I am sending lots of love and hugs to you all, especially at this time of year.
I can only pass on my experience of my first Christmas last year without my Dad and say yes it will be beyond tough but you will get through it. I remember I was just numb but we have a 4 year old son so we had to carry on as normal. If it wasn’t for him I don’t know what I would have done.
The only thing I can advise is change your normal routine. The one thing I could not bear (and still can’t) is sitting around the table to eat, to me this just kills me as it emphasises that one special person who is no longer there, so change it. Have a buffet so you don’t sit around the table, eat chilli or spag Bol instead of Christmas dinner (because Dad always loved a turkey leg, I cannot cook a turkey, I now buy a turkey crown), go for a walk or to the seaside to break the normal routine…etc etc. It didn’t make it any easier but it at least helped the big screaming hole in the family routine that Dad was no longer there. Having said all that, that was year 1 and it was still new as I lost my Dad in the August, this year is already proving harder as it’s sinking in that this is the new norm and I don’t want this to be.
Just be selfish and do whatever you need to do to get through it. Our loved ones wouldn’t want us to be by ourselves or to not do the traditional thing, but I thought ‘sorry Dad, this is about survival!!’
I flicker between absolute breakdown and cannot go on, to pep talking myself that I can do this, Dad was strong and created a strong daughter in me, but then back to breakdown. Please know that you are not on your own and even though knowing that does not make it any easier I hope it brings some small comfort
Thinking of you all