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Christmas card after a bereavement

(44 Posts)
ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 02-Dec-13 12:08:24

I hope this is okay to ask here. I am really anxious not to offend my friend nor any posters who will see this.

I want to send a Christmas card to someone who has lost their husband and daughter this year so this Christmas will be the first one without their loved ones. All my card seem to jolly and the only one I feel I could consider sending has Seasons Greetings and two baubles on the front. Is that too bright too? I really do not want to upset her at what will be a difficult time and are more than happy to go out and buy another card that would be better.

Chigley1 Fri 20-Dec-13 08:37:04

This is a very helpful thread...a friend lost her DH last week, she is trying to continue with some sort of Xmas for the sake of the children. I will take a card, present for the children but so hard to know what to write under the awful circumstances.

LilyTheSavage Thu 19-Dec-13 22:39:17

Penguins. I have received cards from people who never met my ds and they were saying they were thinking of him and mentioned him by name. It's not offensive, it felt lovely that they were caring enough for me to be thinking about him and say his name. Just don't ignore it. I've had lovely caring messages from MNers who've never met him nor me.... it's been lovely and supportive.
Toffee - you're completely right.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 21:46:36


Write what you feel. That is all anyone needs.

I am sorry for your loss.

Penguins - you only have to read a few threads on here to see that people often say they are thinking of someone who has lost a loved one and most haven 't even met the poster never mind the person they have lost. I often think of people who have lost and all I know is things I have read on here, I never met them, haven't spoken to them, barely had a post exchange but think of them still I do.

PenguinsDontEatStollen Thu 19-Dec-13 20:14:03

Lily - See I feel a bit odd/fake saying I am 'thinking of' someone I never even met and who they rarely talk about. I wondered about something like "Wishing you a peaceful Christmas. We will be thinking of you at what must be a difficult time of year". It feels funny to say anything too about a stranger. If I knew them I would most definitely say something like, "We will be thinking of X over the holiday period" or something like that. I don't want what I say to sound hollow and fake, if that makes sense.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Thu 19-Dec-13 20:01:45

This thread is very helpful, thanks OP and those who've offered advice.

I'm not really sending cards this year. But I have three that I think I must write. My dad died, suddenly and unexpectedly, on my DS's first birthday this year. I want to send cards to his wife, his sister and his dad. I'm still close to my aunt (who has been utterly devestated by this) although live a long way from them all so do not see them often. Grandad is alone and took the news very badly. I've never been close to my stepmother and her children but feel desperately, unbearably sad for them all.

My own grief is nebulous, out of reach. I know it's there, but it's all bundled up in a load of other stuff. I genuinely forgot the other day, and picked up the phone to tell him something funny DS had done. But he was only ever a memory of a father for me, never quite the real thing.

Sorry to hijack. I should delete that last paragraph. But I've written it now and haven't managed to before.

Back to the cards. I really am thinking of them all. Is that enough?

LilyTheSavage Thu 19-Dec-13 18:27:00

Hi Penguins. What about acknowledging it by saying something along the lines of "I want to wish you a peaceful Christmas and please know that I'm thinking of X also." Might that work?

PenguinsDontEatStollen Thu 19-Dec-13 10:59:20

This is kind of a side track, but could I ask some advice on Christmas cards too?

This year I have become friends (though not close) with a couple who lost their adult son about 18 months ago. So I never knew him or met him. Also, since he was an adult living away from home, I would never have included him in the card if he was still alive, because I would only include on a card children I either knew or who lived at home.

But it feels wrong not to acknowledge him in the card. Or at lest to acknowledge that this will be their second Christmas without him. I can't really say "remembering X" because, as I mentioned, I didn't know the couple until after he died.

I know how hurtful it can be not to mention a deceased child but I have no idea what to say. Any suggestions?

LilyTheSavage Wed 18-Dec-13 18:04:15

Well done Toffee. Nice to know you got it right. I had another card today from somebody who said something about happy memories of Paddy.
curlew - I know exactly what you mean about a peaceful Christmas. I guess it's the best we can wish for.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 17:26:54

So sorry for your loss LilyTheSavage sad. Seems like your friend got it just right.

I have received a card from my friend and from what she has written in it I got it right.

curlew sorry for your loss, especially when just past the anniversary.

curlew Tue 17-Dec-13 20:42:15

I remember getting a card with a lovely picture and wishing me a peaceful Christmas when I was bereaved at the beginning of December. It was perfect.

LilyTheSavage Tue 17-Dec-13 20:38:31

How lovely of you to be thinking.... my ds died four months ago and I'm dreading our first Christmas without him. I am finding it hideously difficult receiving cards that don't have his name on. One friend has got it right by writing "to dh, me, ds1, ds3 and always remembering dear ds2. All love....
It's the only card I have up on display. All the others are in a pile on top of a bookcase.
How kind.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 15-Dec-13 21:09:56

I am sorry for your loss Painting.

I have yet to hear from the friend but I will not be surprised if she doesn't send cards this year. I just hope it was okay that I did.

Paintingrainbowskies Sun 15-Dec-13 20:45:56

My daughter died 4 years ago and that first Christmas I mostly got the usual cards but one stood out. A friend sent a lovely card with just a line inside saying, "thinking of you this Christmas".

It really meant a lot.

derektheladyhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 14:59:48

I've found that our local hospice sells blank christmas cards. Which sound perfect.

daisydotandgertie Wed 04-Dec-13 19:20:30

50 shades - yes. Mention him by name; it will mean the world. Difficult to say about the thinking of/remembering though. I know one would make me cry and one wouldn't, but neither are bad.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 04-Dec-13 19:13:47

For anyone else, I got the card in Paperbox iirc. It is just a little card shop and I am not sure if there are nationwide branches. I have posted it now so hope it is okay. I think I wrote something about how I was thinking of her at Christmas and will do into the new year too. Gosh, that sounds terrible <frets>.

WowOoo Wed 04-Dec-13 13:04:43

I've just sent a non Christmas card to express my sympathy for a friend. I will send her another Christmas card next week. I thought the two shouldn't go together for some reason.

I was in a quandary too. I've got a 'no message' Christmas card and was going to write something with 'you will be in our thoughts this Christmas'.

It's so hard to know what to say. But,it's nice to express that you are thinking of someone. Glad you found a suitable card. I had to search high and low for mine.

petitdonkey Wed 04-Dec-13 13:02:30

Toffee - I firmly believe that there are times when the best thing to say in these circumstances is exactly what you are thinking so:

'Dear Friend, I can't imagine what this Christmas will feel like for you and I know there will be deep sadness but I hope that you will also remember many, many happy times. You are in my thoughts and prayers, at Christmas and always.'

Something like that? In my experience, the worst thing for a bereaved person is people feeling awkward so not saying anything at all in fear of getting it wrong - kind and heartfelt sympathies are rarely taken the wrong way. So sorry for your friend.

Manchesterhistorygirl Wed 04-Dec-13 13:01:00

My husbands uncle lost his dw earlier this year and I was also wondering what to write in the card. They were not (see I wrote are not, it's hard to remember she's gone) Christian at all and are actively atheist so wanted to get it correct.

cupcakeicing Wed 04-Dec-13 12:56:55

Glad you have found something suitable. It's always difficult.
The first Christmas after my dad died DM was inundated by cards with snowdrops on them. We saw the funny side and still remark on them when we see a pack of them.

50ShadesofXmas Wed 04-Dec-13 12:50:01

Or would "thinking of you and remembering Fred" be more appropriate?

Thank you.

50ShadesofXmas Wed 04-Dec-13 12:49:06

I've been thinking about this too, as I am in a similar position to you, my friend lost her very dh in August, she has grown up children and lots of family so I know she won't be alone but I was wondering whether I could mention him by name,

"Thinking of you and Fred this Christmas"

Yes or no?
*his name wasn't Fred btw

ssd Tue 03-Dec-13 16:02:21

glad you found something, your thoughtfulness will mean so much to your friend.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 03-Dec-13 10:45:36

I have got a card today. I could only find one shop with remotely anything suitable and even then the front was right but the verse inside was not but I got one in the end and I think it will be just right.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

Sixweekstowait Mon 02-Dec-13 21:16:02

Daisy - that's helpful to know

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