How do you get through the first Christmas?

Hello, I have just joined this page tonight. Struggling to cope. My wife passed away on the 4th of November aged 46. We have been married for 19 years and together for 23 years. She has left me with 8 year old twins, a boy and girl. She thought she had the flu and suffered for 3 days, on the 4th day she became breathless and I took her to hospital. It turned out she had sepsis, and had already gone into septic shock. She was airlifted from our local hospital to an ICU but never came round and passed away 2 days later. 6 weeks on and I feel the pain more and more each day. I am trying to be strong for the kids but I have never felt so alone. I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up in January after the whole Christmas thing is over. My mum really upset me today, keeps asking what are you doing for Christmas. I know she means well and is only looking out for me. I said there would be too many people at her house and her reply was “the more the merrier” which made me realize that she doesn’t have a clue how I’m feeling. She also gave me a Christmas card which said on the front, Son have a great Christmas!. This made me very upset and I have been a wreck all night. My kids are so brave, giving me big cuddles and saying “don’t get upset Daddy, Mummy wouldn’t want to see you upset”. Their mum spent so much time with them and my heart is breaking for them. I just know I’m going to go to pieces at Christmas. Sorry for the long message. Just have to share my story with someone who might understand. x

So sorry for your loss. It is a terrible feeling when you lose your soulmate. Especially at such a young age. My husband died in August it is so devastating and I feel like something has been ripped out of me and feel physical pain as well as emotional. We had been together 46 years. We had so many plans for retirement. So hard especially at this time of year. Be strong and take comfort from your children. At least you are not on your own. It is so hard living alone when you have never done so before. Take care of yourself.

So sorry for your loss, it is such a shocking and heartbreaking time for you. People can be so insensitive with what they say and do. I think on the whole they mean well but just don’t understand unless they have been through such a loss that our lives and futures have been devastated. Many of us would like to go to bed now and wake up in the middle of January, I lost my amazing husband very suddenly last Christmas on the 29th December aged 59 so have the double heartbreak of Christmas and the 1st anniversary to get through. Just do whatever you can to get through and take comfort from your wonderful twins, never mind what anyone else wants you to do. I still have twin boys living at home (much older than yours, 20 this year) and they have kept me going just as yours will you.
Take care of yourselves, Jackie

I am so sorry that you have lost your wife, Kev, and know how devastated you feel. My husband died in June. We had been married for 66 years and I have to be thankful for that. Your wife was so young. I too wish I could go to sleep and not wake up until January 2nd when it will all be over. I have had several cards wishing me a Happy Christmas from people who should know better but I suppose they feel that if they didn’t give me a card, I would be hurt. Personally, I would rather I didn’t have any. I live in sheltered accommodation and it must be the loneliest place on earth as I can go two or three days without seeing a soul. At least I have two sons who live reasonably close. My two daughters live away. Your twins sound lovely, and I hope that the three of you will be able to cope with Christmas. It is bound to be a sad time for you and I and all the others on here who are going through the trauma of losing a loved one. Take care. Eileen x

Thank you so much for your replies! I am so glad I found this site. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone. There are so many people going through what I am, and it is comforting to talk to people who understand just how hard it is.
Thanks Again
Kevin x

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Hi Kevin

Yes I too am glad I found this site and we can all support each other. Its very sad for you I dont think people mean to send cards with the wrong words on I expect they buy a box and forget the wording its sad but not intentional. The first christmas is always the hardest mine was last christmas and I sat in here with a tray on my lap alone all christmas but this year I have booked into a hotel. Hopefully I will have company there. Could you spend christmas with your mother? Best wishes

Hi Kris Thanks for your message. I’m really struggling just now, both kids crying for their mummy at bedtime tonight. My daughter is at the angry stage and asking why this happened to us. I am physically and emotionally exhausted. I feel I cant spend Christmas with my mum and dad as both my sisters and their families will be there. I don’t feel strong enough to be in a crowd of people trying to act normal when everything for me has changed. We always had Christmas at home just the 4 of us and the kids have made it clear to me that is what they want this year. I know its going to be so hard and I’m just dreading it. At least my family are only a phone call away if I feel I cant cope they are only 20 minutes away. I have the children and they are smart kids, and I can see their mother in both of them. They are also mourning their Granny, my wife’s mother who passed away in June this year also. My heart goes out to you for spending your first Christmas alone, hope you get some company this year. Best Wishes Kevin.

I lost my husband in may this year,I thought I would be able to sale through Xmas,get it done with and be ok,but I’m not ,I’m an emotional mess,I hate people saying happy Xmas,I cannot wish anyone a happy Christmas,I just want to run a mile,I too just want Jan 1st to be here as soon as possible,I feel as if I’ve gone back to the day he died please tell me this is normal and next year will be easier.
Life stinks when your by yourself.

Good morning, Ginny. Believe me, your feelings about Christmas are perfectly normal. I lost my husband in June this year so I have some idea of how you are feeling. We had been married for 66 years, and I feel as if half of me has been torn away. Like you, I am an emotional mess and am just waiting for Christmas and New Year to be over, although I don’t know whether I will start to feel better then or not. I am heartily sick of everything to do with Christmas and wish I could go to sleep and not wake up until 2nd January. Yes, life as it is now stinks and I hate it but I am trying to be optimistic about 2018, although we have all the first anniversaries to get through. Maybe it will be better than we think at the moment. I hope so. Take care, and I hope you manage to get through the next few days without too much trauma. Kind regards. Eileen

I suppose I should feel lucky in that I had the 1st of many in the 1st six months of my hubby’s death,but I never thought Xmas would be this hard.xx

Oh Ginny, I know exactly how you feel, from the Christmas cards to Christmas music and everything on tv just now. I just wish it would all stop! Its my kids that are keeping me from just shutting down altogether. I know Sandra would want me to give them a Christmas and the poor souls are getting excited now. People say it gets easier but I’m like you just now, feel as if I’m back at day 1. Please be strong and I’m here if you want to chat. x

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Hi I lost my wife in October I’m same as everybody the loneliness is awful I have two friends across from me ( husband and wife ) I’m having Christmas dinner there seven of us three couples and me the odd one out , same as you I will be glad when it’s over

Hi Kev S I am so sorry for your pain grieving hurts so much people don’t understand unless they have truly loved and lost lost someone.I lost my Mum suddenly five weeks ago after looking after her for forty one years .All my friends where in touch up till the funeral then everyone seems to disappear as if they’ve done enough my mum in law keeps trying to get me to come round and have a meal I got talked in to it two days after Mums funeral and sat there with everyone playing happy families so I know exactly what you mean you need to just do what you can manage .Your children will get you through I know this as I also lost my best friend at 37 last year her husband has survived by being as normal as possible with the children they keep him going .I keep myself doing as many different things as I can’t face doing the same routine without Mum so Xmas was spent on the side of a beach in our campervan and Boxing Day parked up by a different beach no looking at a empty chair and no forcing me to do what I can’t face I hope this helps and hope we can all get into January as soon as possible x

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Hello Kev
I am so sorry for you loss of your wife I hope you managed Christmas in a way that was peaceful to your self and your kids …
I lost my husband on the 26th of November this year and I’m staying with my eldest son he has been great he has let me do what I want at my own speed my husband and I were together for 30years and he truly loved Christmas.
I don’t think there is ever a right or wrong way to deal with the pain after losing some one but I do think you must do what is wright for you and your kids because just now that is all that matters .
You must be good to your self and your kids the rest doesn’t matter just now you have to heal .

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Kev s
Just read you christmas post lost my fiance 9 months ago he was 54 … new years day will be year to the day he proposed me … unaware he had a brain tumour and just 7 weeks later he would be diagnosed with a brain tumour then he was gone a month after this … We loved christmas and New Year and people either didn’t send cards or as you said Sent ones that we’re all merry Christmas and happy new year… AND ME JUST LOOKING AT THEM THINKING REALLY nicest one I had was written to both of us …just felt he hadn’t been ignored …and I spent the last night at work just hiding from every one … I didn’t write any cards out because i couldn’t face not putting Stu’s name on it and i have now decided to go 3 days sick between the eve’s as I just can’t face going through the happy new year chat … only ones that truly understand are those that have gone through this … I know its painful and raw but just take one hour … one day at a time do whats right for you … theres no right or wrong way to grieve … and you and your twins will be great support for each other … and this site helps when your having bad days just vent … which I found helps just venting with people who understand won’t judge and can give support …
Take care x

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their stories and advice on this thread. We got through Christmas ok. I took the kids to their mummy’s grave on Christmas Eve where we lit a candle and even managed to put some lights on the wreath we had already put down. The grave yard is by the shore and it was a beautiful day so we spent some time there. I found it hard doing the Santa bit on my own after they had gone to bed, but they were so excited going to bed I found it quite uplifting. On Christmas morning before we opened any presents, I had the twins light a candle each for mummy. Then they opened all their presents. We decided that we would just stay at home, just the 3 of us. My family came to visit but didn’t stay long then we made another visit to the grave. The candle was still burning which was nice and it was another lovely day. After we came home I set a place at the table for Sandra and put her picture where she would normally sit, her picture had a small candle in front of it and I ever poured her a glass of wine! When we sat down to eat I said a prayer, then made a toast to her. There were a lot of tears at this point. We clinked glasses together then ate. My sister came to stay the night but by the time she arrived I was asleep on the sofa. Physically and emotionally exhausted! The twins loved all their presents, which made me smile! I still feel guilty though if I smile or laugh, which is I guess just part of the grieving process.

Thanks Again
Kevin x

Thanks for telling me your story. I am so sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel about new year. I feel the same. Its an emotional night and I always shed a tear just before midnight. My wife also loved Christmas and Loved new year, she would always be on great form at new year. I just cant do it this year, Christmas has taken too much out of me and it will only be 8 weeks this weekend since she passed. I am just going to bed way before midnight and not going to even mark the occasion this year.

Good wishes
Kevin x

After reading that I think your doing an amazing job and your being amazing Dad and during unbearable circumstances it sounds like a beautiful day you made the best day you could … and I’m not religous but I see Stu sitting on a cloud with his Mum and Dad … egging me on for another day and smiling at me and calling me a twat when I do something stupid (sorry but we had a lot of banter in our relationship )… and it gives me comfort don’t really care what people think … and I’m sure your wife was there supporting you in her way and at 8 weeks I think I would do exactly what your going to for New Year Eve … keep going … one day at a time x

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