Advanced search

First Christmas without mum

(31 Posts)
Freesia2013 Mon 21-Oct-13 21:24:08

Hi all, not really sure why posting, perhaps just to share. Mum died in Feb and this year Xmas won't be the same. We've been doing ok as a family but after today (as work colleagues asking me what my plans are etc) I have had to start thinking about it. I've wanted to have Christmas in my own home for a few years but for the first time I have my own home and this doesn't feel right. Also going round to cook at my dad's won't feel right (as it's still my mum's kitchen to me).

Sadly no young children to distract from things. And mum was an amazing cook and always loved Christmas as a good excuse to eat drink and be merry with family and friends.

Possibly going to in-laws but not sure my dad will want to.

Any experiences to share?

NoForkNKnife Mon 21-Oct-13 21:32:07

No, but we are in the same boat, but it's my MIL. I was very close to her. She passed away in Aguust and tbh, it is still sinking in.

I keep trying to bring up christmas with my DH, but he won't discuss it. We always spent it round there and I'm not sure him or FIL have allowwd themselves to think about it. I've tried to suggest we do something completely different and go out for lunch, but we have a 90 year old aunt to consider to.

I can't help thinking that this first christmas will be really important and set up the future ones. MIL was the one that organised everything and while I don't mind 'filling in' (that sounds awful) I just can't imagine actually doing it sad.

Freesia2013 Mon 21-Oct-13 21:44:48

Nofork yes it's difficult I think my dad gets to say what he's most comfortable with (not that he knows himself, first Xmas without my mum for 40 years), I guess same with your FIL? Hope all goes as well it can.

NoForkNKnife Mon 21-Oct-13 21:59:11

Thank you, Fressia, the same for you. Has your dad said what he wants to do? We all seem to be finding it difficult to talk about it tbh.

Freesia2013 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:37:30

No he's not sure which is absolutely fine so I'll give it time as I don't want to feel like I'm putting pressure on, but having said that if he hasn't decided by mid December then I'll have to decide and hope I make the right choice ��

Auntietina Mon 21-Oct-13 22:41:17

Same here. My mum died 5 weeks ago today and it's all still pretty raw. But am getting grief as to which set of in-laws we go to. All I want to do is run away and cancel Xmas but that's not going to happen with 2 young children!
Also, need to consider my dad, who is on his own now. Inlaws will make him welcome I know, but not sure he (or I) will be up to facing a houseful of happy, jolly people.

Ohwhatwitcheryisthis Mon 21-Oct-13 23:10:12

sad same here, dm died last week. hadn't thought about it till dd said it won't be the same without Grandma. Now I want to cancel it all. But there was an uplifting (sorry hate the word) article in the family section of this Saturday s guardian about similar situation as op.
it's a cliché but one day at a time. [thanks brew wine

Freesia2013 Mon 21-Oct-13 23:29:59

Sorry for your losses I'm a few months down the line and those first few weeks are the most difficult. Take care, I can't offer much advice but happy to listen.

aaaahyouidiot Mon 21-Oct-13 23:36:59

Sorry for all of your losses sad

After MIL died we didn't much feel like Christmas - she was crazy about it and our plans always included her. We decided to stay home. We bought lots of nice food, snacks, cheese and nuts and stuff, lots of wine, and locked ourselves in for a few days. There were good and bad times but actually it was restful and relaxed and we enjoyed it for what it was. She would have approved I think.

I hope you can all find comfort in precious and happy memories this Christmas x

MERLYPUSS Tue 22-Oct-13 10:06:27

My mum died 20+ yrs ago. We always had xmas dinner there, and Boxing day and the day after. It was one huge season of pig-out and she loved it. Mum died on the day after boxing day so the next xmas was very hard for us. We (three sisters, of orient are...) decided that we would split the days up and each host a meal, taking whatever left overs along to that house. Dad was explicit that he wanted Boxing day at his house and everyone was still welcome as they always had been - neighbours, friends, inlaws etc. It works well and even though dad is too ill to do any cooking or shopping we still make sure he 'has' boxing day at his house.

sporktacular Thu 24-Oct-13 00:44:01

My first post and I've actually come on here to read up around something completely different, which I'll maybe get around to posting about eventually...

... but this struck a chord for me because this coming xmas will be my third without my mum and I don't know what to do about it at all. At work they're already asking me if I'll be working or taking leave and I have no idea.

It's almost exactly 2 years now since my mum died, she was my only parent and I don't have any siblings, no kids of my own, no other family. We always spent xmas together, and I just don't know how to set up something that can now become What I Do At Xmas instead.

Friends are all busy seeing their families, and I don't have any family left now or anyone else's that I'd be comfortable to tag along with. Don't feel like I fit anywhere really. I literally spent it last year hiding on my own trying to figure out something I could tell people I had done when they asked afterwards, that didn't sound as hopelessly tragic as what I'd actually ended up doing.

Anyway the parts where you miss her do slowly get easier with time and I'm sure you'll manage to have a good time for parts of it, even if some parts are sad too. Just wanted to remind you to enjoy the family you still have and share memories of your mum with others who knew her and miss her too. That would be worth a lot to me right now.

Wow, I'm really usually a LOT more upbeat than this, sorry to probably post a record breakingly depressing first ever post. I'll find something silly to post next so you can all get to know me a bit better!

mummylin2495 Thu 24-Oct-13 00:53:31

I am sorry for all your losses. Please join us here if you would like to

Freesia2013 Mon 11-Nov-13 23:02:50

Christmas is going to be at ours (which is good as didn't want to cook in mum's kitchen) but aiming for relaxed day so Dad can hopefully relax and my grandmother can attend without issue.

Hope everyone else is doing ok.

Flatasawitchestit Mon 11-Nov-13 23:09:35

Sorry OP I have no wise words to help. Its my first Xmas without my dad who also died in February.

It's going to be very hard, we decided to go out for lunch at first as we didn't want to so something normal and we always had lunch at their house or mine. With all our children though we decided it'd be too costly so were going to stay at mums new house (she had to downsize) and have the day there.

I feel sorry for my poor Mum waking up with no husband for the first time in 39 years and no kids. We can't even go and stay the night before as because of my job I am working Xmas Eve until 10pm.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Tue 12-Nov-13 03:20:41

I'm so sorry for your loss, OP. I'm in a similar boat, though not quite the same. My mom died quite suddenly in early December last year. I barely remember last Christmas, I was just in a total fog the whole time. I was on autopilot. We had existing plans to spend Christmas in England with the in-laws, and we didn't change those plans, but I just floated through the whole trip like a zombie. I ended up not coming down for Christmas lunch because I couldn't face getting out of bed on Christmas morning without my mom. DH and my in-laws did everything so the kids wouldn't be cheated out of stockings and Christmas lunch and present opening.

I'm nervous about this coming Christmas as well, because this will be the first Christmas without her that I have to cook the meal, and I'm really worried about falling apart because I can't call her in to ask her what she thinks of the consistency of the cranberry sauce. Also, this will be our last Christmas in Canada (moving to England in the New Year) and I desperately want it to be a happy memory for the kids.

I'm sorry, I'm not being very helpful, am I? It does get easier with time. When I look at myself now compared to the zombie I was 11 months ago right after she died, there's no comparison. Yeah, I'm dreading this coming Christmas, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to function for most of it, unlike last Christmas.

Can you do a very low-key Christmas for yourself and your dad? One of the hardest things for me last year was getting off the plane and walking into my in-laws' highly decorated house, with the big tree and all the presents. It felt like a personal insult when my grief was still so raw, that they were daring to celebrate. Even though they were actually pretty thoughtful to me, I was just so damn angry. I think low-key is better than the usual splash, because it recognizes that you and your dad are still grieving.

If you don't want to cook at your place and you don't want to cook in your mum's kitchen, is it possible for you to go out to eat? I realize it costs the bomb and you have to book well in advance, but it could be money well spent. Or if you cook something very simple, a roast chicken instead of a turkey.

Good luck.

Rainbowshine Tue 12-Nov-13 04:40:14

I am so sorry to hear of everyone's losses. My lovely FIL died on Boxing Day last year, Christmas was tough and manic and I was eight months pregnant. So this year it's DS' first Christmas and the first without FIL and all the association of his death last year. As a PP said, I feel this year may set a precedent. MIL (who is amazing and has been so strong) wants to be busy so is hosting us on C Day. I am planning on taking DS out for a walk if DH and MIL need some time to reflect and cry in privacy.

I have such mixed emotions, I want it to be a good Christmas for DS and everyone really, but also respectful of the grief and feelings of others. Bloody sentimental Christmas adverts on telly are not helping either. DH and I were in tears on the sofa last night over a stupid Supermarket advert. So we are going to have to mind what we watch on telly too, as last year we made the mistake of watching Up! And cried all the way through.

Sometimes I feel a bit selfish as I just want it to be nice and happy, and I know it isn't that simple anymore. Gosh, sorry for the epic post, I just wanted to say that I understand, and sympathise with everyone's situations.

bishboschone Tue 12-Nov-13 08:08:47

My dad died in June so I know how you feel . hmm

WillIEverBeASizeTen Wed 13-Nov-13 04:16:59

My Mum died in September 2012. Xmas was always spent at hers. My sister went there and cooked for my step Dad but I couldn't face it.

In fact I have probably only been to my Mums a handful of times (they live a way away) because the memories of her home hurt too much. Then this year's Xmas has now been discussed and my step Dad is not going anywhere..he wants to stay home. The thought of cooking Xmas dinner in my Mum's kitchen makes me feel physically sick. Every time I go there Isee her at the oven..I see her pans her uutensil..her plates is so so hard for me.

I'm sure it will get easier...I just don't know when. .

My thoughts are with you all x

WillIEverBeASizeTen Wed 13-Nov-13 04:27:13

spork I really feel for you. Have you thought about volunteering? My friend does it at Crisis..she loves it. Makes her feel like she belongs and is a part of something.

stratfordsara Wed 16-Nov-16 16:10:33

We lost my mum in September and I'm dreading Christmas. She was a real matriarch and always made Christmas happen, we spend it with my brother and his family every year, and he tends to be a bit lazy and my dad will probably not do anything, so I feel like it's all going to be down to me. I keep telling myself that it's just another day, like any other, but with a bit of cooking and some presents. I will be rewarding myself with some champagne to toast my mum and I hope she will be watching over us.

Northumberlandlass Wed 16-Nov-16 16:17:06

My Mum died in May.
We found out just before my birthday last December that she only had about 6 months left, so I had my birthday & Christmas knowing it would be my last one with her.

Mum was amazing last Christmas, she had platelets on Christmas Eve so my Dsis and I did all the prep at their house (Mum had a lot of foody traditions) and then on Christmas Day we all went there as normal. No mention of what we knew would happen, usual Christmas Day fun!

This Christmas my Dsis and I will go on Christmas Eve and do all the food prep. Mum was teaching Dad how to cook when she died & only had got as far as he can do the turkey!
We've all agreed that this year we will do it just as Mum liked, but next year we may start doing new things.

Slightly different for us I guess, we go every Sunday & cook in Mum's kitchen for the family.

We are also inviting anyone who may be alone on Christmas Day / Boxing Day to share it with us.

ajandjjmum Wed 16-Nov-16 16:35:52

I know this might not be suitable for everyone, but the year my Dad died, Mum felt strongly that she wanted to do something completely different. She wasn't interested in buying presents, so offered to pay for us all to go on holiday over Christmas. We went to Lapland - it was brilliant and although very sad at times, it was ideal for all of us. We knew that Dad would have loved us doing this too.

It was right for us - hope it gives some of you who are facing a difficult Christmas another idea.

CPtart Wed 16-Nov-16 16:59:18

My DM was tragically killed in September. My DF died years ago so it'll be the first Christmas without either parent.
We'll go through the motions for the DC, and probably spend the day with the PIL, but I know I'll spend the day feeling cheated and resentful that DH
and SIL are still able to enjoy Christmas with both their parents who are older than mine ever made it to.
The worst thing is her house standing empty on Christmas Day itself just ten minutes away.

ajandjjmum Wed 16-Nov-16 17:33:12

I'm so sorry CPtart - that must be awful for you.

CPtart Wed 16-Nov-16 19:26:26

Tragic circumstances, but no worse grief than anyone else's. Her partner is still in hospital at the other end of the country. It's him I feel for.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now