Ways to cope at Christmas

I lost my mum almost 3 weeks ago, and although she had been ill for a few months, she had improved significantly in the last month and I’d started making plans for Christmas. We spent every Christmas together with a fairly similar pattern, even when I met my partner and my daughter arrived, we still did the same things together. We’d all stay at mums on Christmas Eve, open presents in the morning, my partner would go with our daughter to his parents and I’d stay with mum to muck out her horses, then we’d all come back to mums and I’d cook, then we’d all sit together watching tv and playing games. Now she’s gone I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. We’ve got the Christmas decorations out but I can’t face putting them up, the thought of cooking a meal and sitting down with an empty place makes me feel sick.
We can’t go away for Christmas as I have to look after the horses now, and I can’t bare the thought of going to my partner’s parents (it probably sounds awful but I don’t want to sit there whilst my mother in law plays with my daughter as we have a strained relationship and that should be my mum with my daughter).
Is there anyway of getting through Christmas without ruining it for my 5yr old daughter?


I know exactly how you feel, my mums 1st anniversary is on the 29th December and I really just want Christmas to be over. I had my birthday at the end of November first one without her and sobbed nearly all day. I put the tree up but only for my son. He is also struggling as everyone is excited but he won’t have his nana as she was there always for him. We are supposed to be going away but I can’t face it and don’t want to have to pretend I am ok when I just want to have a cry so will go visit uncles and come home and just have a takeaway, tradional dinner is not happening. Someone said to me do what is best for you not what everyone else wants and she is right. Take care and sure you will make the decision that is best for you and your daughter


@Lizzie21 this is so hard when your grief is still very recent and raw. My suggestion would be to make good use of your partner and his parents to support you and your daughter over Xmas. Do what feels right for you, but perhaps let your daughter be indulged in festivities with her grandparents. Talk to your partner about how you feel. It’s possible that you might not want to be part of everything so give yourself permission to have some time alone if that feels right. Children are generally very resilient as long as they’re kept in the loop of information. Sending you best wishes xxx

Hi Lizzie, I feel the same as you, don’t feel like putting the decorations up for Xmas, lost my mum 7 months ago and im dreading Xmas, feel very alone, its the empty chair on the day that makes me feel so sad, take care Morgan x


Hi Lizzie I know exactly how you feel. I live in London and go to my dad’s in Glasgow every single year. My dad left us in March and I can’t go to Glasgow. The tradition has been broken certainly for this year. You have to do what is right for you. I can’t sit at a table without him. We are having Xmas in London, booking a hotel for Xmas eve and Xmas day. Hoping to get through it. As long as I have somewhere to go to have my wee cries in private. If you feel like treating it like a normal day - do that. Let your daughter go to her grandparents house but make sure you are ok. You have to think of yourself as well as others

Im just approaching my second Xmas without Penny.
Last year, I was approaching it with dread, how was I going to get through it.
Im often guided by an old Tommy Cooper joke: he went to a doctor , raised his left arm over his head and said “Dr, it hurts when I do this!” The Dr replied “well, dont do it, then”

Silly, I know, but it got me thinking, and I decided not to DO Xmas in the traditional way. I decided to do what suited me, nothing else. Its relatively easy for me, as I have no Children.
My new Xmases are spent with Penny, in my heart and memory, Ill just go to one of our favourite places, with her two dogs, a packed turkey lunch, a glass of wine, and if the weather is kind, Ill take my guitar and talk and sing to her.
I actually did that for my holiday this year, and had a lovely time, lots of smiles with just a few tears.
I think the message from this is that if you know a traditional xmas is going to hurt, maybe dont do it as planned (thanks, Tommy!). Think of another way, maybe.
Merry Xmas, everybody, however we choose to spend it