OO-ERR! 81 days to Xmas

Penny died in April after 49 years 11 months of marriage, and I’ve got my life back in order. Of course there’s always a background of sadness and an odd teary moment, but I’m healed far more than I could ever hoped for after 5 months.
Then I see Xmas is looming with all the stresses and emotions that could bring.
Already Friends and Family are contacting me with invites to join them for Xmas, which is fantastically kind, but what do I want to do at Xmas?
In truth, Penny and I hated Xmas as an event because the social pressure told us that if we aren’t jolly, gay, drunk, singing songs, overeating and falling asleep in the afternoon, then there’s something wrong with us. We didn’t have children, so no grandchildren, and that would make it all worthwhile, but we didn’t. And we loved our quiet life together.
My Niece said, “it doesn’t matter where you go, Penny won’t be there”. A wise girl!
I’ve spent too much of my life doing what other people think I ought to do, although always meant with kindness. “You’ll have a good time, it’ll be great!!” . Thanks for the invitation, but I’ll decline. I’ll be very happy to pop in over the next week for a tot of whisky and a large slice of Xmas cake.

I think the message from this is that we don’t have to force ourselves to do what other people think we should. I miss Penny every day, why should I go somewhere where I’ll miss her even more? Maybe next year I’ll think differently.

In March, April and May, we have her Birthday, Anniversary of her death, and our Wedding Anniversary. I’m not an old, miserable cumudgeon, and I love a good knees-up, and so I hope to have a celebration for all three at one event.

So what shall I do on Xmas day? Stay in bed? No. Get drunk and go to sleep? No.

I live in Sheffield, so I’ve decided to take myself off to explore the East coast of Yorkshire between Flamborough and Bempton. If the wind is too strong, I’ll leave the Bempton cliffs until another day. Our little dogs and Penny’s memory are coming with me, and we’ll have long chats (all 4 of us!), with turkey sarnies, hot soup and Xmas cake for pudding.

If anyone wants to join me in this little expedition, come along, but bring me a pressie.

Can I be the first to wish you all as happy a Xmas as you can make it.?


Dear @tykey

I am sorry to hear of your loss. Christmas can be difficult for many people after a loss. You are positive in having everything planned. Thank you for sharing your post with the Community.

Take care.


Dear @tykey,
I admire your thoughts about Christmas. I will be alone and not through choice, sadly just not been offered to share with anyone.
I think my day will be spent wrapped in a blanket watching rubbish on tv and crying wishing my amazing husband hadn’t been taken from me. I hate the loneliness & have desperately tried to find things to do but so far not found anything.
I hope you enjoy your day


@Peppers. Yes I’ve always tried to be positive, and to have a plan, that’s what has helped me through this. Without a plan and positivity, nothing will change. If Christmas is difficult, as I know it will be for many, then just stumbling into it can never be good.

I remember a Tommy Cooper Joke, which might be relevant:

He went to the doctor, raised his arm and said “Doctor, it hurts when I do this”

The doctor replied, “well, don’t do it then!”

That’s why I’ll not be doing the Xmas thing this year.


Xmas is cancelled again


I like your thots - without a plan & positivity nothing will change.

These are not just for Xmas - they could be used every day.


1 Like

@Grandma, yes, everyday.
I’m really pleased to read your reply. Come to Flamborough , or make your own Flamborough. Its a lot better than sitting waiting for someone else to sort your life out.
As for using the plan every day, I wrote down my life plan ie how do I want my new life to be. I look back at it regularly and I’m almost there, and it’s good. Penny isn’t in it, I would do ANYTHING to bring her back, but I know that’s not possible, but its as good as I can make it.
Good luck to you.


Hi there Tykey
I looooove your attitude. Making plans is what has got me through this nightmare. I plan something to do everyday. including weekends and bank holidays. I do not want to sit at home watching rubbish TV, drinking or smoking myself to death and if it’s people that we need to meet then we have to go out and meet them because no one is going to knock on our doors and take away the pain for us.
I wish I lived up North because I would love to join you on your walk to Flamborough at Christmas. I would have to bring my two dogs with me but they are very sociable. Unfortunately it’s not possible but you have given me something to think about. I spend Christmas with family but to honest I really can’t be bothered with it all as much as I love them. So perhaps a long walk in the countryside with my wonderful companions is the answer and then come home to Ham, egg and chips.


@Pattidot, music to my ears, Pat.

I find there are lots of organised Xmas walks on t’internet. Lots on Boxing Day, not so many on Xmas day.
Go for it!!! Your dogs would love it with you, mine will be dressed in tinsel and bells.

Another idea!!, maybe next year? Help out at a homeless charity, serving Xmas dinners.?

Shappi Khorsandi shows us how to enjoy a walk on our own.


I had another thought I hadn’t mentioned @pattidot. If I go out to do one thing, I always think of how I could extend it into two things (or more). If I go shopping, I’ll plan to go for a walk, have some coffee and carrot cake at a cafe, or pop in to see a friend for a chat, go to the library and read the newspapers, sit in the country (if the weather is nice), and read a book. etc etc


Well done tykey. It takes amazing effort in the early days but putting yourself out there really does help us. I have been a keen walker for years and don’t mind walking alone or with the Ramblers and it has certainly helped me. Like you I have wonderful countryside to enjoy and there is always someone that enjoys a chat.!!!
I have considered a homeless charity at Christmas but only if my dogs can come along as well.

You have picked up the pieces in record time.

@edwomble, thankyou. It takes a lot of work and self analysis, we can’t just sit there in misery and self pity, expecting the solution to knock on our door. My life isn’t full of honey and roses, but it wasn’t before Penny died, and my days still have their ups and downs. I’m realistic.


Hi there tykey
I do agree with you. I have always said no one will knock on our door and take away this pain we have to do it for ourselves. Do I still have bad days after three years. Of course I do… I have been told on this forum that I have obviously got over my loss. WRONG. The waves that crash over us still keep coming but I was told in the beginning that I could sink or swim.
I carried on with the interests we shared and I am so pleased I made the effort as I have something to focus on especially on bad days.


Hi Pat, the waves start as a tsunami of emotions, difficult to get your head above water and breath. Then time and positive attitudes turn them into breakers, then eventually it just laps at our toes. It’s certainly not a sink or swim option, is it.

1 Like

Fair enough.

Trouble is tykey the lapping at our toes can suddenly go over our heads again. I try to keep to the lapping around my toes but it’s not always easy. But it’s preferential to the Tsunami of emotions. When I was told to sink or swim I decided I would prefer to swim.

1 Like

Thank you so much for posting this positive message, I am similar to you in that I do feel like I’m going forward, after 5 months. And yes I still have horrible times, but I try to take a moment and think what would Ron want me to do? Christmas will come and go, so I’ll make it a good time however I decide to do it, maybe I’ll just go down the allotment and make plans for spring, maybe I’ll join family and friends, I don’t know yet, but I will get through it, enjoy your walk

1 Like

@Hel1. Glad you’ve joined us, and really happy you are going forward. As you read, on Xmas day I’ve decided to be on my own, (although Penny will be with me in spirit, as she always is) with my dogs, on top of a Yorkshire cliff, eating my Xmas dinner. I’ve told all my friends and family not to be concerned, and to feel free to ring me for a chat and to exchange greetings.
It’s a great shame we don’t all live close enough to get together on the day on top of my cliff.
Keep up the positivity, and I’m sure life will keep improving


Hi there Hel1
Your on the same wavelength as myself. I also have allotments and considering spending christmas day there. No better place to relax. I also could spend it with family, who I love dearly but not sure if I want to be with them this year and can I be bothered with the travelling. A quiet day pottering at the allotment with my dogs is becoming more and more inviting. Or a long walk along the seafront, smiling and wishing other walkers a Merry Christmas. It’s just a day and will be over soon enough. xxx