12/14/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

by Amy Dickinson

In this edition of Ask Amy, advice columnist Amy Dickinson offers suggestions to a person who is facing his first Christmas without his father and will be alone at Christmas.

Dear Amy:

I lost my father last month. He was 94 years old. I miss him.

I have no other relatives in my area. I have cousins living in another state, but I don’t travel.

I was able to get through Thanksgiving, but Christmas will be worse without my father.

I did buy some gifts for myself to ease the day a little, but I will be alone this Christmas.

Please give me some advice of what a person can do when he is alone on this particular day.

– Sad and Alone

Dear Sad:

Many churches are recognizing the extreme sadness and loneliness so many people experience around the holidays, and so they organize a special service, usually held on or around the “longest night” of the year, which is December 21st.

These services are called “Blue Christmas” services, and they are designed especially for people who mourn.

Related: Managing Grief During the Holidays

I attend one of these services every year, and while it can be an extremely tender and sad event, it can also be a time to recognize and understand in a deep way that you mourn – because you experienced the privilege of being loved.

The feeling of connection and community with others who are also feeling sad and lonely will help all of you to feel less alone.

If you can’t find a local service to attend, an internet search will turn up services available via Zoom or livestream.

You should have a plan in place for Christmas Day. Ritualize your experience a little bit. Toast your father’s memory, open your gifts, and force yourself to reach out to your closest friend or family member. And then – if possible – in the late afternoon, go to the movies.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers – ranging from facing a first Christmas without his father to DNA surprises. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

Click here to read more Ask Amy columns curated for a baby boomer audience.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff