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My darling mum passed away in Sept this year after a lengthy period of immobility, with my 88/9 year old dad caring for her in our childhood home (and me 'helicopter' caring for them both from half an hour away)
It is going to be a sad time for Dad (and all of us); but I was wondering if anyone has advice?

He has agreed to come to my house for Christmas day (turned down 2 sibling invites, one was too far to travel, the other he does not really like for historic reasons- he's not great conflict resolution!)

(Dad does not have dementia/alzheimers, but mum's death has really knocked an itherwise healthy smart man for six. He does not like going out or travel.

I am just not sure how to pace the day.
I will ask if he wants to look at old photos/cine films, but that may be too sad for him.

How have you all handled it?

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Thanks for your responses.... I just want to wrap him up. I've dug out some wonderful old photos that dad has not looked at for years (and probably can't remember - I think looking at old photos is a woman thing;), so hopefully we can chat about good memories. I feel sad that I do not have many videos with mum on (she hated being filmed), but I have a few that we can play if dad feels up to it. (It helps a lot to have them on film - got lots of my dad but sadly few of mum) I am also arranging Skype chats with as many his 7 siblings as I can manage - some of them not seen each other for many years and I think at their ages it is now probably the only way they will get to see each other (I am trying to convert my dad to get him online with an ipad, he used to fly fighters so I am sure an ipad is not beyond him if I set it all up for him)

The best tonic for da is my son to be honest, they are super close and get on well - my son knows how to be around dad (calm and in listening mode!) They also love chess and board games, so whilst I am chained to the cooker, they can have some 'boy time'.
I am more worried about him going home to their big house on their own. WIll be sad for him, but you can 'feel' mum there still, so it is actually quite a nice atmoshere there. He will probably chat away to her. May have a bit of a cry, but you have to let people mourn.

Thank you for your advice, much appreciated.

Wishing you and yours peace and some much deserved joy at Christmas.
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Please don't allow your dear Mother to be the "elephant" in the room during the holidays. Sharing memories and stories is what she would want; it keeps the love alive. Being sad is one thing but pretending such a presence in your lives never existed is just wrong imho! Laughing and crying as a family is good. It keeps us connected and whole. Keep him busy but enjoy the family time together. Merry Christmas!
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In some ways the first year without my husband was easier than the following years. Everyone accepted that I would be sad. We carried out many of our family traditions, but no one expected too much. This is my second full year as a widow, and my third winter holiday period without him. I'm accepting every family invitation that comes my way, and wishing there were more, or some from friends. I'll host one gathering at my house, but I'll try to keep that one simple.

Respect your father's energy level. Don't expect him to be "up" all the time. Don't try to talk him out of being sad. Share his sadness if he expresses it.

It is good he is going to be at your house.
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Hand him a Mimosa and lots of Kleenex. Try to keep him focused on the grandkids. If he wants to reminisce, play along and keep the memories bright and happy. Hold his hand.
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