Bereaved spouses and partners

A place for widows and widowers to share their feelings and support one another.

My Christmas Dilemma

Posted by

Hi everyone. 

My nerves are shot. I've had an invite from my lovely daughter to spend Christmas at her place with her brilliant partner and my smashing grandson. At first I said thanks but I don't feel at all like Christmas I'd like to spend my time at home alone to treat Christmas day and Boxing day as just normal days. My dear daughter at first looked confused then said 'So you want to stay at home Dad and feel sorry for yourself?' I laughed that off because I just didn't have the energy to try and explain further. So I agreed to stay as suggested; Christmas Day and Boxing Day returning home the day after. Later on I told my story to my two lovely neighbours who I have lunch with twice a week at their home across the road. They've basically adopted me. Lovely souls. I emphasised that I would much prefer to stay home and be quiet. They said they understood my feelings but  the next thing they said was' You can come over here and have Christmas lunch with us. We'll get some more food in.' WHY DONT PEOPLE JUST  LISTEN TO ME ? I'm being smothered with a  kindness that I'm not in the state of mind to accept. So to escape my kindly neighbour invite I thought I'd better stay at my daughter's. But I don't want to. I dont want a bloody Christmas dinner with all  the shit that it involves. Wearing stupid hats and pulling crackers. My darling Anne who I spent 50yrs of marriage with is not with me. I'm still grieving and trying to get my head around living on my own. Living a futile and pointless life. Anne only passed 4 months ago. My daughter and family are visiting tomorrow and I've just got to tell them my true feelings about Christmas. I want to be on my own. As for the neighbours I'll take the bull by the horns if or when it comes to it. My old mate up the road lost his wife a few months before I did Anne and he's told his daughter the same. He wants to be on his own at Christmas and she has accepted his wishes. We said if we do eventually end up on our own we can meet up for a quick drink for about a couple of hours then retreat back to what we both want. TO BE ALONE!  I'm dreading tomorrow telling my daughter and family my feelings and emotions. I won't be maudling over Christmas. I just need time to reflect. To meditate. To come to terms with my grief further. 

Light and Love 


At the end of all our journeying will be to find ourselves back where we started knowing the place for the first time. TS ELIOT.

puddle fish
Posted by


I can totally understand, have you tried explaining to your daughter and your neighbour that you just need to do this Christmas by yourself. I totally agree with your last sentence. 

Posted by

Hi Geoff , my son and also my sister in law both asked me to there’s for Xmas. I told them the same as you that I just want to be alone for this Xmas. Next year may be different, but this year I just want it to be me. Treat it as a normal day and have a few drinks on my own thinking about my wife. 

YOUdo what YOU want thinking of you mate 


Love you always Winnie xx
Posted by

Hi Geoff,

I totally understand how you feel. My husband died on 16 December 2018.

I live just outside London and my family are based in Southampton. I went to Southampton last Christmas and just was not in it. I told my mum one evening that I just wanted to be at home alone and only came because everyone near me thought I should not spend Christmas alone, it being so soon after. She said to me that I should have done what I wanted. My family are very understanding.

I was exhausted and did what everyone else thought was right for me. I know my friends intentions came from the right place but I just did not listen to my heart. So tell your family how you have told us and hope that they understand.

I am only telling you this so that you do what is right for you.  I wish I had. I practise yoga and spend a lot of time on my own. There is nothing wrong with a bit of quiet to process your own feelings, in your own time. In fact, I think it has helped me along...

Hope all goes well.

With lots of love,

Dutsie Xx

Posted by

Hi Jeff,

I think you should go ahead and do what is right for you. Only you can know what is best for yourself. Others think they do, and they want to make you feel that you are loved and wanted and to be kind to you, however, what they don't see is that what you really need and want at this time. I hope the chat with your daughter goes well and that, even if she was unable to understand, she accepted what you had to say.

I will spend Christmas with my family in Germany. I love Christmas, have always loved it, and have always found it such a time for family and togetherness that it would break my heart if I had to spend the days on my own and treat them as a normal day while I very well am aware that people around me are having a good time. I think being on my own at Christmas would really, really depress me. That feels actually worse than having to be at my family's and feeling so sad because Paul can't be with me.

But really, I feel we all have to do what is right.

Love, Mel.

I don't like "moving on" because it sounds like leaving our loved one and all that happened behind. But I like "moving forward" because it means that, in spite of my tremendous loss and the pain about that, I move forward in my own life taking Paul with me.
Posted by

Hi Geoff,

                What I've learnt is were all different but facing the same issues.

My family mainly want to be normal, that is most want Christmas at our house, trying to make it like it always was. I've explained that maybe next year I could try to do that but I don't want a big family party I just know it's going to upset me.

What I've settled on is to get away to my eldest son and two of my grandsons, for Christmas, I think that's something I can hack this year even though we have spent many Christmas's with them in the past. I just don't want to be at home doing the right thing at least not this year.

Our circumstances seem similar I'm nearing 4 months on Monday, I was with her for 50 years and never thought seriously of being without her at least not for many more years. Although we expected to die one day it didn't really occur to us it would be now and so sudden, we often when younger thought it would be nice to go at the same time, but living our busy lives bringing up our children it was not something we dwelled on.

Guess all any of us can do is what seems right for us and more importantly what we can cope with, I'm sure the first year is the most difficult, everything we do is strange almost unnatural, the wrench of the massive change to our lives, is so daunting.

I've had a couple of bad days recently, had tears streaming down my cheeks and there's nothing I can do about it. Today I'm having s kind of normal sadness it's not overwhelming but it's there.

Take care and above all do what's right for you.


Softly the leaves of memories fall gently we gather and treasure them all.
Posted by

Hi everyone 

Thank you so much for your responses. What would I do without you

My lovely daughter and family came today and I told them of my wishes. Thank goodness my daughter and her brilliant partner fully understood where I was coming from. They even said that if at the last moment I decided to give them a surprise visit anytime during Christmas should my feelings change that would be lovely. At last a great weight has been taken off my mind. Thank you all again for your support. I love you all xx

Light and Love 


At the end of all our journeying will be to find ourselves back where we started knowing the place for the first time. TS ELIOT.

Posted by

That’s brilliant Geoff. Well done for being straightforward about what you want, and your daughter and her partner sound really great. I’m pleased it’s worked out for you. 

Trying to be like the tree that bends with the wind and rain and thus weathers the storm
Posted by

I second occupation2heal, Geoff. Good for you. You really have to do what your heart tells you to do. While your family is feeling the loss, it's different for you. I've accepted invitations since Gilles' death and, though I don't regret it, they've basically made me more depressed after. There are certain situations that we can't yet cope with and we need to be honest with ourselves. In any case, your daughter is smart and understanding; she's left the door open and you can easily change your mind if you feel differently. 

Posted by

Hello Geoff,

Totally with you on this. My husband died at the end of July this year. I have decided that I would like to be on my own for Christmas. There is nothing wrong with that. I wont be maudling over Christmas either but reflecting like you. I know our family and friends dont want us to hurt and its so often hard for them to see that so they try to do what they feel is best. We know what we need Geoff.   Will just go with it. Hope you do to.

Hope you find some peace over this difficult time.