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First Xmas Without A Loved One

(47 Posts)
PillowMallow Sun 22-Oct-17 20:06:54

My dear dad passed away 6 weeks ago and I'm still finding it so hard to cope. I miss him so much. I saw him every day and looked after him in and out of hospital.
He was ill but we thought he had a few more years, so I'm still in shock from his sudden death.
What is getting to me right now is the thought of Xmas. Dad loved Xmas, he was the heart and soul of all the fun, from ordering the food, making the gravy, Xmas shopping, he loved it all!!
How the hell are we going to cope without him? I'm crying now just thinking about it again .The thought of mum alone in bed on Xmas eve makes me so sad.
Any tips? Should we do something totally different or try and do what we normally do but with a gaping dad sized hole?!
Sorry for the rambling, and thanks for getting this far.
And sorry to anyone else going through a lossflowers

lashesonfleek Sun 22-Oct-17 20:10:23

It's my 1st Christmas without my brother (28) and my dad is no longer here as well ...I'm getting my mum to stay at mine I can't cancel Christmas completely as it would not be fair on my little one ...he is going to his dads at night so me and mum will be drinking wine and chatting about memories xx

lashesonfleek Sun 22-Oct-17 20:11:00

And I'm so sorry for your loss xx

PillowMallow Sun 22-Oct-17 20:13:54

flowers lashes that sounds nice but mum wouldn't stay at ours. She likes to stay in her own bed. My sister lives 300 miles away and they don't usually visit until new year. I don't know what they are planning yet as her Mil has dementia sad so they are torn.

TheFaerieQueene Sun 22-Oct-17 20:22:08

My DFather is in end stage dementia so although he will be alive at Christmas he won’t be part of the fun. It is so sad as he loved Christmas. This year it isn’t happening for me. How can I celebrate when my lovely father is bed bound and lost? I’m not doing a tree or a Christmas lunch. It means nothing anymore.
My DH and DS (adult) understand. Perhaps next year I will be more amenable, but I don’t know.
I miss my daddy.

Chasingsquirrels Sun 22-Oct-17 20:27:59

I've got no idea and at the moment I'm sticking my head in the sand - DH died in March.
My Dc's will be with their dad for the few days before Christmas until Boxing Day morning.

You've mentioned your mum and sister, are there any other close family or children or geographically closer extended family.
My thinking is that the more there are of you the more you can do things to "plug the gap". The gap is still going to be there, and very noticeable, but the more "stuff" going on maybe easier. Or maybe not.

Redyoyo Sun 22-Oct-17 20:29:15

Sorry for your loss x We had our first Xmas without my dmil last year. She passed very suddenly 12 weeks before. We had fil and sil and kids over to ours on Xmas day and I won't lie it was bloody difficult tbh. But it's one of these things you have to get through in the grieving process, first Xmas, first birthday without them, first anniversary of them passing, it does get easier xx

singadream Sun 22-Oct-17 20:29:59

Can you start the day with a visit to your dad’s grave and maybe putting a Christmas bouquet there. That way he is part of your day and you can maybe each tell a favourite dad story before going home to do Christmas things.
Apologies if none of this suits your culture or how your family does things.

PillowMallow Sun 22-Oct-17 20:34:08

Thank you faeriequeen that's so sad, I just want to not bother tbh but it's not just me to think about.
squirrels I remember your threads about your DH, my heart goes out to you.
All dad's grandchildren are grown up at uni etc but hopefully we will all meet up over Xmas sometime.
Mum lives just around the corner from me and I try and see her every day but she and dad always had lots of plans over Xmas.

PillowMallow Sun 22-Oct-17 20:37:45

singadream that's a nice idea. There won't be a grave as dad was cremated. We are still trying to decide what to do with the Ashes so maybe we can do something positive with them before Xmas so we have some focus.

skankingpiglet Sun 22-Oct-17 20:44:33

This will be the 3rd Christmas without my DM, but it's still going to be bloody tough. I've got through the last couple by keeping very busy, focussing on my DCs, and surrounding myself with DH's family (I only have my F left for family on my side but we are NC).
Do whatever you feel you need to to get through it, but it's OK to be sad too. I visit the cemetery in the week before the 25th as for me I think it would be too much Xmas day (plus it's a 2.5hr round trip), but it's a lovely idea to pop by on the day if you feel like it would help.

skankingpiglet Sun 22-Oct-17 20:46:42

X-posted OP Instead of the cemetery, is there somewhere your DF liked to go where you could visit to remember him?

PillowMallow Sun 22-Oct-17 20:52:03

Mum is toying with the idea of planting a rose in the garden and putting dad's ashes there.
I'm sure mum won't want any decorations up in her home. She's said she can't face buying presents which I've told her is absolutely fine. It's so sad to see how lost she is without dad. They were together 50+ years.

TheFaerieQueene Sun 22-Oct-17 20:55:09

Thanks for the kind words. 😪

PillowMallow Sun 22-Oct-17 20:56:42

Tbh I don't even want to get our decorations out. Every year when I pack them away I think 'what will the coming year bring before I get this tree out again?'
but then I think that dad would hate us all to be sad at Xmas, confused

Chasingsquirrels Sun 22-Oct-17 21:05:49

Can you stay at your DM's?
(Not sure from your posts if it's just you, or you & a DH/P, or any of your adult children).
What about going out for a meal rather than eating at home?

tootiredtothink Sun 22-Oct-17 21:12:29

My mum died a week before Christmas, my dad died a couple of years later a month before Christmas so he only spent that first one without her.

It’s bloody hard, and will never be the same again.

But I go all out. Decorate the house and try to keep myself busy. It was so important to my mum that my dcs had a fabulous Christmas so I try to keep that in mind.

I do tend to get down in November but I genuinely do still enjoy Christmas and all the run up to it.

As hard as it is to believe now, it honestly will get easier.

tootiredtothink Sun 22-Oct-17 21:15:20

That should say he had two Christmas’ without her ! <dozy>

beepbeeprichie Sun 22-Oct-17 21:28:43

flowers to all on this thread. This will be my second Christmas without my father. I find myself extremely torn; my DF loved Christmas and made sure all of ours were truly magical. I want to continue some of the traditions I had as a child with my DC but it's sort of painful. For example, listening to the old xmas tunes (certain carols, Dean Martin) and watching certain xmas films. I'm not sure I'm making a lot of sense here... it's hard to explain... just that regardless of how much I want to make xmas amazing for my DC I can't seem to make my whole self happy because my dad isn't here.
Mum is still alive, thankfully, but when you lose one parent you lose a piece of the other too, so I don't think that helps. If you've had a good relationship with your parents and happy Christmases I'm not sure how you ever really fill that gap.

PillowMallow Sun 22-Oct-17 21:28:46

It's me,dh and 2 adult children at home, with probably 2 more adult children on Xmas day. No little ones.

skankingpiglet Sun 22-Oct-17 21:30:24

Wow, 50+ years together. I can't imagine how it must feel to have lost someone who has been such a big part of your life for such a long time.
The rose bush sounds lovely. I planted one in our garden for DM, and seeing/smelling the flowers always makes me smile: it brings a happy remembrance.
It's perfectly OK to give the decorations a miss if that's what you and your DM want. I coped by effectively covering my eyes, sticking my fingers in my ears and 'la-la-la'-ing my way through it, but not feeling like you want to celebrate is normal and acceptable too. I can't imagine anyone would judge you for that.

BananaSandwichesEveryDay Sun 22-Oct-17 21:40:45

My dad loved Christmas. When I was a child, even though we were hard up, he always tried to make it special and magical. And when my dcs were tots, my dad would arrive to visit wearing a Santa suit and carrying an enormous sack of gifts for them. After he died I decided that we would continue to celebrate, as he would have done, as our way of honouring him. It was hard at first, but we still make a proper celebration of it. I fully intend to make sure my family so the same when I eventually die.

friendlycat Sun 22-Oct-17 21:42:46

My beautiful Mummy died 6 weeks before Christmas 12 years ago so I know exactly how you feel. My suggestion would be that your lovely Dad loved Christmas so much so honour him and do Christmas as it was something that he loved. He might not be there physically but in your hearts and minds he will. It will be hard but it will be even harder trying to ignore it.

oxcat1 Sun 22-Oct-17 22:07:31

When I was 16, and my brother 12, our mum died. There was just us, our dad, and my DM’s mum (small family to begin with, plus missing chairs). That first Christmas we went to a restaurant for Christmas lunch. It wasn’t great - but it was different, and that was what mattered. The following year we went skiing over Christmas, which was great.

I know we were lucky to have the advantage of money to cover the problem, but I do think deliberately breaking the traditions is a good idea, so that the whole day feels different. You can’t hide the missing loved ones, but I think it helps disguise their loss somewhat.

sonjadog Sun 22-Oct-17 22:21:06

My grandmother, great aunt and father all died the same year and they were all a big part of Christmas. We haven´t done the traditional Christmas since as we felt it was important to draw a line under the past and create new traditions. The first two years we went abroad, and the last years we have done Christmas, but in a completely different way than we did when they were alive. No children though, which does make that easier. It seems to be working well for us.

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