Dreading Christmas

Hi everyone

I lost Mum just over 10 weeks ago, everyday is still a massive uphill struggle and I still can’t accept she’s gone. Now there is the looming event of Christmas.
My sister is ‘hosting’ it this year but I don’t want to ‘celebrate’ or go down the pub after everyone has filled their faces. It is going to be so hard seeing everyone enjoying themselves almost forgetting that Mum isn’t there.
For me, the only place I want to be, is with Mum. I don’t want her to be on her own.
Is anyone else feeling like this or does anyone have any advice on how to get through the day?


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Dear Folle, I am so sorry for your loss, and know exactly what you mean. My husband died three years ago at the end of August so we also had Christmas facing us without him. I went to our sons house for Christmas and believe you me, that was the last place I wanted to be, I wanted to be at home with my memories. Our granddaughter, daughter-in-law, son and his in-laws were there all opening their presents and I do not know how I kept it together. Christmas lunch was also very difficult for me, everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves, laughing and joking and my faced ache with forcing a smile. It was especially hard not being at home, as for the last 40 odd years I had cooked Christmas dinner at our house and being somewhere else for the first time emphasised him being missing. I believe your sister and your family will be feeling exactly as you do but they have to carry on for the sake of their own family especially if they have children, we have to put the children first and give them the Christmas they deserve. Many people on this forum are facing Christmas without their loved one for the first time and many, like me have faced Christmas without their loved one for a few years and it does not get any easier. We do what we have to do to get through it and when we get back home, then we can cry our eyes out, but for the short time we are altogether we have to be brave and carry on. Raise a glass to your mum and remember the good times and like I said, when you get home you can cry your eyes out. Take care. Sheila xxxx

Dear Follie, I am so sorry for your bereavement and hope you will be able to cope with Christmas. This will be the first Christmas in 67 years that I will not be with my husband. I dread it but will be spending it with one of our sons and his family. I would have hated to be on my own and so I will try to join in with the family and their children. It’s going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but at least there is Spring to look forward to after it’s all over. I wish that there was a magic potion we could all take to rid ourselves of this grief. Take care. Eileen x

Hi Eileen and Virgo 825

Thank you for your lovely messages, it’s so hard because it was Mum that used to do all the cooking even leading up to it she’d be making mince pies, cheese straws and sausage rolls. It would be me and mum that would ‘stick together’ whilst everyone else chats which is what we did. I think I’ll feel really lonely even though I’ll be surrounded by people(if that makes sense)

Take care ladies, stay in touch

Hi everybody Christmas is cancelled at my house .I dont give a damn what people think .Ive been invited out for Christmas day but no way im going to celebrate .This is a horrible time of the year for me .Face reality of it no thankyou im going to pretend it just a normal nightmare day Colin

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the dont give a damn what people think isnt aimed at people on here its aimed at the people i meet in the street etc

I wish I was as brave as you Colin. The first Christmas without Peter was terrible, I told my sons I wanted to be on my own, would they listen, would they heck, they said I would spoil their Christmas if they knew I was on my own so I gave in. I give in a lot nowadays. Take care. Sheila

I am sitting here looking at the pile of Christmas presents waiting to be wrapped but cannot get motivated to start. Like Sheila, I am spending it with one of our sons but wish I had the courage that Colin has shown. On the other hand, who knows how we may feel sitting at home on our own on Christmas Day. I hate my life and the loneliness which goes with being widowed. Cruse finally contacted me a week ago but they had no idea how long I have to wait to see someone. If any of you have had counselling with Cruse, I would love to know how it went and what you think. Best wishes, Eileen X

Hi Virgo, it is hard, isn’t it, the first Christmas was a nightmare but wrapping all the presents gave me something to do. I didn’t go round the shops at all as I could not bear to see everyone having fun and husbands and wives together so I ordered everything online. I asked our sons what our grandchildren wanted and they gave me a list so it made it a lot easier. I stopped sending Xmas cards and just donated to The British Lung Foundation. which I now do every year. This year everyone is getting money. I am giving our grandchildren vouchers so they can spend them in the sale after Christmas because they get hundreds of presents from their parents and relations and everything gets pushed to one side as they have no idea where to start. One of our son’s is moving into a new house and their baby is due February so the money will be great for them, our other son is divorced and he likes to go to motor shows etc, so he will like the money. They ask me what I want for Christmas and I tell them their dad, but they can’t help me on that one so I have told them both to take me out for a nice meal after Christmas. I know what you mean about staying at home on your own, but I know for a fact everyone’s Christmas would be spoiled as they would be thinking about me on my own. Anyhow they are all coming to me at Christmas this year so at least I will be at home, it will be 5 days of hell let loose but it will keep me occupied. Keep your chin up Virgo, I sometimes think we are stronger than we will ever know. Best wishes, Sheila.xx

Hello Folle (nick?) and Everyone,

I’m so sorry for all of your pain:(

I lost my wonderful Mum 4 months ago and having never had a Christmas in my life without her there’s just no way I can do it. Instead my brother and I have decided to go away to escape it all, not sure yet where but a warmer climate and preferably where Christmas isn’t celebrated.

It’s so so hard, Mum loved Christmas and I’m already missing the shopping trips, the multitude of questions asking what to get everyone as well as what to have for dinner etc… it’s so painful watching other families preparing for theirs when I’m out and seeing things I know my Mum would love but now I cannot buy her. I admire all of you that will go ahead with the day for others but I know I just cannot.

The only thing I am considering is a Christmas market with my aunt & uncle but that will be well before. To top it off Mum’s birthday is 11 Dec so it’s going to be a double whammy in a very short space of time.

Life is complete rubbish right now:(

Sending virtual hugs to all


Hi everyone,

Feelings about Christmas are different this year. Usually, my mum and I would have been out Christmas shopping together since September! Christmas now makes me smile and also makes me cry. A Christmas without mum is just such a horrible prospect, but I have no alternative. This is just how life is now. I’ve been trying to keep myself really busy, but i totally lose it when i think about how to decorate mum’s grave at Christmas, whether I should get her and write her a card, whether I should go on Christmas day even though I’m supposed to be about 40+ miles away from her grave… I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I was just about feeling less upset, I wasn’t crying every day, but now things have gotten worse again. I’m excited to spend Christmas with my partner’s family, but them running around yelling “mummy” and also my partner’s mother being there too, I feel like it’s going to be very sore and I’ll just end up crying alone in the loo all the time. My mum and I weren’t always close, but we were the past 8 or 10 years. We’d paint our nails together at Christmas, I started having Xmas dinner at hers, it was our tradition. I just can’t quite get my head around that last year was the last time I will ever have Xmas dinner with her. At the time I had no idea. Literally none. Not once did I think “this might be my last xmas with mum so better make the most of it”. It’s just heart-breaking. So, part of me wants to celebrate every day, and every time i get to see someone I love, because I’m conscious that one day, it will be the last. But also, I just don’t feel ready for the onslaught of Christmas merriment when I feel so upset, and then straight after Christmas, it’s mine and my mum,'s birthdays and mothers day all before mid-march.
I’ve spotted that Sue Ryder are holding Christmas services, with a little bit for remembering our loved ones. I want to go but I know it’ll be desperately sad, but it’ll at least be with people who understand that this Christmas is an impossible time for some of us.
Take care, I hope we can all get through Christmas together.

Hi Wendy

This year is going to hard for all of us on here, the first for you and me. I find it really hurtful seeing Mus and their daughters out shopping as it is, let alone the added ‘joyment’ as they go shopping for Christmas. It just feels like they are rubbing it in our faces.
Bless you- her birthday at the same time.
I find I’m really lonely, and in a way, even more so when we have friends over.
I make a photo slideshow yesterday with some old photos that Mum and Dad had (literally 100’s!) I’ve added 2 of my favourite songs and they are all pretty much just me and her. At least I can watch that when I’m really craving to be with her, might be with thinking of something similar if it will help?


For those of you that are near a Sue Ryder hospice, here’s where you can get more details on those Lights of Love Christmas services that Kimberley mentioned: https://www.sueryder.org/get-involved/events/lightsoflove

Thank you Priscilla for the details of the Lights of Love services, they look really lovely.

I faced my first Christmas without my Mum last year so understand the dilemma of this completely. I went away to a hotel with a relative for the whole Christmas and New Year period, something I had never done before. I didn’t want to be on my own and the reasoning was if it was something new it would be different so a tiny bit better. I went and cried in the toilets mid way through the meal as couldn’t cope with all the forced gaiety and the huge quantities of food. My relative seemed completely unaffected which made it worse for me. I cried myself to sleep every night as well as I missed Mum so much.

I honestly don’t think there is an answer apart from gritting your teeth and just thinking that it will be over soon. I used to love shopping for silly things for my Mum’s stocking (which our cat and tortoise did for her). Now I feel I just cannot be bothered and would happily give vouchers to everyone and be pleased with the same back if people were kind enough to remember me. The only exception being children who don’t deserve my miseries.

The one thing I am looking forward to is a sponsored fun run locally with people dressed as Father Christmas and money raised going to the hospice who supported me over Mum. I will go to that and think of Mum and how much she would have enjoyed it. I remember someone last year saying the money they normally spent on their Mum they now give to the hospice which I think is a very good idea.


Hi everyone,

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


Hi MichelleG

Thank you for your kind words, they really do mean a lot.
I think a lot of us (certainly me) just don’t know what to do, I’m glad you said do what you need to do, for me, I can’t imagine anything worse than as you said sitting round the table, it was always ‘me and mum’ and it will be so obvious that she’s not here, all I want to do is take a camp chair, wrap up warm with my dog and go and spend the time with Mum. She always did everything and now she’ll be totally on her own. I’m going to buy her a card and I’d spend the time just talking to her.
Your words really do bring some guidance to us that feel totally lost, so thank you so much again.

Hello Folle,
I lost my son aged 34 to a brain tumour December 9th '16, so I know how you feel, I suppose luckily (if that’s the right word) everyone felt the same although they tried to enjoy the day because of the little ones. The only advice I can give is say…you can just about get through the meal (I suspect your sister hosting is a way of her coping and trying to keep things normal) I am sure most people around that table will have their own private thoughts, so be honest with them all they will understand
with love Helen

Hi Sams mum,

I’m so sorry to hear about your son. Thank you so much for your words, this is such a good place to give support to each other.
I hope this year is ‘ok’ for you


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I am alone having lost my dear friend a year ago and have no family so have booked to go to a hotel for christmas and just hope people will talk to me or dont think im a weirdo but last year I was alone had christmas dinner on a tray and didnt speak to a soul of days no life!!! Its very hard isnt it when one has no one really!!!

I lost my Mum In March this year. I lived with her all my life and was her carer when she was ill. I’m coping okay really, I think. I know that when I feel teary it’s okay, and I’m still healing, but It’s my birthday next week… and then we have Christmas. I dreading both. I went to the garden centre at the weekend and saw all the Christmas stuff. Mum and I loved going to garden centres and buying Christmas tackyness together. I loved the little gifts that mum bought. Oh… and who’s going to buy me my annual packet of M&S knickers and pair of slippers!? I know these dates all have to be gone through, and I know my brother will be feeling rubbish too. I’m going to try and get the tears out of the way early and then make the best of both days. For all of us dreading these ‘firsts’, big hugs…and this impending festive season will have passed us by before we know it. x

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