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Because family life matters

Getting Through Christmas

Helping those widowed young at Christmas – some dos and don'ts

Tips that can help family and friends who want to be of help.

Do talk to me over Christmas and keep in contact, even if you don’t know what to say. Don’t avoid me. My sense of loneliness is already heightened at this time of year.
Do invite me to Christmas parties and celebrations, but please forgive me if I don’t feel I can come, even at the last minute. Don’t be offended if I don’t feel I can send cards this Christmas – it is so painful signing each one alone.
Do empower me to make choices about what I want to do or not do at Christmas. Don’t try to make decisions for me my world seems pretty out of control as it is.
Do help me to try and make this a special time for the children. They really miss their mum/dad at this time, but need to have fun too. Don’t overload me with responsibilities – some days it is as much as I can do to get out of bed and get dressed.
Do understand that it will take time for me to adjust to Christmas as it has to be for me from now on. Don’t ask me how I am if you only want to hear “I’m OK, thank you”. Be prepared for the truth.
Do give me a shoulder to cry on, but help me learn to laugh again too. Don’t think that death puts a ban on laughter. Remembering and enjoying the times we had together is important and helps me to heal.
Do talk about the person who has died; I miss them terribly and think of them constantly. Not mentioning them makes me feel isolated and as if they have been forgotten. Don’t assume that it is just 25 December that will be difficult for me. This whole season reminds me of what I have lost.
Do remember and try to understand that this time is hard for my children too and that their behaviour may be affected as a result. Don’t feel you should give me advice. I need a listening ear. Please don’t judge me for my decisions and emotions.
Do understand that I may want to do things differently this year. Old traditions can be very painful. Don’t expect things will always be the same – things can never be the same again.
Do understand how much I value you as a person and appreciate your support more than you know. Don’t forget that the best gift you can give me this Christmas is your love, acceptance and presence, and your willingness to share my pain.