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?

FrancisCrawford Mon 21-Nov-16 13:47:49

Oh that is crap of them ali

Hope can spend some time with your Dad

alazuli Mon 21-Nov-16 10:30:34

It's my first Xmas without my mum and I'm being forced to work including on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. B*£&ard work! They didn't care that I wanted to be there for my dad. Sorry just needed to vent.

So sorry for you loss OP.

FrancisCrawford Mon 21-Nov-16 06:28:54

I'm so sorry to read about all these losses.

DM died in June when we were on holiday in Florida, so that meant a rather miserable journey home.

This will be the first Christmas without any members of the older generation, so I am feeling rather vulnerable and more than a little aware of my own mortality.

So this year I am trying to make some new traditions. The tree is not going up until Xmas Eve, it will be a small one, with just the most sentimental decorations on it. DD comes home form Uni that day, and we will do the tree together.

On Xmas Day we are meeting friends in the morning and going for a walk with the dogs.

DD has been so marvellous, so I've gone OTT with her presents this year, getting her the Lego Disney Castle. I know she will adore it and also that she will never anticipate getting it. It's not going under the tree with her other pressies (books, pjs etc) I'm going to wait until she has opened all her presents and then lug this very large downstairs and then sit back and watch her face!

We are also going to watch the second Harry Potter film as a family, having done this with the first one last year.

We are also going to Skype with my cousin in the US and his family - they were with us in Florida this year when mum died.

So, small steps. Trying to go forward in a positive way. But, oh -the memories. And some days it just hits me, like I've run into a brick wall.

The estate isn't settled yet, but I'm getting work done in the house this week so I can have a fresh start for Xmas. Today the downstairs bathroom is getting replaced and new interior doors hung. On Wednesday the decorators are coming to do the hall, downstairs bathroom and living room.

Best wishes to everyone who is missing a parent.

Truckingalong Mon 21-Nov-16 06:14:10

So sorry for everyone's loss.

Spork - I'm in similar circs and its shit isn't it.

Northumberlandlass Thu 17-Nov-16 08:26:46

We have my Mum's sister to deal with, she has Alzheimer's and is getting much worse. Dad is insistent she comes on Christmas Day. She comes most Sundays but it's getting much more difficult as she deteriorates.

I have 13 yo DS and he is witnessing some distressing behaviour and he has been through so much in last 2 years - H and I separating, his Granny getting Leukaemia (he was there when she got the call), her remission, then dealing with her death. They were very close.

Our family is renowned for just sucking it up and carrying on. I'm not sure it's entirely healthy, but it helped us last Christmas knowing it would be Mum's last one.

It's things like, after lunch on Christmas Day (we always eat early around 1.30), my sister and I would head off home. As we will have been there all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning, but this year we are both worried about leaving my Dad.

My Dad says it's what Mum would've wanted, but I'm not so sure.
My sister and I are worried about my Dad - he has lost both parents, both siblings and now Mum. We are everything.

Sending hugs to everyone. It's going to be tough.

Eve Wed 16-Nov-16 19:32:03

I lost my mum to an aggressive cancer in August after losing Dad 2 years ago.

Ever since I left home at 18, I have gone back to my family home for Xmas, for last 20 years it's been a flight away and she always met us at the airport!

I'm a bit lost about it all at the moment.

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.

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

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

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 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.

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 meat...so 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.

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.

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.

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 etc..it 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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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

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.

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

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