First Xmas After Dad's Death

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by MaNaAk, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,524
    Essex
    Hello Everyone!

    In a few weeks time it will be my first Xmas since dad's death and I just wanted to let you know that I have made plans for a different Xmas. I will be having a couple of friends staying because my youngest brother and his partner have been invited to her parents. This has all been discussed between the three of us and we will be seeing each other over the Xmas period anyway. I have asked my other brother what he is doing but I never had a response although he is welcome to join in. This Xmas will be sad but I am to enjoy myself if possible. I am trying to move on.

    To anyone else out there who, like me, could have been alone at Xmas after a bereavement I just want you to know that I am thinking of you.

    MaNaAk
     
  2. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    2,212
    my biological mum passed last year & I found Christmas a poignant time. Wishing you all the best
    Cx
     
  3. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    902
    Female
    Christmas can be such an emotional time, maybe it's because we associate Christmas with family being together and happy time's, so when someone who has always been there, isn't, and won't ever be again, my word, it can stir and magnify the feelings.
    The first Christmas after my dad died was hard, but we got through the day with smiles and tears and a big lump in the throat - that wasn't the Christmas pud!
    Best wishes to you @MaNaAk and to us all who have a missing piece.
     
  4. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    We had a Christmas a few years ago when there had been a death of a close relative. We were determined to have a happy day so the oldest amongst us, once we had all arrived, proposed a toast to friends and loved ones gone but never forgotten. There was a tear or two but once the moment was over, we all had a lovely day. It was as if we had given ourselves permission to get on with things, and we allowed ourselves the chance to laugh about times past.

    I hope you enjoy your Christmas together.
     
  5. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,524
    Essex
    I like to think that dad and mum can now enjoy Xmas together and that they can look down on me and know that I am not alone. I will also be getting some flowers on their behalf and my beloved nana.

    MaNaAk

    PS: I have a few tears in my eyes as I type so the mornings are still the worst time of day.
     
  6. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,631
    Nottinghamshire
    I hope my mum and dad and aunt and uncle are all enjoying Christmas together wherever they are. It’s actually the 2nd Christmas since my dad died - but he died on the 16th December last year so it feels like the first one. I’ll be getting flowers for all of them.

    I hope they’re not looking down and seeing how my brother and sister are treating me and my kids - I can’t decide if it’d make them angry or just very sad.
     
  7. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,524
    Essex
    Mum, Dad and Nana would be sad to see how the eldest of my two brothers is behaving and @Bunpoots our loved ones would have been very proud of us. I feel for you as your dad's birthday would have been so close to Xmas.

    Hugs

    MaNaAk
     
  8. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,631
    Nottinghamshire
    You’re right @MaNaAk - our loved ones would be proud of us and we should be proud of ourselves.
     
  9. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    372
    Male
    Hi @MaNaAk, last Xmas was pretty awful as Mum passed away a couple of days before and I was rushing around on Xmas eve afternoon trying to sort the arrangements, so I didn't get to travel to my wider family to spend Xmas day with them. I felt extremely numb and shell-shocked and couldn't really think of Xmas. A good friend rang me on Xmas day and invited me over for a drink. When I got there they were waiting for me to tuck into an Xmas meal with them - his wonderful wife cooked a magnificent meal. It was an act of kindness I will never forgot, it brings a lump to my throat whenever I remember it.
     
  10. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,631
    Nottinghamshire
    I didn’t realise you lost your mum so close to Christmas @Pete1

    I remember being numb and shell -shocked last year. Dads death was unexpected so coroners were involved. I spent Christmas Eve registering his death and then taking the paper work to the undertakers...didn’t have much Christmas spirit after that.

    How lovely that your friends were there for you :)
     
  11. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    372
    Male
    Hi @Bunpoots, we had identical Christmas Eves by the sounds of it - so awful wasn't it? There is something quite surreal about it when everyone is in a festive mood and you're sitting in the registrars, then heading off to the undertakers. A very lonely feeling for sure.

    Really looking forward to spending this year with the family and raising a glass to the memory of those no longer with us. I really hope that you can do the same.
     
  12. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,631
    Nottinghamshire
    Extremely surreal and a memory that has stuck unfortunately.

    I will be raising a glass to our dear departed with my girls and my friends :)
     
  13. millalm

    millalm Registered User

    Oct 9, 2019
    53
    My beloved Dad has been gone for 7 years. He died in October 2012. The first Christmas was 'bloody awful' his favourite word lol. My only sibling, my brother decided to take his kids to his new partner's house for dinner ( they didn't want to go), so to keep the peace we drove an hour Christmas morning to his house to take my Mum and have family time. When we go there the new partner was running around getting preparations ready for going to her family dinner. We may have been offered a coffee, I don't remember. We exchanged gifts as she announced she was in a rush to get out the door to help get their big dinner started. We left shortly after, very quiet on the ride home, the five of us facing the rest of Christmas Day on our own. I'm embarrassed to say I let it get to me and couldn't face cooking the dinner. My Mum, who I now realize was already on the dementia train, and I fell asleep, slept most of the day, but when we woke up my kids who were in their twenties had heated all the left overs from Christmas Eve, every frozen appetizer from the fridge and set a wonderful, crazy Christmas table.

    I smartened up and put on a happy face and a good time was had by all, except me of course, but I faked it til I made it. Every year since we have had a variation on the unorthodox Christmas dinner, and last year it was another challenging year as I brought my Mum from the Care Home for the day. After the trauma of getting her wheelchair up and through the garage door, I discovered they had not toileted before I picked her up, even though they insisted when I asked that they had ( whiff of odd smell in her room). I won't traumatize you with the details, let's just say it was downhill from there. My daughter left in tears to go with her BF to his family. I ended up giving her an omelet while we sat with her, and after taking her back to the home my son and his GF, my husband and I ended up on the couch eating frozen pizza and giant Toblerone bar while watching the Grand Dame documentary.

    so....here comes the point...

    What I have learned from the last 7 years that there comes a time when you have to say I/we can't keep doing what I/we have always done. Christmas will never be the same as it was when my Dad was here, and my Mum did not have dementia. I am sad about that, but this year I am determined to revive the Christmas dinner for the simple reason that I have also missed setting my festive table, and seeing the faces of my loved ones laughing and enjoying each other's company. I am not going to bring my Mum home but we will visit her Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my Dad is gone and my brother and his now wife, and his kids will not be joining us so there will be faces missing, but the ones who will be here deserve to have the best of me, so I am going to try very hard to have a Happy Christmas. I wish the very best Christmas you can manage to all of you on the dementia train.

    Thanks for listening!
     
  14. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,631
    Nottinghamshire
  15. millalm

    millalm Registered User

    Oct 9, 2019
    53
    @Bunpoots Thank you. What people who are not on this journey don't understand is that it is not just the PWD who is robbed of everything, it is their loved ones too. It's so good to have an outlet for expressing how we feel about all of these horrid thoughts and images that we hide from others as we try to soldier on! :)
     
  16. millalm

    millalm Registered User

    Oct 9, 2019
    53
    @Bunpoots I realized when I wrote this I have never forgiven my sister- in law for her lack of empathy that first Christmas, and it has coloured our relationship. I'll need to think on this !
     
  17. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,524
    Essex
    Dear @Pete1 and @Bunpoots,

    I had a similar experience on Father's Day this year in that dad passed away on the 12th June and his funeral was on the 16th June. However Father's Day was on the 15th June and instead of me giving dad his Father's Day card and present I was putting his card with the sympathy cards and going out and buying flowers for his funeral and food for the wake that my brothers didn't go to.

    When I arrived at waitrose the supermarket market was full of people preparing for Father's Day and struggled with my emotions. Anyway I intended to pay for the large bouquet of flowers but when the cashier realised they were for dad's funeral they wouldn't take money from me and I will never forget this.

    MaNaAk
     
  18. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,631
    Nottinghamshire
    Bless you @MaNaAk

    It's especially hard when these things happen at celebration times. I find Easter difficult as my favourite aunt died in April but seven years on its more melancholy than raw.
     
  19. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    372
    Male
    Hi @MaNaAk,it is certainly a strange world. A lovely gesture. Sometimes its the little things that matter. All the best.
     
  20. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,757
    Mum died just before Christmas and 2 days before my sons 18th birthday. I missed his birthday in a blur of looking after my dad as he was distraught.

    It was an awful time.
     

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