When you have lost a loved one, celebrating special occasions and events without them is extremely hard, especially when it’s the first time without them.
Christmas 2019, only a month after we lost our mum, it was really tough. It was the first special occasion we had to go through without mum. If it wasn’t for my brothers and daughter being here, I don’t think there would of been any point in celebrating Christmas, but for the kids sake we did it.
We didn’t put the Christmas tree up until the week before Christmas Day but when we did it was so strange and it just didn’t feel right, because we’re decorating our family Christmas tree without our mum who absolutely loved celebrating Christmas.
When mum was here we would normally put the tree up at the end of November and on the day of putting the tree up, mum would put a Christmas film on, we would all take part in decorating the tree and the house then we’d make mince pies afterwards. But the first Christmas without her we could just about put the tree up.
Decorating the tree and even celebrating Christmas in general felt so odd, empty and pointless. I know mum would have wanted us to do it but it was just so soon after she left and it was really upsetting. We didn’t completely decorate the house like mum normally would have but at least we did the tree for mum and the kids. We still put a Christmas film on while we decorated the tree and we put all of mums favourite decorations on there which was her Disney baubles and ornaments. I got gifted a beautiful tree decoration of mum to put on the tree, so I placed her right at the top where the angel would have been.
Before Christmas Day we also got a lot of help from mums work, her amazing work colleagues had gifted presents to the children and to also myself and dad and also helped us with getting food for our Christmas dinner. I will never forget the help they gave us when mum passed. They was so generous, they helped with mums funeral and so much more.
On Christmas Eve, I took on mums role and made sure the stockings for the kids was filled up, I even filled my dads stocking to cheer him up a little. I typed up and printed out the kids letters from Santa and put them in the letterbox to show the kids that Santa had posted their letters and they was so happy, and that’s all that mattered really, that the kids was happy. We put out a carrot and mince pie with some milk for Santa too, and dad read the children a story before bed, the same Christmas story he read to all of us when we was kids.
That night when I put the kids to bed, I went downstairs to help dad finish off wrapping the kids presents. I made me and dad a baileys hot chocolate and we both sat down and just spoke about how rubbish it was having to do Christmas without mum, honestly words can’t describe how empty it felt and it still and always will feel empty without her.
On Christmas Day it didn’t even feel like Christmas, it felt like a normal day. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t even want to open my presents. But if it wasn’t for my partner making me get up then Christmas probably wouldn’t have even happened. Dad didn’t want to do anything, because why would you when the love of your life isn’t here anymore? I had to take on the role of what mum would have done, I can still remember and hear her excited laugh and her saying “It’s christmassss!”.
That morning, I got dad up, and of course it took some time and some persuading, so while we waited for dad to get up we all sat on my parents bed (like we normally would at every Christmas) and let the kids open their stockings. Whenever I walk into my parents bedroom I always expect my mum to be sitting on her bed, even now, 6 months later everything in her room is how she’s left it. The first thing I do when I go to my parents house is go to mums room. I suppose it’s a way of my mind making me realise that mum isn’t here anymore.
Back to Christmas day, when dad had got up, my dad got the video camera out, as dad always filmed every Christmas. We all went downstairs and let the kids rip open the wrapped up door, every Christmas dad would normally wrap up the door leading to the lounge but he wasn’t up to doing it this year so I helped him and did it. Once we got into the lounge we let the kids open their presents first and I was just happy to see the kids and my partner open up their gifts, I told my dad to put the camera on the side and open up the presents I had got him, I know how dad felt because I felt the same, I just felt like my soul was empty, and the room was too quiet. I kept looking around the room as I didn’t know what to do with myself. Mum was the boss of everything and had a plan for everything, I think both me and my dad felt so lost.
My partner got a present for me and my brothers and dad to open. I was really nervous to open it, I already knew deep down that it was something to do with my mum, I don’t know why but I just felt sad to open it, because back then little things to do with my mum made me realise that she isn’t coming back, and that feeling is just heart wrenching. When I opened it, it was a big frame with loads of other prints that came with it, my partner named a star after mum and we had a certificate and other bits that came with it, my dad burst into tears and it was sad to see but he was happy with what my partner gave us.
The month before mum had passed me and mum was discussing about what presents we wanted for Christmas, she also asked what Delilah (my daughter) wanted for Christmas, so I sent her a list and she also told me a couple of things she wanted for Christmas too. A couple of weeks before Christmas we found a couple of presents in her wardrobe from her to the kids, we wrapped them up and even labelled them saying they was from mum.
The next most difficult special events I want to speak about is mothers day and my mums birthday.
Mothers day was difficult for me because not only was I not able to spend it with my dad and brothers because of having to self isolate due to the virus going around, but I also had to spend it without my mum and not being able to speak to her. The amount of times that day I looked at my phone and looked at her number knowing I couldn’t call her really hurt. Throughout that day I spent crying, cuddling my daughter but I’m most thankful and appreciative of my partner being there to help me get through it.
On a normal mothers day, I would wake up to a FaceTime from my mum wishing me a happy mothers day and vice versa, then speaking about what time I would be coming round to give mum her gifts. Last mothers day in 2019, I remember giving mum her mothers day gifts the night before mothers day, I completely spoilt her with gifts and I am so glad I went over the top, because this year I couldn’t get her anything, and to not be able to spoil your mum with gifts anymore is depressing, and it leaves you feeling empty, and you question yourself, what’s the point? and not having your mum around on mothers day or any day in general is just sad. Because you feel content when your mums around, like everything is going to be alright.
But I think every time we celebrate these special events we are going to have to make it extra special, just extra. Because that’s how mum was, she was always doing things over the top, extra special. she loved going all out for everything.
The 2nd of May 2020. This day was difficult because mum wasn’t here to even celebrate her own birthday. My nan dropped round some lovely flowers, the funny thing that always makes us laugh with flowers is that whenever we would buy mum flowers they would never last, mum would somehow always end up killing the things in a matter of days! that’s why flowers make us laugh when we think of mum. So, for mums birthday, me and dad baked mums favourite cake which was a carrot cake. We put candles on top and we all sat down at the table and sung happy birthday to her.
Happy 42nd Birthday mum, we love you so so much.
There is so much that mum will miss now, and that’s what’s so sad about having to celebrate these occasions without her, having to do life without mum is going to always be so damn hard.
As it’s only been 6 months without mum, we are still learning, learning to cope without mum. Like I said in my last blog post, one day I can feel completely fine and at peace with mums death, then the next day I feel pain, that heart-wrenching feeling, knowing she isn’t coming back.
The first year is going to hurt, it’s going to feel empty, lonely, depressing and pointless, but it will eventually get easier, just that little bit. If you could see me now you wouldn’t have thought I had lost my mum 6 months ago, yeah of course hearing my mums name and talking about mum still makes me cry and super sad, and I still have my moments every week, but compared to 6 months ago, i’m not crying every day, and you learn to live with the situation.
But everyone is different, and i’m strong just like my mum. This is why i’m writing these blog posts, to help others around me who are going through the same situation.
When you finally realise that life continues on, you realise that you are here to live it, and live it for her.