What are your hopes for 2016?

The start of a new year is often a time when we think about the future and plan ahead. Even though we know that it is really just a date in the calendar, we often still feel that it is significant.

All of you have been through incredibly tough times in 2015, and you might know that there will be more ahead.

What are your hopes for 2016? If there was just one thing that could happen make the year ahead a little better, or one thing that you want to be able to do, what would it be?

Wishing you all the best for the new year.


I don’t really have many plans - the most relevant one is to just get through I suppose.

The overwhelming sadness has hit me exactly 3 months on and christmas in particular was difficult - this pains me to say as many did say ‘over christmas it is particularly hard’ I would think how can it be any worst than each day is anyway? But turns out it was, that all consuming feeling that there was something missing to do, that person to see, that person to call on new years eve…I found it a very confusing time…even sitting at work now I feel like something is missing. I almost need closure on the holidays alone. Would be helpful to hear others plans, might give me hope x

I’m sorry to hear that Christmas and New Year were such a struggle, even when you had felt it couldn’t possibly be any harder.

Just aiming to get through sounds like plenty for now - your loss is still very recent, and you can only take things day by day.

Hiya sarah86, my mum died on 12th Dec '15 and her birthday would have been 4th Jan, so not only Christmas and new year to get through but lack of birthday celebrations too. The funeral was on the 7th so just 3 days ago. It is such a weird period of the year as it is - no routine, the strange period of limbo between christmas and new year which can often feel bleak…let alone with the emptiness of the recent deaths of our mums. Well, I guess we have both got that dreaded ‘first christmas without her’ out of the way, and first birthday without her too for me.

I want to plan a series of long weekends away, maybe one a month, abroad. I think it will help to go somewhere different, on a regular basis, to get out of our own bubbles of home life and work and experience new places without the need to be away for too long, which I don’t think I’m ready for yet. Maybe next christmas should be abroad too. Might you plan to go away?

I also want to find something to do outside of work that gives me a sense of purpose. I want to get back into my art, I want to volunteer with a charity, I want to write about my experience with mum’s illness and death, not to publish, just for myself. Have you thought about writing about your experience? I believe it can be cathartic, and you can share it with people who you want to know what you have been through without the need to say it.


Hi Louise,

Thank you so much for sharing your hopes for the year ahead.

A series of short breaks sounds like a nice idea and will hopefully give you something positive to focus on. Have you thought about where you might like to go? I think either Florence or Lisbon are high on my list at the moment.

It is good that you want to spend more time on writing and art - the things that you find fulfilling and that give you a sense of purpose. A lot of people seem to find writing about their experiences cathartic, whether it’s on a site like this, or in a diary or blog. Volunteering is also a good ambition and a way to make a positive contribution whenever you feel ready.

This is a time to be kind to yourself and do what works for you, at your own pace.

Hi Louise,

Thanks for your ideas, they do actually sound like something I would be interested in doing myself. I did start to make a list of things which I had read in internet blogs/stories/online diaries etc. I took snipets of sentences which completely rang true to how I was feeling.

Planning long weekends away sounds great, I need a purpose something to not as I would put ‘look forward to’ but something more to put my mind to if that makes sense.

Another question I wanted to ask which maybe a different subject altogether is - dreams.

I have had nightmares about my mum since her passing in October. But just lately they are becoming almost unbearable. I cant seem to function well the next day. The dreams are never nice, they are always ultimately resulting in her death. I would say on average i have 5 dreams a week. Has anyone else experienced this? is it normal?

Sarah x

I don’t make plans and just take it a day at a time. I find my emotions keep me a bit of a seesaw. I did start studying with the OU about 6 months after my husband died and am doing it again this year. It has helped take my mind of it for a few hours at a time and my hope for 2016 is just to pass this module. Good luck to all. Ev

Hi Louise like you I had loads of dreams. Most time I couldn’t make sense of them, my counsellor and my friend suggested I try to write them down as I remember them and analyse them. My friend bought me a book but I decided to shelf it because our dreams are individual and the book just generalises dreams I didn’t find it very useful. I hope you can get away and find some peace. Take care Libby x

I try to keep everything normal as possible I can still work and have a hobby. Although it is difficult at times it is ompotant that I do the things I normally did before Cancer the hardest thing was when doctors tried to take away parts of you’re life without asking you what can you do I don’t fit into a box I still want to be me not a cancer victim

Hi Alex,

Welcome to the Online Community. I have read your profile, and I’m really sorry to hear about your diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer.

It is understandable that you want to keep things as normal as possible and still feel like you. I’m glad to hear that you can still work and enjoy your hobby. What do you like to do for a hobby?

We have other members here on the site who understand what it’s like to live with a serious illness. For example, here is a link to a conversation where you can find Romfty, who has an incurable lung condition, and Cookie, who has advanced breast cancer: https://support.sueryder.org/community/dealing-diagnosis/denial

Have a read and feel free to reply to them there if you want to.

If you need any information or support about your cancer, Macmillan Cancer Support has a free helpline where you can talk to experts about practical, emotional or financial issues. The number is 0808 808 0000.

I miss my husband terribly, after 24 years, but for me, what helps is having a daily plan/activity to focus the day> Whether is a gym class, a college class or meeting up with a friend. Some ppl have disappeared too from my life,they couldnt cope with my pain, but I chose to believe I am been looked after because the love Neil and I shared cannot disappear . One day at a time

Hello Cristina, although it is nearly 2 years since Neil died, I am glad that memories of the strong relationship you had together seem to be getting you through the difficult times. You have clearly made a huge effort to start building your new ‘normal’ life without him. As you have found, some people are not always able to cope with your bereavement, so I am sure that you value those who are still there to support you. You should be very proud of yourself for being so determined to make the most of each day. Regards, Jackie

Hi Ev,

Taking it one day at a time sounds like a good way to get through the year. Doing your OU course is a big achievement, too - good luck with the module that you’re working on.