Christmas is coming and don’t know what to do

I’m totally lost and don’t know what to do. I lost my husband in January after a very short battle with bowel cancer and am totally lost. Every day gets harder and harder, I still think he’s going to walk through the door. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next month. Jason always loved Christmas it was his favourite time of the year. We always decorated the house inside and out by 30th October and always turned the lights on for Halloween. It’s something we had done since the children was young. Last year we only did a couple of bits and put the tree up as Jason was so ill. But we wanted to make Christmas extra special for him as we knew it would be his last Christmas. The doctors didn’t think he would make Christmas but he did. But this year I’ve not done anything at all apart from buy presents for the family. I’m very lucky as my now adult children (21,22,23) still live at home with me and their partners. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know where I’d be now. But I’m struggling so much at the thought of putting the decorations up. We always loved decorating the house together and they always loved watching me decorate the tree. I’ve spoken to them all about how I feel and they totally understand and have said if I can’t do it we don’t have to put them up. But I feel so guilty as I know how much they love seeing the house decorated. I know they will support me with whatever I decide but the guilt is destroying me along with the pain and loss I feel without hubby. My heart says I should do it but my head says no. Has anyone else felt like this? I’m sorry it’s so long and maybe doesn’t make much sense but I didn’t know what to do or who to talk to about it. Normally I’d be talking to hubby about things like this. But now he’s gone I can’t. I do still talk to him but it’s not the same. 11 months on and the pain is unbearable, it still feels so unreal and I’m feeling the loss greater than ever and I’m still struggling everyday. I don’t think my life will ever be the same again. I would be grateful if someone could give me some advice.


Hi Karen, my husband died shortly before yours, December 30th 2021. I think I’m probably older than you, my “children” are 57 & 55. The despair & hopelessness is dreadful, it takes over your life completely. I think you should let your family help you out & maybe do the decorating for you. You will be the person in charge, of course. I’m not being flippant but, I think your family will feel as if they are walking on eggshells with Christmas looming. You only have to make a decision whether to have decorations or not & I think you know the answer to that.

About me & my situation, I’ve never lived on my own before & I hate it!! We were married for 57yrs & 3 months when Peter died. I lived with my parents until we were married, October 3rd 1964 & then we were together until he died. I am completely on my own now & find it very hard to carry on. Life seems so pointless without him.

I’ve read on the Sue Ryder website that grieving takes over your life & your mind & you are powerless to change that. I understand it, I have felt “stuck” since my husband died & lazy, unable to carry on. The website tells you to remember how you were & what you were capable of. I’ve done this & I’m not any of those things now because grieving takes over completely. It is so hard & there’s no room for anything else in your life.

I hope you don’t mind me rattling on but, since I’ve seen the SR website I feel as if I have a better understanding of what I’m going through. The only problem with that now is that I am on the verge of tears all the time. Lump in my throat like an egg & more aware of the sadness of it all. I haven’t really cried since Peter died, I was his full time carer for 2yrs. He was in a wheelchair & I did everything for him. When he died there was a sense of relief that I hadn’t to do that anymore but, a complete gap that I couldn’t fill.

Hope you can make a decision about Christmas, it’s only a Yeah or a Nay. Still very hard to do when you’re grieving. All the best to you, I’ll think of you at Christmas :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Btw, I’m not putting any decorations up, I’m on my own & it’s pointless xx


Karen69, the previous message was meant for you & I didn’t put your Moniker on it, sorry. Hope you find it, I’m not writing it all again xx

Christmas is so difficult. Used to love it but since mark died last September just can’t be bothered with it all. I didn’t want to put my tree and decorations up last year but my daughter came and did most of it. I got through Christmas and thought I would maybe feel better this year but feel exactly the same. Like you Karen I miss him so much to talk to and plan things together.
I’m sure we all feel like we could just hide away til it’s over but we will put our face on and get through it. Xx


Hi @Karen69.
I sort of know what you mean as sometimes I find it difficult to make decisions about the simplest of things since I lost my lovely husband in March.
I think that we bereaved folk are mentally distracted a lot of the time, whether we’re aware of it or not, so our head space is not as roomy as it was pre-bereavement, to contemplate the pros and cons of whatever we’re trying to decide.
I also think that trying to do something which you always did “as a couple” is a particularly hard thing to do.
The memories come flooding back with the force of a tsunami.
My philosophy these days is, life is hard enough as it is so I avoid doing anything that will make it even harder if it is not essential to life and limb.
I’m not doing any decorations as, for me, it would just add another layer of poignancy to the whole event.
You have nothing to feel guilty about really.
Your children are adults and sound as if they fully understand…and, you are entitled to change your mind should you wish.
Take care.


Hi @sannepeter, @Wingingit, @Barbara61

Thank you all for your messages. Apart from the floods of tears your messages have really helped me.

Jason was my full time carer for 10 years due to severe health problems. I always believed I would go first. I’m 50 years old and virtually bed ridden and when I’m not in bed I’m in my wheelchair. Jason was also 50 and was together 25 years and married 24 years. I was his first and last girlfriend. He was my best friend, my soul mate.
When jason got diagnosed with cancer my children took over and looked after me. As I cancelled my night carers while Jason was ill. Jason didn’t want carers in so I took over caring for him with the help of my children. I did all his medications and washing him etc from my wheelchair or bed. I did everything I physically could do. He deteriorated very quickly and I was advised to put him in a hospice. But I wouldn’t allow that. We discussed funeral and where he wanted to be amongst other things and I made promises that he would stay at home and I would do his funeral service. I fulfilled his every wish. He took his last breath at 10pm on 11th January. I did his funeral. I don’t even remember it. Everything was a fog. But I’m told it was beautiful. So I’m relieved to know that as I didn’t want to let him down. Anyway that’s a bit about me and hubby.

I am a total mess and tears are flowing but after reading your messages something clicked. I like to think Jason was giving me his input. It’s the first time since losing him that I’ve felt his presence if that makes sense.

My daughter and her partner went to visit family in Leighton buzzard for a few days. They came home today and my girl Shannon came and sat with me and gave me a gift. It was a little gonk that lights up and has dad on it. Jason found the gonks funny so we started buying them. They always made him smile. It’s crazy what a faceless gnome can do and how much joy they can bring.

So I have made a decision thanks to you all and my daughters little gift. I really don’t want to do Christmas but I am going to do it in memory of my beloved husband and his gonks. The children are going to decorate the house (indoors only) and I will sit in my wheelchair and do the tree. We will then turn the lights on on the 18th December which is Jasons birthday. My grandchildren (13,11,5) love nanny’s house at Christmas so I have to be strong and push forward even though I know it’s hurting like crazy. They have a special decoration each to put on the tree.

This forum really is special and so are the people. I feel I can talk without having to worry that I’m upsetting my family.

I have put a couple of pictures up. This is Jasons special box in pride of place along with his teddy’s and gonks. Also there’s a picture of the little gonk that my daughter bought home.

Sending you all love, hugs and hope xxx​:smiling_face_with_three_hearts::rose::heart:


Karen69, your situation is so much more difficult than mine & my heart goes out to you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: My husband was in a wheelchair for the last 2yrs of his life. I drive & we still went out & about as if life was normal. I was his full time carer for 2yrs, did everything, strip washes because he was frightened of the shower. Toiletting because he couldn’t manage, he had Alzheimer’s as well as heart failure & other health problems. How you did all this in a wheelchair is beyond me! I really struggled & I’m old & that doesn’t help. When I started caring for my husband I was 77 & he was 83. He was 85 when he died & I was 79, it really takes it out on you when you have to do everything. But, I totally admire you doing it all from a wheelchair, my problems & I’m sure many others on this forum, pale into into insignificance compared with yours. Good Luck with your future & lots of love & hugs from me. Anne xx


Sending love to you Anne and Karen69 xx


I too feel totally lost. My husband died in August after a heroic battle against cancer, some days I just about manage but today has started off badly in floods of tears. The pain of loss is so great it seems unbearable at times. I miss Steve so so much, he was my hero and my soulmate and we had been together since 1978.

I am dreading Christmas. I am so thankful I have my so supportive family around and know I have much to be grateful for, but sometimes thinking about the start of each day is a struggle. Family suggested all coming to help put up a tree but I honestly don’t feel like doing any decorations.
Thinking of everyone on here going through this pain, and sending hugs.


I lost my husband suddenly 12 December 2021.
Christmas was a blur as I couldn’t take in what had happened. He was 73, we had been married over 50 years so this was a great shock to me as he hadn’t been ill or anything. Anyway the last thing I wanted to do was put up decorations. I am fortunate that I have grown up children and 4 grandchildren (7,8,16, and 18). My son who was due to bring his two up on Boxing Day said he would understand if I wanted to cancel but I said no carry on as they were too young to understand why nanny hadn’t put the tree up. With a heavy heart I did put it up and was in tears as I hung one of the ornaments on. It was of a border collie with the name Bess on which I had bought for my husband as we had lost Bess August last year and this would have been our first Christmas without her. We do have another dog as well which is keeping me sane. My tree has not gone up yet as the first anniversary is looming, a day I am dreading, I know I will be heartbroken. I have asked the children not to come round as my being upset will upset them. I know they will feel it just the same as he was their dad. I don’t think I have grieved properly as much as I loved him, I seem to have been able to lead a life with some sort of normality, I went away with my son and his two children this year and took my daughter and her two and my dog away for a long weekend. I say goodnight to him every night. I think it’s now only sinking in that my life is going to be very different without him. It’s a life I didn’t want but now am stuck with. I hadn’t cried much this last year and really thought I was ok. Yet only the other week I had dropped my daughter at work (her car was in the garage) when on the way back I suddenly broke down in tears, literally sobbing, since then I seem to be in tears most of the time. I hide them from my son who lives at home but at night and during the day when he is at work they keep coming. Maybe it’s because I seem to be reliving the last time I saw him. I’m crying now as I write this.
I will get through this however long it takes as he wouldn’t want me to be down. I owe it to his memory to carry on and look towards the future. I might have to face this alone but he will be with me always. When the family are here on Boxing Day we will drink a toast to him and wish him a merry Christmas
Everyone will deal with Christmas in their own way, whatever feels right to them.
Sending hugs to all xxx