My husband died just over three years ago and the thought of facing my first Christmas without him in 47 years of marriage was killing me. Lo and behold, I received Christmas card after Christmas card saying I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, may this Christmas be the best ever’, nothing else, no covering letter or note, these cards were from our friends and neighbours who had attended his funeral . They went in the bin, the following two Christmas’s were the same, ‘have a wonderful Christmas’, It is now nearly Christmas again and the same thing is now starting to happen. No, I will never again have a ‘wonderful Christmas’, nothing will ever again compare to having Christmas with my wonderful husband, it is now just another day. I stopped sending cards when he died and I now donate to charity. When a husband of a friend of mine died I bought a blank notelet and when it was nearing Christmas I just put a few words inside telling her I was thinking of her etc. She rang me and said how she appreciated the little card I sent and thanked me for appreciating how she was feeling at this terrible time. She said all the other cards went in the bin as she was so angry with people thinking she would have a fantastic Christmas since her husband died, she also said that not one of the people who sent her these cards had written a message in them acknowledging it was her first Christmas in 60 years without her husband. I don’t know if people don’t care, don’t think or are just downright thoughtless. I have had my moan. Sheilaxx
Morning Sheila’s it’s good to get it off your chest and I feel the same, as you know Brett died 18th December so I had received all the cards for that year but in about April the following year I wrote to everyone saying I wouldn’t be sending cards I would be giving money to charity. A friend of mine said you’ll have to send them to the ladies at the bowling club I had joined as they will be sending you one! I do but just put in season’s greeting but I still get cards telling me to have a wonderful happy Christmas and enjoy myself. I could scream. Take care Marilyn x
Afternoon Marilyn, I have just been to see my friend who lost her son three weeks ago to cancer, her husband also died 20 years ago from cancer. As I opened the door she just burst into tears which didn’t surprise me in the least, but what she was crying for was that she had just received eight Christmas cards from people who attended her son’s funeral two weeks ago all wishing her a wonderful Christmas. If some of these insensitive people had brains made of dynamite, they would not blow their darned hat’s off. Talk about being stupid. Anyway Marilyn, another Xmas to get through, I have got all my brood coming for the Xmas week as one son and his wife and baby yet to be born are moving house so are staying at mine and our other son, now divorced, only has an apartment so it is good old mum to the rescue. I am buying enough food to feed an army. I won’t have time to wallow in self pity this year as all three grandchildren are staying as well. I might have to find the Xmas tree for the kiddies
Take care Marilyn it will be over before we know it. Love Sheila xxx
Hi Sheila and Marilyn
I agree with you both. Those cards with Merry Christmas in and no other message. What on earth is wrong with people? Seasons Greetings I don’t mind and as you say a few words are all that are needed. Just thinking of you or similar if they don’t know what to write.
I send cards to my Mum’s friends in recognition of their kindness to me when she passed away. I was treated as an honorary daughter by several people which has made things a bit more bearable for me. I am not religious but firmly believe a nativity scene or suitable stained glass window card fits the bill. I always write a couple of sentences just saying thank you for being around, my friend, surrogate Mum or whatever.
We will get over the next few weeks somehow and it all calms down then for another 12 months!
Hello Mel, thank you for your reply, I don’t think people are being insensitive on purpose, I think they just do not use their head. They are just churning out a pile of cards to everyone and no thought whatsoever goes into them. This is why I now only send cards to people who care about me and me them. I used to send cards to all the neighbours and they sent them to me, but I don’t see my neighbours from one week to the next so I gave it up and donate the money to charity. You take care Mel. Sheila xx
Hello all. In October 2016 I lost my Husband. Just 8 weeks later I received a “Merry Christmas” card from my adult step-son and his family. I didn’t know whether to be annoyed or upset so I settled for both. He may have thought he was being considerate but an open card saying “Thinking of You at this Time” would have been more welcome, if he felt he had to send anything, but what can you do. Xmas doesn’t bother me but the fact that the number changes in the New Year does. It’s another year he won’t have been a witness to, that’s hard, take care everyone.
Hi All was lying awake at 2.33 this morning thinking about this Sheila’s you’re good at writing I think you should do an article for a magazine highlighting this, there I have delegated you. Seriously though it just proves that after the funeral people expect you to be back to normal. I have thrown my first card in the bin, and yes it did contain a note but it said “happy Christmas hope you are well and time is healing you”! No amount of time is going to heal me.
It looks like a cold weekend for me in the midlands lots of snow forecast tomorrow I dread this time of year anyway as I am a sun, summer and the hotter the better person so I won’t be going anywhere tomorrow. As you say Sheila it will all be over soon and another year unfolds without the one we love, you’ll be kept busy by the sound of things. Take care all love Marilyn x
Thank you Marilyn, that is a lovely thing to say. I tend to write what I am thinking and then I get carried away and before long I have a page of stuff all written down. Which brings me to another gripe I have and it was highlighted by my friend who I visited yesterday and which, no doubt, happens to all of us after we lose someone we love and that is, no-one ever calls us to ask how we are doing. My friend, who buried her son two weeks ago has said no-one but her other two sons, has rung to see how she is coping. She said apart from me ringing her, asking her if it is okay for me to pop round and asking her to my home for coffee no-one else has rung, not her brother, sister, grown up grandchildren or her daughters-in-law. She has had to ring them. She is nearly 80 years of age and has had the’flu and been housebound for two weeks, one of her son’s did her shopping for her. I was born in the 40’s where people looked out for each other, neighbours were always there if you needed help, children took care of their parents, no phone’s in those days or cars, so we got off our bums and went to visit them, do their shopping, and yes, like my mum and dad did, take a bereaved parent in to live with them. I think because of the era I was born in I expect too much from today’s modern society, they all seem too busy to pick up the 'phone, all I ever get are text’s from my sons and with having eye problems, texting back is hard so I ring them but it always goes to voicemail and they never ring back. I have told them both that one day they will get a text or a voicemail saying I have died and my house and money have gone to the dog’s home. I do see them every two weeks or so for a couple of hours and that is it, the main problem is they both work all over the country during the week and if I did need help they would not be there So Marilyn we battle on in our own way. Roll on spring, Peter’s favourite time of the year, all new and flowers starting to sprout in the garden. That will be the first summer without our Barney so it will feel funny him not running around the garden playing with his toys. Anyway Marilyn, I have rattled on again, will speak later, yes it has been terribly cold in West Yorkshire too, very icy and thick snow given out for tomorrow so I will be staying in. Love Sheila xx
I did receive a lovely card from a friend “With Caring Thoughts” and inside "To let you know that caring thoughts are with you at Christmastime. This was a hallmark card so there are some appropriate ones out there. The others Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year went in the bin.
Christmas and the New Year are going to be tough. Sending love to everyone on here. This site has been a great support since my husband died in October.
I agree - the world seems divided into genuinely thoughtless people who haven’t a clue about grief and loss then the people who try to choose their words a little more carefully, they want to reach out and know what is more appropriate. Then of course some people don’t really know what to say so they try and move past it. That’s just ignorance rather than thoughtlessness but hurts more I think.
I lost my beloved husband of 26 years suddenly in May and have had a grand variety of the above to deal with! I want to forget the whole thing this year, people are very kind but I just want to be left alone to ignore the whole thing and grieve in peace.