Christmas is coming - how are you coping?

HI Lois and Ev
You are both on my mind a lot. I naively thought I had to return to work, didn’t want to take advantage and although my GP said she could sign me off until I was ready I returned to work after just 5 weeks - Big mistake!! I work full time but I can barely concentrate. I’ve also tried asking about working 4 days a week. I am 60 on our wedding anniversary 4 months after my husband passed away. 48 is no age to tbrough so much heartache! I really feel for you. I used to make cards but can’t get motivated enough to do anything. Most evenings after I watch my husband’s recorded message I go tbrough all the photos reminiscing. No one can comprehend what we’re going through. Someone actually said I should just get on with it… take care both of you. x

Libby and Lois what a threesome we are. I had to start a to do list as I couldn’t remember anything and left the cooker on and forgot to put something on the cooker never mind switch it off. I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been had I tried to work. Even now if I go out to the shops or get supples I sometimes have to just stop and come home and in the early days it was like a panic attack and I had to concentrate on breathing. If you tell anyone that they think you are bonkers. People would always say don’t you think you,should get a job and take your mind of it - they were bonkers if they thought my mind would ever move on. I have cleaned some drawers out today and there is always a memory of some kind in everything. At our age Libby it is bad but at 48 that is a whole new opposite of heaven - not sure what words they will allow. Take care and talk anytime. Love to you both. Xx

Ev it’s so spooky, I was going to mention the lapse of memory. I am so forgetful it’s just unbelievable. I could be mid sentence and my mind goes blank, my friend and sister-in-law have got used to this now. I too have to make lists. I put away some of my husband’s paintings that my son wanted, I’ve been looking for them for the past 5 months and still can’t find them. I too get panic attacks one was a really bad one but I won’t go into what the outcome was as it’s terribly embarrassing. I thought I was going crazy but my counselor said it was all part of the grieving process. Must get back to work. Love, Libby x

Been embarrassed more times that I can count but not so much now so at least know you will control things a bit better as time goes on. I didn’t send cards last year and I am not doing it again this year. People sent me cards wishing me a merry Christmas last year! I will send a few special cards to people who have been there for me throughout this time and I send them to family because I don’t want them not to know the joy of Christmas and to build up the special little traditions that make it special and personal. Other than that I would personally like a little cottage by the sea miles from anywhere and no Christmas tree in sight. Take care. Love Evelyn x

Saw this verse online, I think sums up what we feel

Dearest Husband, I miss you, at Christmas

We used to love this time of year,
but now everything I see,
reminds me just how much I wish,
that you were back with me.

For it’s little things I notice,
that so fills my heart with pain,
such as reading Christmas greetings,
with no mention of your name.

And its light may still be twinkling,
But the tree’s forlorn now, too
Because underneath its branches
lay no gifts from me to you.

But wherever you are, dearest xxxx,
I hope somehow you will know,
that you’re in my thoughts this Christmas,
for I’ll always love you so.

x

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Crying at this one. I don’t put up decorations because they all have a story, where we bought it etc. I will be glad when it is over. I am going to see Santa tomorrow with my grandson so will have to smile for him - the grandson not Santa! I hope you are ok over the weekend. Take care. Love x

No decorations here either, not even Christmas cards just not in the mood. Although I received a card from a very thoughtful cousin, she didn’t put my name inside so I could pretend it wasn’t just for me. My best friend sent one that said thinking of you at this difficult Christmas time. My son and his fiancé are coming up for the weekend. You too take care. Love xx

Morning. I got a lovely card from a friend too. It the others that come in just wishing me a merry Christmas I just leave in a pile until after when I will put them out. Enjoy your time with your son. My son and his partner are coming for dinner on Saturday and then my grandson is staying here the night to let them both work the next day. Can I ask which part of the U.K. You live? I live in Scotland. I hope you have a nice time with your son and his fiancé. Take care. X

Lois just to say thinking of you. Take care and hope your weekend is okay. Ev x

Hi Ev I live near Manchester. We moved up here from the south 13 years ago.
All the cards are out of sight, I don’t think I could put them out. My husband always put the cards up. The only card I have up is a commemorative card from the Hospice for dedicating a light on one of their Christmas ‘Trees of lights’, and have the name of your loved one inscribed in one of their Book of Memories which can be viewed at the Town Hall or our local Hospice. On Sunday there will be a little ceremony held at one of the local churches to switch on the Lights followed by Christmas Carols, I’m looking forward to it. This will be my way of wishing John. Enjoy your time with your family and grandson. Take care x

Hi Libby I went back to work after 3 weeks and think looking back it was way too soon, but at the time it was what I needed. People do say the strangest things don’t they, I really don’t think they mean any harm they just don’t think. Someone said to me yesterday and I thought really and just cried because Christmas is a very sad time now. I feel I will never be happy again and just wish this deep sadness would lift. Take care. X

Hi Lois
Hope you’re doing ok and your weekend goes well.
Take care x

Hi Ev I’m not too good today my husbands birthday is coming on Tuesday and it’s been building, then today was supposed to be going into work to see my manager and she rang me in tears to say another manager had passed away last night, and she was one off the nicest ladies I had ever met an amazing lady, I just can’t stop crying life just isn’t fair. She had cancer and fought it for 3 years and she has gone through lots of things my husband went through, even tho my husband lasted 8 week from diagnosis to passing, very aggressive, it’s was the worst time of my life to see him like that, broke my heart literally and will never get over losing him. X

Hi Lois
I am so sorry for what you’re going through. It just doesn’t seem fair…
I hope this helps in some way and know I will be thinking of you:

Birthday in Heaven

I see the tears you are crying
And the pain that’s in your eyes
But please don’t be sad
Because love never dies.
And though you cannot feel me hold you
Or give you a quick little kiss
The sound of my voice and the touch of my hand
Are the simple things you miss.
So please celebrate my birthday
Filled with memories of love
Just close your eyes and realise
I am celebrating in Heaven above.
And when the sorrow overwhelms you
Just pray and He will help you be strong
And you will find the peace He alone can give
Knowing I am in Heaven where I belong.

I know it’s not easy but do try and stay strong
x

Oh Lois I am so sorry you are going to go through so many emotions over the coming days and weeks. I wish I could help. I hope there is someone you can talk to over the weekend. Take it easy and take care of yourself. I go through hxxx when it is Billy’s birthday and tonight I went to the grave in the dark because I just had to go. I do have a dog so not as silly as it sounds. Thinking of you and write if you just want to chart. Love x

Hi. Live near Edinburgh - not so far so we might meet at some time in the future. The Hospice in Edinburgh has the same thing with a tree just up from Princes Street. I subscribed to it the first year even although Billy was not ill and went with some friends. I made it to the tree but couldn’t stand there and left in tears. Silly I know I hope you feel some peace when you do it. Take care x

Libby thank you for that the words are so lovely, it’s so hard when all I want is Kev back. He should be here to celebrate his birthday and in September it was our 25th wedding anniversary and he also should have been there for that. I’m still quite angry that he’s gone and don’t can’t think about memories as its too painful. But thank you anyway for you kind thoughts. Xx

Ev you just have to do what you feel is right if you get comfort from visiting your husbands grave then do it. I do have really close friends to talk to and I’m babysitting tonight for my son. So will have cuddles with my little girls they keep me busy. I’ve got counselling on Monday just hope feel up to it with it been kevs birthday on Tuesday. Sometimes I really have to push myself to do things when just want to be on my own. Xx

I understand your anger. I don’t know if you will be okay one day but I hope and pray that you are. I am absolutely sure your husband is walking with you and at the very least wants you to find some kind of peace. Meanwhile be angry let it out rant and rave, cry and take it out on something. I had the best weeded garden and vegetable plot ever. Some day that trowel was pleading for a rest and at the end of the day, after a glass of wine all I could do was sleep. Oh yes and I never ate the veg it never came to anything but the soil is better for the digging. You are NOT alone. Xx

Hi Lois that’s ok. I find the memories painful too perhaps that’s why I concentrate so much on feeling guilty for all the things I wish in hindsight I should / could have done. Went to Trafford Centre yesterday with my son, his fiance and my sister suddenly the tears were just pouring down my face, my husband always took me there. I thought about you and Ev all weekend hope you were ok.

My counselor advised me to create my own ritual for the special times like birthdays, anniversaries and christmas. Do something you feel comfortable with. I took a small cake and musical candle to the grave with my special flowers. Sat there for several hours just talking to John, I had the day off as usual. I listen to his favourite music even though it makes me cry. I hope you find the strength and courage to get through Kevin’s birthday on Tuesday. I’ll always be here if you need to chat.

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