Saturday 21 December 2013

real life: lost loved ones at christmas.

In all the Christmas excitement, it can be easy to forget that not everybody is having a jolly time. For many people, this season is tinged with pangs of grieving, or crippling loneliness.

10 years ago today, we lost my wonderful Grandad (you may remember my tribute to him, inked into my arm a couple of months ago) Although it wasn't unexpected, that Christmas in 2003 was a very strange one, as someone so important to us all wasn't there anymore. We are incredibly lucky that our family is so supportive, and we all got through it somehow. 

Unfortunately, not everyone is so blessed to have a big family or lots of friends around them.

Things like this also make me think of faraway friends. No matter what has happened between you and someone you used to be close to, I think it's always okay to let them know that you still think of them. You never know, it could make their day.

I thought I'd use this day that is so poignant in my life, to encourage you all to take a minute to think about those special people that are still around you, and to make sure you look after those that may be having a less-than-happy time.

And also, to share these photos of my super cool Grandad :)

If you feel alone this festive season, and there's really no one to turn to (virtual or otherwise! If you want to talk to me for any reason, drop me an email to there's always the Samaritans you can call. Whether you're feeling desperate, or just need someone to have a chat with to work some things out, they're always there on 08457 90 90 90

It can also be lovely to do little things that make you feel good - treat yourself to lunch, buy yourself a Christmas card, or just write down all the awesome things about yourself!

I think it also really helps to think of all the people & things you still have, rather than all the things you've lost. 

• Yep, that's tiny little me with the cheeky man himself! •

Make sure you reach out to those friends and family members that may be struggling. Although it can be tiring taking on other people's problems, they do say "a problem shared is a problem halved," so you could be helping them out more than you realise.

You don't even have to talk about what's bothering them, either. Sometimes it's better to get out and about and totally forget about all the horrible stuff, even if it's just for one afternoon! It can help people to realise that there is a whole world out there, and it's not all bad.

Take someone out for afternoon tea, pop over with some homemade biscuits and a happy film, or just drop round a Christmas card with some heartfelt words.

It is the season of giving, after all.

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  1. This is a beautiful post Lyzi, thank you so much for writing it, and for sharing your story, as well as offering help to those who may be struggling. It means a lot to me and, no doubt, lots and lots of your readers and friends.

    As you know from our conversation yesterday, I lost my Granddad 4 years ago on Dec 10th, and I can still remember the moment I found out like it was yesterday. He hadn't been well for some time but it wasn't the case that it was expected, quite the opposite, in fact.

    This time of the year is hard for anyone when there is someone special missing from the Christmas table. Of course it's sad and hard not to be able to share the day with them, but keeping them in our thoughts means that, in some way, we are doing just that. We will never forget our Granddad, the moments we shared with, and every Christmas since I've spent a little time thinking of him and focusing on the memories I have of our time together. No one can take those away from me, which means I cherish them all the more.

    These photos are so lovely, I do wish I had some of my own Granddad. I may just get some copies when I visit home for Christmas this Monday, it would be nice to have a family album :)

    Thank you again, Lyzi, for sharing and lots of love to you on this day.


  2. What a beautiful post. This will be our second Christmas without my Nan and we've all lost spirit as she was the life and soul. I hope it gets easier in time, I'm trying to make her spirit live on and be the festive one but it doesn't always work. I'm also supporting the boy who lost his Nana just a few weeks ago, I might show him this post too x

  3. Such a lovely post. The beginning of this week my boyfriend's Dad was rushed into hospital after his heart stopped beating. It's these little moments of reality that suck you out of the Christmas spirit bubble and plunge you back to the real world when sadness and death is all too real :( Thank you for sharing <3

  4. Thank you for this beautiful post. I lost my dad in October so it is going to be a strange Christmas, indeed. Thankfully there will be a handful of people over at my mom's house for the holidays to dispel some of that loneliness and sadness.

  5. This is lovely.

    I lost my Grandad in July this year, and this Christmas will be difficult. He would come to our house for Christmas dinner most years, so it will be a little strange on the day without him there. We're having a family get together at some point though because it will be the first Christmas without him.

  6. This is such a beautiful post! I lost my grandmother a month ago and it feels so strange thinking about our Christmas dinner when she won't ever be joining us. She was the one saying our prayer before eating and I can't event imagine this moment before this Christmas dinner. It feels nice knowing you're not alone. Thanks again for writing this!

  7. Great post, very thoughtful and the pictures you have are beautiful! Thanks for sharing :) This line ("I think it also really helps to think of all the people & things you still have, rather than all the things you've lost."
    ) is something I'm really trying to focus on this year too.

  8. A great and thought provoking post. I lost mum 5 years ago in Jan and dad 3 years ago on Christmas Day. I find it especially hard to celebrate the festive build up and the actual day itself. But thanks to great family and friends and a very supportive husband, we get through it. Friends bobbing round for a brew, walks in the fresh air, all help to keep my mind thinking positive. Thinking of all my loved ones this year, wherever you may be.

  9. This is lovely. This will be my first Christmas without my gran, so she'll certainly been on my mind. She used to love Turkish Delights and always had some in her stocking, so I'll have to buy some for the family. We'll eat and remember!

  10. Excellent and thoughtful post. I lost my mum when I was eleven and then lost my dad two years ago, so I don't have any family left. I do have friends but none that really live close by.

    Due to long-term sickness I also don't have much money, none spare for extras anyway. Am saving my weekly shopping money and going to the supermarket just before closing time on Christmas Eve so I can hopefully get a chicken or some duck on the reduced section.

    I honestly can't even remember what I did last year for Christmas which is possibly due to my depression but hoping this year will be at least slightly better. :(

  11. This is a really lovely and special post, thank you for sharing and bringing together people who have to deal with loss, as well as offering help to those in suffering.

    I lost my Grandad in November 2011 and my Dad in March 2009 and Christmas time is a time you miss them the most. I think it's important to remember the happy memories and talk about the good times you've had with your family to ease the pain a little.

    Big hugs to everyone and a very Merry Christmas :) x

    Oh So Bridie | Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle

  12. I lost also my Grandad... Got married on the 7th of December and found out the next day that my parents and Grandma choose not to tell me until I got married. He died a week before... I wrote about it here: but I am still not able to talk freely of it...


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