he passes (he's over 600 miles away) but my dad/aunty and other family are with him smile

What about photos in nice frames or albums ect. Something he can enjoy looking over before he passes and something that can be given to another family member after he goes.

I'm sure a lovely christmas day with you and your family will be all he needs/wants smile

Also, little luxurys. Bath products/chocolate/treats ect smile just little yummy things smile

I'm sorry you, your dad and family have to go through this <3

gingemum Tue 11-Dec-12 11:45:23

So sad it must be very hard for you. Would he be up to reading one of these personalised books with your children? It might be a good thing to make for your young boys to help them remember all the good things they have done together. Here's a link to a demo book Thinking of you, my FIL had cancer just after we got married, so sad as he never knew his grandchildren.

susanann Tue 11-Dec-12 11:34:18

so sorry to hear your news. love the idea of bringing xmas forward and celebrating it asap. Hope you enjoy it as much as is possible in the circumstances. x

luanmahi Tue 11-Dec-12 11:26:26

I'm so sorry for you. Wishing you lots of love and strength.

Although under totally different and non-tragic circumstances, the best Christmas I ever had was a few years ago when we did it in October. It was just my mum and dad, my sister and me. My sister was living abroad and wasn't going to be home for Christmas so I took her out for the morning and my mum and dad came round to my house with a tree and some decorations and some cheesy Christmas CDs. They put a turkey crown in the oen and when we walked through the door, it was Christmas. It was the middle of the week so my boyfriend (as he was then) was at work and we'd all taken time off to spend with her while she was home so it was just us and was like Christmas was when we were little. We all gave each other little jokey presents and gave her her real ones so she could take them back with her.

The real Christmas spirit is about the happy feeling you get from spending time with people you love, and has nothing to do with a date. Can you do something like that for your dad in the next week or so? It might take the pressure off when the actual date comes round.

homeaway Tue 11-Dec-12 11:05:40

Bonkers what terrible news for your family. If you dont think that your dad will make xmas could you have a festive afternoon before so that he can be part of it. Wishing you lots of strenghth.

BeaWheesht Tue 11-Dec-12 10:10:04

Oh bonkers hmm it's so horrible, I'm so sorry.

changeforthebetterforObama Tue 11-Dec-12 06:45:32

So sorry Bonkers. sad

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Tue 11-Dec-12 05:17:12

Sending lots of love <holds Bonkers hands>. I'm so sorry.

Bertrude Tue 11-Dec-12 05:14:29

Oh Bonkers I'm sorry to read that sad

Hope you and your boys are spending as much time with him as possible and he's not suffering too much x x x x

mamakoula Tue 11-Dec-12 05:11:49

I am sorry Bonkers. Let him know he is loved. Take care of yourself.

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 11-Dec-12 04:54:09

Just a little update if anyone is still following this. The treatment was withdrawn as the tumor was to aggressive. Dad may not make Christmas now and even if he does he probably won't have much of an awareness about it.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 04-Nov-12 20:47:29

thanks everyone - so very very kind xx

rhondajean Sun 04-Nov-12 17:32:39

I am so so sorry.

My lovely wee gran died on Christmas Day 13 years ago and missed seeing my first dd by two days. It tinges every year with sadness for me and the worst part is that neither if my children knew her or have any memories of her. The one thing I would want in your situation would be for the children to spend as much time as possible with him and take away memories.

BeaWheesht Sun 04-Nov-12 17:28:30

No ideas really other than take lots of photos / videos.

I'm in a similar position - a week ago it didn't look like he'd make it until this Christmas but things seem a bit more positive now, relatively speaking.

owlelf Sun 04-Nov-12 17:26:13

So sorry that you and your family are going through this. Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year, but I think that sometimes the pressure to make it special can make things very tricky. Be kind to yourself Bonkers, I think it's a great idea to plan an extra special celebration but don't heap the pressure on and give yourself a chance to feel sad if you need to.

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