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?
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.
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.