Loss

My first Christmas as a widow

Family photo

Family photo

My six-year old, Sam, says this year is going to be the best Christmas for his sister Florence, who at two is at the perfect age for taking in all the magic and wonder of this time of year.

That magic and wonder isn’t there for everyone though, and it certainly isn’t the same for me as it’s going to be my first Christmas as a widow.

Everyone says the first year after a bereavement is the toughest, as you experience all these special dates for the first time without the person you really want there.

When Sam says he’s going to make this the best year ever for Flo, he really means it and it makes me smile despite knowing it will be far from the best one for me. He wants his dad here, of course he does, but he’s still so young and Christmas to him is all about fun, Father Christmas, and feeling festive.

I’m trying to focus on the kids and share their excitement, but you know my heart just isn’t really in it.

Everywhere I look I’m reminded of how I should be spending the time with those I love, my family – my husband and my children’s daddy. We should be getting excited together, watching the kids’ faces light up as they see the tree go up, the lights come on and the grottos open. They should have their dad here to join in with the hype, the magic of this time of year, but they don’t. All they have is their frazzled mum, bursting into tears over the strangest of things, and although I’m trying my best I know I can’t give them what the should have, what all their friends have – a dad.

As the weeks go by, I seem to be having a dip in how I’m feeling and think I’ve cried every single day in as long as I can remember.

The thing is, I just really, really miss Rog. He was my best friend, my work friend, my soul mate, and without him I’m not strong. What it comes down to is I want him here to talk to, to spend time with and to live my life with, and that’s just not going to happen.

I can’t tell you the places I’ve cried lately – on the train, at the shops, in the playground, it’s so unpredictable.

Family photo

It’s always been the small things that set me off but they seem to be everywhere right now.

I walk into John Lewis through the men’s department, and think what I’d buy him.

I wonder what I’d choose if he were here, which shirt, which jumper, which book. What he’d choose for the kids if he were here, as he would always left the shopping to me and then bought them the frivolous, fun stuff at the last minute.

Well he did for Sam anyway – there was that Buzz Lightyear onesie that made him look like he was a member of The Darkness – we laughed so much together at that.

He couldn’t do that for Florence. I know he would have loved to but he was just too poorly. It’s hard to believe that this time last year we managed to do some of the Christmas traditions we always did together. We put up the tree, went to the Christmas concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic – we even managed a date night at our favourite Spanish restaurant.

This year we won’t be so lucky. This year he’s not here and all I’ll do is miss him.

This year I’ll do all the shopping myself. All the wrapping.

This year I’ll not be going to any Christmas dos. I’ll be taking the kids to the Light up a Life service at the hospice and crying buckets because my husband’s not here.

This year I’ve got no one to go home to and cuddle when I cry on the train. I’ve got the kids, but their arms just aren’t as big, and they make a lot more noise. They’re usually not so sympathetic to their tearful mum either, usually when I cry it’s met with a telling off from Sam, who hates to see me upset.

He likes his mum to be brave, happy and superhuman – isn’t that what we all want our mums to be like when we’re kids?

I know that when Christmas comes I will be brave, and the actual day will be much better than the build-up. We’re going to spend it with my parents, my sister and her family and there will be so many happy kids around I know I’ll find it hard to feel too sad – or even have the time!

But on Christmas Day I’ll be thinking of Rog, wherever his soul may be, and sending him all the love in the world.

x Julia

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95 Comments

  • Reply
    All about a Mummy
    December 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

    xXx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    December 4, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Oh Julia, my heart breaks for you. I wish I could make everything better. I wish that this was all a bad dream and you’ll wake up soon. But I know that these wishes and words are meaningless. I am so sorry lovely. We are all here for you. Hugs Mrs H xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…Getting through NovemberMy Profile

  • Reply
    Deb
    December 4, 2015 at 9:30 am

    You’ll get through Jules. I know it and most of all so did Rog. He was able to go because he knew you’d do all of the things he couldn’t and even though it hurts more than anything just do like Dorrie “Just keep swimming just keep swimming” X
    Deb recently posted…Change is goodMy Profile

  • Reply
    Cath
    December 4, 2015 at 9:54 am

    My heart goes out to you chick X love n hugs Julia x

  • Reply
    mummyofboygirltwins
    December 4, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Oh lovely πŸ™ It is bound to be so tough for you this year. I am thinking of you. Do what you can and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be ‘happy’ – the kids will be just fine, and there are many more years ahead to do other things. You know where I am if you ever need to talk. Jess xx
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  • Reply
    International Elf Service
    December 4, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Oh sweetheart πŸ™ xxxx
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  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    December 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Oh honey, I know it isn’t even remotely useful but do shout if you fancy a catch up. We need to try and get a Hickorys booked in too!

  • Reply
    Mim
    December 4, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I wish I had some magic to send you to make life easier – I am sending you all the love and hope I can. You’re an amazing woman and an amazing mummy – you do not need to worry about trying to be brave and strong because look back now, you’re already being both. You’re already doing so so well, you’re getting through it. You’ll get through Christmas too and I’m so happy you’ll be surrounded by your family. Lean on them, tell them when you need time to yourself and sob into your pillow for as long as you need to – then carry on. You’re doing everything right, everything. We don’t know each other too well but I’ve followed your story. If you’re anything like me then your hardest thoughts come at you when all is quiet and everyone’s asleep – if you ever want anyone to chat to or message, I’m always here on the other side of the world – up when the others are sleeping! Mim x
    Mim recently posted…Today is a GOOD day!My Profile

  • Reply
    barjerow
    December 4, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Love and hugs to you, Julia. XX

  • Reply
    Notmyyearoff
    December 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I wish I could give you a huge hug right now. You will get through the day and your little ones will have the best time ever and remember their dad very fondly. Keep going lovely lady, you’re already the best supper mum there is xxx

  • Reply
    Laura
    December 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    You are strong Jules. It may not feel it sometimes but you are amazing. Sending hugs and lots of love. You will make christmas magical for the kids because you have a gift for seeking out the beautiful and magical in life even amongst the sadness. So many of us will be raising a glass to Rog wherever he is and you and your lovelies this Xmas. Xx

  • Reply
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome)
    December 4, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Julia, my heart breaks for you, there is no way I could even imagine how difficult this year is going to be for you. I think of you a lot when we are doing Christmassy things, no help to you at all but I just wish it wasn’t this way. You are on my mind more than ever this year. I know it won’t be even close to the Christmas you would have hoped for…just getting through it will be hard enough but I hope you get some enjoyment out of the little things, smiles from the kids or a glass of wine and a cake πŸ™‚ Keep talking about Rog, keep writing these posts and letting it all out. If there is ever anything I can do let me know, we seem to get so booked up over Christmas but I would always make time to meet up with you lovely xxxx
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome) recently posted…A Very Special Kind Of Christmas BearMy Profile

  • Reply
    Morgan
    December 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Sending you warmest wishes at this time – I am approaching our second Christmas without my husband. My teenager daughters are a source of comfort and strength to me, and I understand that your children are only relatively small in comparison. My husband died in July 2014 and my advice as a widow is to keep talking about him, keep sharing your thoughts and feelings, and just do what feels right for you and your family. I have connected with a number of younger widows through my blogging, and each one of us is very different, and we must each do what feels right in our own context. And take care of yourself.
    Morgan recently posted…Phew!My Profile

  • Reply
    Tim
    December 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    How wonderful that Sam is being so positive about his first Christmas without his dad. But don’t think for one minute that crying makes you weak, Julia – it only makes you human. Stay strong.
    Tim recently posted…When the final curtain fallsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    December 4, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Oh Julia, I just wanted to say that I’ve read this and am thinking of you. My heart breaks for you. I’m told Christmas is one of the worst times with so much happiness going on around. I’m sure you will do your very best and more for your children. Lots of love. X

  • Reply
    Donna
    December 4, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    My heart is breaking for you reading this and I have tears running down my face although I don’t have the right to cry. You will get through and each year will get easier but this will definitely be the hardest. I am so glad you’ll have so many people around you on Christmas day. Thinking of you x
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  • Reply
    Lynette
    December 5, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Oh babe . Sending you love and hugs xxx

  • Reply
    Estelle
    December 5, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Roger’s arms are wrapped around you Julia 24 hours a day. x

  • Reply
    Mummy Tries
    December 5, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Bless your little man, he sounds absolutely gorgeous! Can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through honey, but wanted to send you some hugs xxx
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  • Reply
    Rona
    December 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    The first Christmas is definitely the hardest. We didn’t spend ours at home easier, the empty chair was too difficult. I hope that you can still find some joy in seeing your childrens’ enjoyment of Christmas.

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    December 6, 2015 at 4:14 am

    Sweetheart I am sending you love, my husband was extremely sick this past week and was sent to hospital, it sent such fear through me. I suddenly imagined a life without him and I didn’t want to! He is finally on the mend, and I feel so blessed. I can not even begin to want to imagine life without him. It breaks my heart that you are living this, that your children will not have their father to grow up with. If you need to cry, you cry, you need to allow yourself to feel, to grieve, to be angry, sad, confused, to feel like it sucks! It does suck, it is not fair! I hope that you can feel some joy watching your children delight in Christmas and know that we are praying and sending love to all of you. xx
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…Let’s face it I’m simply amazing! #mgMy Profile

  • Reply
    Potty Mouthed Mummy
    December 6, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Oh Julia, the last lines in particular clutched at my heart. Losing someone is always toughest at Christmas I think, especially when you see everyone else’s traditions. You are superwoman to me, even if you cry, even if it’s everyday. When you’re children are older I think it’s better that they saw their mummy’s emotions. That they remember the love you and Rog had. They will know that. Just as we all know it. Sending you love and hugs xxx
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  • Reply
    Coombe Mill - Fiona
    December 6, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Thank goodness for the children and their childlike view of the world, I think it is the best thing for you to have their excitement to focus on, but huge hugs for those quiet moments on your own when you feel so lonely and think “if only” xx
    #SundayStars

  • Reply
    Laura
    December 6, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I wish I had some words of comfort, just wanted to say I think you ARE strong, and you’re doing the most amazing job with your kids. Sending love to you ❀️ #sundaystars

  • Reply
    Alan Easson
    December 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Such great people out there offering you succour in what may seem desperate times . You may even feel that these
    days of darkness are in a way penalising you for having loved Rog, your man , so completely.

    Christmas will bring some periods of happiness with the help of your family get together.

    The wonderful children Sam and Florence will ultimately bring you through. Our door is permanently open to you,
    day or night!!!

    Much love, Alan and Clarice xx
    Alan Easson recently posted…Liverpool, lunch and LunyaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rachel
    December 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I have been following your story, albeit quietly. You are an inspiration. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your children although I can’t imagine how hard it will be. Lots of love #sundaystars xxx
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  • Reply
    Katie @mummydaddyme
    December 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    My heart is breaking for you Julia and I am sending you all my love as always. I can only imagine how tough this year is going to be for you. I wish I could offer you some words of comfort but I just wanted to say I think that you are very strong, even if you don’t think it yourself. x

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures
    December 6, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Rog would be so so amazingly proud of you. He loved your blog and was so proud of your writing. I’m sure he will be watching you this Christmas and gazing on in awe about how wonderful you are doing, even if you don’t feel like it. Lot os love honey. #sundaystars
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  • Reply
    Mummyhereandthere
    December 8, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    It is heartbreaking to read your lose and can not imagine what you are going through. All I can offer is my love and thoughts. It is good you blog about your grieve though as it is your place to let out emotions and someone somewhere may appreciate X #SundayStars

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    December 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I read the post and then the comments, and Julia, although you feel alone you have so much support. I suppose it doesn’t help at times like this. I hope you can find some sort of peace over Christmas. And I know 100% the kids will have a wonderful time because that is the sort of Mum and Woman you are. You are doing great, take it day by day and know that Rog is watching you so proud of how you are dealing with this. This year is a huge hurdle, and we are all there to jump it with you beautiful lady xx
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  • Reply
    Ross Mountney
    December 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Checking out some new blogs I came across yours – so very moved by your post and sending you blessings. xx
    Ross Mountney recently posted……And especially for the Home Ed littliesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Alongcamebuddy
      December 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      I too came across your blog and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story with us, the courage that must take is incredible. Your story has touched me and I am sure others. My thoughts are with you and you family xxxxx

      • Reply
        Rainbeaubelle
        December 10, 2015 at 9:35 am

        Thank you, so kind of you xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

      thank you, that is really kind of you xx

  • Reply
    Jenny
    December 8, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I’m so sorry that you have to go through this and the kids being so little as well makes it so hard for you, trying tot keep up the excitement for them, but feeling how you are. Sending you lots of hugs! xx
    Jenny recently posted…Whatever the Weather #22My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:41 am

      Thank you so much xx

  • Reply
    Katie LifeonVistaStreet Haydock
    December 8, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    I don’t know what else to say other than you are far braver and stronger than you think you are.
    You are simply amazing… and I think Sam and Flo should get you a Cape for Christmas.
    Xxxxxxxxxx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Hee hee a cape, now there’s an idea! Thanks lovely xx

  • Reply
    Beth Twinderelmo
    December 9, 2015 at 7:21 am

    I bet that wherever he is, whatever he’s doing he will be so proud. I can’t imagine how day to day is for you all but getting to the end of each day is pretty amazing. Be kind to yourself & don’t beat yourself up xxxxx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thanks Beth, a really good reminder! Much love to you xx

  • Reply
    Kiran
    December 9, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Oh Julia, I’ve been thinking of you all and just popped over to see how you are. Much, much love to you and the kids. I can’t imagine how hard this first Christmas will be. xxx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thanks Kiran, and thank you so much again for using this post on Mumsnet. Everyone’s comments do really help xx

  • Reply
    Gemma
    December 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Just saw your blog post spring up mumsnet online and I had to read it.

    No words really but you wrote so beautifully and I’m now sat here with tears falling down my cheeks for you.

    I hope you find some happiness this Christmas.
    You’re an amazing lady.
    XxX
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Thank you Gemma, so kind of you to leave me a message, thank you xx

  • Reply
    Complicated Gorgeousness
    December 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I think that you are incredibly strong – stronger than you think. I hope the children are a welcome distraction with what will undoubtedly be one of the hardest things you do. Sending love and prayers xxxx
    Complicated Gorgeousness recently posted…When anxiety bites you on the bumMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Thank you lovely, I am taking it a day at a time xx

  • Reply
    At Home With Ruth
    December 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    What an amazing son you have there, doing his best for his little sister. And what an amazing strong Mummy they have. My heart goes out to you. Take your time and don’t put pressure on yourself. xxx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Thank you, so kind of you xx

  • Reply
    Becky Cowley
    December 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    My heart hurts for you. I know nothing that anyone says can or will make you feel better. You are stronger than you’ll ever give yourself credit for, your son sounds like he’s being strong for you & Florence. Sending you love xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Thank you, yes he is doing very well! xx

  • Reply
    Fiona
    December 9, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I’m so sorry, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard this first Christmas will be for you. I think you are an amazing, strong mum, even if you can’t always be smiling. Xxx
    Fiona recently posted…Contact The Elderly This ChristmasMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Thank you so much xx

  • Reply
    Nichola - Globalmouse
    December 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Oh Julia, this is so beautifully written and so sad. I’m so sorry for everything that’s happened but I think you’re amazing and incredibly strong. I also think your little boy sounds absolutely adorable. Sending love xxx
    Nichola – Globalmouse recently posted…Panto is back – Oh yes it is! Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Bristol Hippodrome 2015My Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Nichola, he is a love! Though has his moments πŸ™‚ xx

  • Reply
    Lucy
    December 9, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you so much for this piece. I lost my fiance in march this year, very suddenly to a brain hemorrhage. We also have 2 children of 7 and 4. Everyone around us is trying to jolly things up and make sure we all have a lovely time but I know it’s going to be awful no matter where we are or who we are with as the one person who we should be spending it with can’t be here. Daddy won’t be around to scoop the wrapping paper up between our excited whirlwind of children, or to spend hours pulling all those little irritating little bits of wire packing off of toys attached to their boxes! And I will have to assemble complicated new toys alone.
    It’s nice to read this and feel a little less alone, so thank you.
    I sincerely wish the best for you and your kids this Christmas, and for everything that follows.
    Lucy xx

    • Reply
      Sue Tarn
      December 9, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      I lost my husband suddenly in February to a brain haemorhage. i guess it’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

      • Reply
        Rainbeaubelle
        December 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

        I am so, so sorry to hear that, sending you lots of love xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Thank you so much for commenting and I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you manage to get through as well and I will be thinking of you, xx

  • Reply
    Blogger Mummy Lauren
    December 9, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Tears in my eyes reading this, my heart is breaking for you. It must be so hard for you, to try and stay strong for the children when your heart is breaking. Wish there was something I could say to help but I know there really isn’t. Keeping you in my thoughts xx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Thank you so much xx

  • Reply
    Sue Tarn
    December 9, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    my first Christmas as a widow too… I lost Bill suddenly in February. I miss him so much I can’t bear the thought of Christmas without him

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:34 am

      I feel the same, but we can’t change what’s happened much as we would love to. Sending you lots of love and strength xx

  • Reply
    Katy
    December 9, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    You think you aren’t strong but you are Julia. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak, it is a natural thing to do when your heart is shattered. It will always be hard but it will become more manageable. Big hugs to all of you, focus on the kids and you’ll be ok xx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Kate, I think the crying helps a bit anyway but it’s just a bit ill-times usually! xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Thanks Kate xx

  • Reply
    mumof3
    December 9, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Just found this post on the Mumsnet site and wanted to respond, though don’t really know what to say. I can’t imagine having to go through such a devastating loss. This must be an incredibly tough time of year and I’d just like to wish you and your lovely children all the very best for Christmas and life afterwards.
    xx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thank you for your comment xx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Thank you so much for your comment xx

  • Reply
    MardyKerrie
    December 10, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I want to say fr*gging f*cking hell. Because this is what I feel reading this, it’s so unfair and for what you feel there are probably not enough words.

    I am thinking of you, and will be thinking of you these next coming weeks.

    If you need any Liverpool Christmas meet-ups for the kids – or to sound-out – just shout πŸ™‚

    All my love xxxx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Thanks so much Kerrie x

  • Reply
    Sarah Bacchus
    December 10, 2015 at 10:29 am

    My heart breaks for you, it is so unfair and this time of year must be so hard. I hope your Christmas Day is the best it can be, it sounds like you have lots of people around you to give you warm hugs all day, my thoughts are with you and your little ones xx
    Sarah Bacchus recently posted…#AutumnSurpriseProject – making a weekend more wonderfulMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 10, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thank you, yes I’m glad I’ll have lots of support on the day xx

  • Reply
    Jemma Taylor-Smith
    December 10, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Your post bought tears to my eyes. I didn’t want to just read and not comment even though I’m not sure what to say as I’m not sure there’s anything that can be said to make you feel better. Thinking of you and your children. Your son sounds like an amazing little boy xxx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you so much, yes he is a star! xx

  • Reply
    Jenny @ thebrickcastle
    December 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I hope you can find the smiles, and take joy from them. It will be so hard, I’m so pleased you have great family and will be in company and looked after. I will think of you and your gorgeous children, and I wish you all as good a Christmas as it can be, despite your empty chair xxx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 13, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Thank you so much Jenny, I know you know what it’s like with that empty chair, it was lovely to meet you the other week xx

  • Reply
    Kerry
    December 12, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I wish there was something I could say that could make it all alright, but I realise words aren’t going to fix how you’re feeling. I do however think you are massively brave. Brave to keep on going. Brave to return to the hospice. Brave to write so beautifully about such a personal and painful subject. I hope in time things begin to feel a little less raw and that once Christmas is over you feel a little better. As lovely as this time of year is, it can place a huge amount of pressure on people to be happy when they’re feeling far from it xxx
    Kerry recently posted…Christmas, Pogues & Luther #LittleLovesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 13, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you Kerry, I’m not sure about brave, I suppose it just feels like part of keeping going, but thank you! x

  • Reply
    Heledd - Running in Lavender
    December 12, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Julia you have no idea how amazing you are and I know that Rog would be so incredibly proud of you and how you’ve coped over the past six months. Continue to take each day as it comes and focus on your beautiful kids, they’ll get you through. Sending you all my love and support – as always xxx

    *Sunday Stars POST OF THE WEEK xx
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    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 13, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Ahh Heledd, thank you lovely, it’s so nice to have all your support, it really means a lot xx

  • Reply
    When the school nativity makes you cry - Rainbeaubelle
    December 13, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    […] thank you all so much for your amazing support and kind comments on my post from last week about my first Christmas as a widow. I think I have said before, it helps to write it down, and it helps to read all your lovely […]

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries
    December 13, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Aaah chickie β€” I just don’t have any words. As I said to you the other week, things will start to get a little easier after the first year. You’ll still miss him but it won’t feel so raw. You’re doing SUCH a fab job β€” come for a weekend away here after Christmas β€” we’d love to have you and the kids come to stay xxxx
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…The ultimate Christmas Gift-Guide for the hard to buy for… | Featuring HomeSenseMy Profile

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 13, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Caro, yes we definitely will, we would love that! xx

  • Reply
    Yvonne
    December 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Julia, I ‘m in Saintsbury’s having a cup of coffee as I read your post. It made me sad and i wept. I don’t know what to say to you but I’m thinking about you. Yvonne xxx

    • Reply
      Rainbeaubelle
      December 14, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      Hi Yvonne, oh I am so sorry, so many people have said that, it should come with a warning! xx

  • Reply
    Caroline
    December 14, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    You are doing amazingly well Julia, Don’t feel bad for feeling sad in front of the kids, and dont put pressure on yourself to make everything perfect, this year will be what it will, and each year will be a little easier xx
    Caroline recently posted…Our Christmas TableMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jessica
    December 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Dear Julia,

    I don’t normally read blogs, but yours struck a chord with me somehow.

    My heart is breaking for you, as I struggle to imagine life without my husband – who is to me as yours was to you.

    I can’t imagine it, in truth.

    I lost a dear friend to cancer this year and have seen the grief her family has had to go through – first two birthdays for the kids without mummy – first Christmas now without mummy – first other events without mummy. And a lifetime, no doubt, of adjusting and readjusting to no mother. No wife. No daughter. No sister.

    I feel for the children she left behind. I feel for her mum, who lost an adult daughter and I feel for her husband, now a widower.

    I do not know how and when it will seem better for you – but I suppose that children make us stronger and keep us sane, in moments like these.

    Please don’t be hard on yourself – you have to cry. You need to cry. It is normal and natural and your grief can come out however and whenever you want it to.

    I am sure that you will always miss your Rog. Maybe grieving and then one day, coping again, is about moving into a new reality, a new everyday, in which missing him will be bearable. A new kind of ‘normal’.

    Keep his memory alive, however and whenever, especially with and for your children. Wherever his soul is, I think it’s lovely to still speak to him and keep him with you.

    Have a peaceful Christmas and a brighter start to 2016 xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    December 18, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Hello

    I came to your blog through lifeonvistas blogger advent and have found myself reading through all your loss posts. I have read them with a heavy heart, and I am sorry to hear of your loss. I really don’t know what else to say. My father in law passed away in 2012 at our local hospice and I could not thank them enough for the care. My thoughts will be with you and your family this Christmas

    Charlotte x

  • Reply
    Treats and distractions - Rainbeaubelle
    December 20, 2015 at 10:52 am

    […] general festive vibes and me not feeling really quite so into them. I wrote about this in the post My First Christmas as a Widow, which I had such a mammoth response to – and also the one where I cried at my son’s […]

  • Reply
    Kate Tunstall
    December 23, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Your post brought tears to my eyes; but reading all the lovely, heartfelt comments was wonderful. I’m so glad you clearly have such support, despite a lot of us not knowing you. What an inspiring community this is.

    Wishing you and your family love and strength at this time. Xx
    Kate Tunstall recently posted…Baby Sign: Is My Child an Actual Genius?My Profile

  • Reply
    Suz
    December 27, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    A beautiful post and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas despite the one person you want to be there not being with you. This is my 4th Christmas without my gorgeous husband and it does get a little easier with time. My boys who are now 9(today!) and 12 miss their dad but we talk about him all through the day and we believe he is with us in his own way.
    The tsunami of grief still hits, but it is a short, sharp wave which I am slowly learning to surf. Christmas will never be the same, but our new normal is special in its own way.
    Hang in there, lots of love xx

  • Reply
    Me and Mine - a Portrait for December - Rainbeaubelle
    December 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    […] I was dreading Christmas as the first one on my own (well as a widow, a widowed parent, or a single mum, whatever I should be called), I have to say it […]

  • Reply
    Surviving milestone dates with love and stars - Rainbeaubelle
    March 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    […] the ‘year of firsts’ after you lose someone you love, and how tough that can be. First Christmas without them (that was pretty tricky), first birthday (coming right up), first anniversary […]

  • Reply
    Take Two - My Second Christmas as a Widow - Rainbeaubelle
    December 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    […] year I wrote a post about how I felt approaching my first Christmas as a widow. I can’t lie, it was not easy; it was the run-up to the holidays that I found hard. Christmas […]

  • Reply
    Loss, love and lights on our third Christmas
    December 17, 2017 at 10:16 am

    […] wrote a post about my first Christmas as a widow, and again about my second, and was kind of thinking I wouldn’t repeat it this year. But here […]

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