CHRISTMAS AGAIN

This will be my fifth Christmas without my beloved husband and no, it doesn’t get any easier. I still shed tears for what he has missed, for what we have missed. The future does not bear thinking about so I live day to day and I plan day to day.

I remember all the Christmases we spent together, our home decorated to the rafters, seeing our children grow from tiny babies to adult men in their 40’s. Even though Peter was so ill, he always wanted Christmas in our home with all the family around so I put on a wonderful Christmas even though my heart was breaking, knowing I may not have much longer with him. That was the last Christmas he spent with us, he died the following year. It is the memories that hurt the most, what used to be and will never be again.

I want to wish everyone on the forums as much peace as they can find during these dark times because after four years, there is still that ache in my heart for the young boy I met when he was 18 years of age and the grown man he became, it was a love made in heaven and I know that such a love would never have ended the day he died and I know I will see him again when it is my turn to leave this earth, so I will just wait.

Peace to you all and I hope you find a way of getting through the next two weeks because when the New Year arrives, the pain won’t be over, it will just be another year facing you without your loved ones and believe you me, it hurts so much, as you are starting to make new memories in which they are no longer part of. But the beauty of it is, you will never, ever forget them and you only have to close your eyes and they are there with you, it will be like looking through a window and seeing your past life where you are together and the memories will come thick and fast. I do this such a lot now because there is nothing in the future to look forward to.

Since my Peter died, my life has changed so much that I don’t recognise it anymore, and it is hard to believe that we were once such a very close family, and I truly believe that it was my Peter that was holding us together, but now that he has gone, it has all fallen apart.

Love to you all.

Sheila xx

Hi Sheila my sentiments exactly it was five years yesterday since my Brett died and a day hasn’t gone by that I don’t shed tears. The pain is still there. Christmas is a difficult time I don’t bother with any decorations or fuss I just want it over. That saying that time heals is a little of the mark, I think time just softens the hard edges. I too wish all who have lost loved ones a peaceful time and the strength to get through the next couple of weeks the best they can. Love Marilyn

Dear Marilyn,

I am so sorry, I wish I could take the pain away but nothing ever will so we soldier on as best we can. I don’t want to throw my life away just sitting in a chair for the rest of my life as Peter would have given anything to be with me, enjoying Christmas, but he would be so terribly upset at the way our family has disintegrated.

There is nothing I can do about it so I just carry on day by day. One of these days, we will find peace again.

Love to you at this time of the year when we should be so very happy but are not because the one person who could make everything okay again is not here.

Love

Sheila xx

Hi Sheila. I lost my husband suddenly 8 months ago. We had been married 39 years. I too feel as if my family life has fallen apart. My husband and I would have my children and grandchildren over every weekend and cook a meal for them and would always be at their back and call. Since their father died they don’t seem to be interested in me. It takes them all there time to call me. They are not uncaring people , they are just getting on with their lives as best they can and they adored their father. When I tell them how bad I feel they equate it as if it’s like their grief. There life has not changed they just miss their father. I am so lonely and I don’t feel as if I have an identity any more or a future. I am the one who has had my life turned upside down and had to move and still have to sell my home. I know I sound full of self pity but this indifference attitude by my adult children is compounding my grief. They just say if you want anything just ask, but that’s not what I mean it would be nice if they could ring me regularly and just ask how I am.Does anyone else feel that way.

Dear Jasmin,

I am very sorry and I know exactly what you are talking about. Our sons tell me they also miss their dad but what they don’t seem to realise is that, I lost my dad when I was 25 and then lost my younger sister and then my mum. I know what it is like to cry for them all, but the pain and hurt was never as bad as the pain of losing my husband.

I think the reason for that is because I had my husband beside me, putting his arms around me and telling me it would be alright and we would get through it together. He knew what he was talking about because he lost his dad when he was 6 and his mum when he was 18, we had only been together a few weeks when his mum died but because he had me he got through it.

My husband and I have both experienced the grief of losing our parents and my sister, our sons have lost their dad but like Peter and I had at the time of our parent’s death, they have lives to continue with, work to go to. I have nothing, I have lost everything, all our family of the past and now my husband have gone and won’t be coming back.

This is something that I will never recover from. Our sons think I should be going out on holidays and day trips, go to shows and the cinema, who the heck do I go with, all our friends have still their husbands or wives, they don’t want to be taking me out with them. The two widowed friends I have are 10 years older than me, don’t even own a mobile phone,never mind a computer, I feel more like their daughter than an equal, I carry their bags, help them on and off the bus, pay for coffees when we go out. It is not what I want.

I feel as if I am slowly dying inside. The light went out of me the second my husband died and never came back on again. There is no future anymore, just an existence. I am a fit woman, I am computer literate and can do everything on them.

When Peter died, our sons told me in no uncertain terms that I haven’t to ask them to do jobs for me because I have enough money to pay for them doing by tradesmen and from that day on, I have asked them for nothing. When they used to come to see me, to drop their children off for me to look after, they were always on the scrounge, have you got this, have you got that, but I don’t see two of our grandsons anymore due to one of our son’s ex wife, the other grandchild no longer needs childminding as she is now a teenager.

They wanted me to put Christmas on this year as they say they have had a busy year and need a rest, I told them no, but I would pay for us to go out for Christmas dinner which I have done and they will then stay over Christmas night and Boxing day.
I am going today to Marks and Spencers to pick up the party food I ordered to see me through Christmas.

I have said before that I wish they lived in Australia, that would be far better than being ignored the rest of the year, at least they would have an excuse for not visiting me or calling me. I know for a fact, the only time they visit or call me is if the want something. Our eldest came to see me two weeks ago and I though, okay what does he want. He came to tell me to put a date on my calendar for the end of January as our granddaughter, him and his girlfriend would be staying over at my house as they were going to see a show, The Strictly dancing our sand they didn’t want to pay for an hotel for the night. Was I invited to go with them, no, I was not.

When Peter died, our eldest son said that I should start giving them some of my savings every month so if I went into a care home they would still have some money and the care home wouldn’t take it all. For the first time in my life,I can honestly say I actually hated my sons. Peter would be devastated if he knew the way they treat me. He asked them to promise to always look after me.

I am like you, four years on and I wonder what the heck I have become, where did the attractive, bubbly, loving life person go, she died when her husband died, it is as simple as that.

Sorry for the rant, but I totally understand what you are going through. Luckily I can stay in our home, I love it, it is my sanctuary and they will have to drag me out kicking and screaming, or carry me out before I ever leave it.

Lots of love,

Sheila xx

Dear Jasmin
I am so very sorry that you have lost your husband but hope that you find some comfort from being among friends on this site.
I lost my soulmate two and a half years ago…he wasn’t my children’s father which puts a different complexion on things…in all that time I have struggled with the way my children now seem to almost ignore me…everything that you have written rings so true.However, as time goes on I am beginning to wonder if some of it is in my own mind…if I haven’t really appreciated that society today is a million miles away from the one we grew up in and that my expectations are no longer realistic.
I used to be a primary teacher…20 years ago , if a child fell over in the playground a teacher rushed over, picked them up and gave them a cuddle…nowadays teachers have to be aware of health and safety and the child’s personal space etc so sort the issue out from a distance…it doesn’t mean that they are less concerned. I think our children’s generation are so hemmed in by modern thinking that they can only behave as they do…it doesn’t mean that they don’t love us…they think they have done all they can and perhaps they have! Of course, this doesn’t make us feel any better but at least it might help us understand that we haven’t been jettisoned and that they really do love us…in the modern way!
I don’t know if my thoughts are of any help but I send you a hug and hope that you and your family have as peaceful a Christmas as possible.x

Oh, I feel so sorry for you , I can really relate to some of the points you make and you are not ranting you are desperately hurt like I am. When I told my son that I was lonely with no one to talk to he told me to stay out all day and talk to people and go home late. Can you believe it! He actually thought he was being constructive but he does have a wife who doesn’t like me so he doesn’t want to upset her by inviting me to his but I have invited him to my new flat so I could see my grandson. He is not uncaring I know as he is well thought of by people but is so absorbed in his own grief he thinks I should just get on with mine. I too have contemplated moving abroad so I wouldn’t have to be hurt anymore but I would desperately miss my grandchildren. And you’re right when people say now that I have plenty of money from my house I can do and go anywhere but who with! I have been running round everywhere this past 8 months keeping in touch with people asking if they want to go for meal and visiting them for company but now I am tired and now these winter months are here I just want to stay in and keep warm with company like my late husband. And guess what since I have stopped running round I hardly here from anyone except my dear friend and widow who has kept me going but she’s a lot older than me and is more like a mother. People say don’t isolate yourself but what alternative do you have especially in the winter I’m not exactly inundated with invites. I know I have a lot to be thankful for I have enough money and don’t need to go back to work but I jjust want some compassion. I have been accused of moaning too much so now I can’t even tell the children of how bad I am feeling. As you said about your late husband mine too would be so upset at how things have turned out. There I go that’s my rant and thanks for listening.

Dear Ameliesgran,

I totally agree with you. I keep thinking of the way we looked after my mum when my dad died, taking her shopping, decorating,gardening for her, taking her on holidays with us, but like you say, we are in a different era and family doesn’t seem to be as important as it was for us when our parent’s died, we ensured the parent left was always looked after. There were no mobile phones so we used the landline, I rang my mum night and day, to see if she was okay, went to see her after work and at weekends, two buses to catch.

But there is no reason for not ringing us once a week, or not visiting me for 8 weeks then turning up to tell me that they are staying overnight as they are all going to see a show and they don’t want to pay for an hotel, that has nothing to do with which era we are in, it is to me, just being thoughtless and using someone for their own ends.

I have given up on expecting our sons to care about me, all they are bothered about is what I can given them. They give me nothing. I am known as the bank of Grandma if I am taken out for a meal, as I pay. I am going out tomorrow for Christmas dinner with our son and his girlfriend. I am paying. One of these days, they will take me out and treat me, but I think I will be dead before that happens.

Sheila xx

Dear Jasmin,
I am so sorry you have lost your husband, it is also my first Christmas without my own wonderful husband and it is even more painful than I ever thought possible.
I wanted you to know that I could have written every word of your post, down to the number of years you were married. My daughters and wider family have let me down in a way I would never have remotely thought was possible, leaving me confused, angry and so lonely. This is on top of my unbearable grief for my lovely husband. Today I will be completely alone for the first Christmas Eve ever and tomorrow for a large part of the day. Boxing Day will be spent with another widowed friend, not family. It hurts so much and I just don’t understand any of it. I think I’m now just a nuisance that no-one knows what to do with. Here come the tears again…
Thinking of you and everyone here who is in so much pain.
Ann xx

Dear Jasmin and Anne,

It sounds as if this is more widespread than we thought. I too own my own house, have money to buy what I want and go where I want, but money to me means nothing, I would give it all up to have Peter back. When Peter died, both our son’s got divorced,I cleared their debt’s off, bought them things for their new properties, paid for our son’s wedding when he remarried. I love my daughter in law to bits and our other son’s girlfriend is fantastic, but they both have their mums and dads, so don’t have to worry about them being alone. There parent’s go abroad all of the time, like we used to do before Peter became ill.

That is what I was told when Peter died, join a club, I did, they are all in their 80’s and in a clique and save seats for their friends. It is not me, even though I am nearly 76, I am 21 years old in my head, I would love to go to see a show but they are on in the evening and I hate being out alone at night, getting taxis there and back.

Apart from our two sons I have no family. One of our son’s came to see me 8 weeks ago, came in for a coffee and asked me if I had a nail brush and some window spray, I asked him why and he said because it will save me buying some. That is what happens every time, if they visit me there is always something they want, they never just visit or ring me just for me, there is always an ulterior motive, they kill two birds with one stone.

I am also alone today, going to the GP’s shortly for blood tests. I will be out xmas day with our eldest son and girlfriend at a pub for xmas lunch (me paying again).

Life stinks it really does.

Love

Sheilaxx

Dear Sheila, I hope you’ve managed to collect your shopping and are now back at home. I am feeling so low this Christmas Eve afternoon without my husband…the memories are just flooding in but like you’ve said, they hurt. It seems everyone else is in joyous anticipation…I wish you peace and strength; have the best possible time with your family, xx

Dear Rainbow,

Yes thank you, I got a taxi to the doctors, had to have some blood tests done. Our son was supposed to pick me up from the GP’s and take me to Marks and Spencers to collect my Christmas shopping order but I was finished early and he had not left home so I got a taxi to the shopping centre, collected my food and got a taxi back home again.

This will be my fifth Christmas Eve on my own since Peter died four years ago, I was sitting on my own, watching a Christmas film but turned it off, just did not have the energy or inclination to watch it. I am now just waiting for my bread machine to stop baking my bread for tomorrow, it is a crusty one with sun ripened tomatoes in it for dips etc. I am then putting in a white bread mix for sandwiches. I had a sleep whilst it was baking, woke up and had not a clue what time of day it was, morning or evening. What a miserable existence.

I have so many photos of us through the years, I have one on my mobile phone screen saver, showing Peter when he was 27, sat under the Christmas tree with our sons, John 3 years of age and Mark three months old. Where did it all go.

I am so sorry and I wish I could take away your pain, but I can’t even take mine away. I wish you also love and peace over the holiday period.

Lots of love,

Sheila.xx

Thanks Sheila, it’s comforting to hear about your preparations for tomorrow. I’m sure your home has a beautiful aroma of baking bread. Thoughts of Christmas baking hold so many lovely memories from growing up and then becoming a wife. Don’t know why it had to change the way it did, xx

All I think about is how lucky we were to have had 50 wonderful years together, Michelle bless her and so many others with small children are going to be without their loved on, on Christmas day. I have 50 Christmases to remember and photos of every single one. Many taken on a Brownie 127.

I remember Christmas Eve 1964, it was a Thursday. Peter was 18 years old and we had just met in the August, his mum had died three weeks earlier at the beginning of December. His dad had died 12 years earlier. Peter spent that first Christmas Eve without his mum at my home with my mum, dad and sister, he stayed over Christmas as we had the weekend as well. I remember my dad staying downstairs until I went to bed as Peter was sleeping on the sofa. There was no way he would let us be alone together. We used to go for a walk at teatime when it was dark, kissing and cuddling on the railway bridge near where I lived. That is where he proposed to me 18 months later, with a steam train chugging towards us in the distance. I remember Peter getting the bus back to his home, in those days, what would have taken 20 minutes by car took nearly two hours as he had three buses to catch and I remember worrying myself sick about him going home to an empty house. But to be honest, he just used it to get ready for work as he spent most of his time at my home. My mum and dad loved him to bits, I think they loved him more than they loved me really.

Peter looked more like my mum than I did in his face and hair colour, he was taken for my mum’s son many a time when we went out for a meal with them. Peter was 6 ft 4 mum was 5 ft 2.

Ah well, so much for reminiscing, I can remember everything about the past, but ask me what I had for tea yesterday, I can’t remember, it is not dementia, it is because I don’t care what I had to eat, it is not important to me anymore. Everything that was important to me went four years ago and won’t be coming back.

Peace and health to you Rainbow, it is not going to be easy, I know.

Love

Sheila.xx

Back to top