There's no doubt that Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year, and while that suits festive enthusiasts down to the ground, it can make it difficult for people who mourn their late loved ones all the more deeply at Christmas.
Tapping into this over the weekend, Twitter user, Rachael Prior, posted a message which ultimately initiated a heartfelt thread on the subject of love and loss.
"Nowhere and no time do I miss my dad more acutely than in the men’s department of M&S at Christmas," she wrote in a post which has been liked almost 12,000 times since Saturday.
Nowhere and no time do I miss my dad more acutely than in the men’s department of M&S at Christmas.
— Rachael Prior (@ORachaelO) November 11, 2017
Rachael's candour set in motion a discussion which gave the grieving a chance to remember their own loved ones by telling fellow followers how and when they remember their friends and family members.
It makes for emotional reading, but there's a lot to be said for the warmth born of the impromptu discussion.
What an absolutely beautiful thread – more connected and emotionally impactful than any high street store Christmas advert could ever hope to be…Thank you for sharing & curating
— Sarah Davidson (@SarahE_Davidson) November 11, 2017
Take a look here…
Lost my Dad just after 3 days after Xmas a few years ago. I kept his M&S talc and wear it sometimes when I feel stressed or low. The smell of it makes him feel closer. (Xmas never been the same since tbh) pic.twitter.com/RLJbILgjA8
— Fiona Collie (@tartan1314) November 12, 2017
I remember my Dad’s last Christmas Day and how he struggled to open his presents but was so thankful for them. He died the next morning and Christmas has never been the same. Thank you for everything Dad.
— Steve LFC (@Stevepsrv) November 11, 2017
I cried in Wilkinson’s the other day cause my dad loved all their Christmas stuff – the tackier, the brighter, the noisier, the sparklier the better. It’s the wee things eh? Hugs
— Harmonica (@lora4dan) November 11, 2017
This might sound daft, but when my Dad passed (4 years ago, now), I took possession of his aftershave (Old Spice). The bottle's long-since finished, but I won't throw it away. Big hugs to you xxx
— Mouth of Sauron (@simon_lindsell) November 11, 2017
I have my grams chest of drawers, and they still smell of her perfume. I also have her nativity set, broken baby Jesus and everything.
— Nicole Henke (@nikkisixx71) November 12, 2017
My mum used to use leaf tea and I still have a box of it in my cupboard even though it went out of date 16 years ago (mum died 17 years ago, day after my birthday) Husband understands this and knows not to throw it out x
—Kathleen @HippyRockChick) November 12, 2017
My partner has been gone eight years now, he always read The Night Before Christmas, even before our son came along. Tom is 18 now and we still read it together, it brings his dad back, even if just momentarily. Keep up the tradition /p>— Katy Grove (@clockendkaty) November 12, 2017
Dad. 4 years- cancer. I keep his pen knife in my paintbox to sharpen my pencils and his fire gauntlet by my stove. When I put in on it’s like I’m holding his hand. Sometimes the pain comes from nowhere like spotting a perfect gift for him that I’ll never be able to give.
— Jill Griffin (@jillgriffinart) November 12, 2017
My Grandad was my Father, his 1 year memory is soon. This will be my first Xmas living in the house he brought me up in since I lost him. He was my best friend. I still have his coat hanging in the cupboard waiting for him. And bars of his hand soap so I can still smell him 🙁
— Carley Armstrong(@CarleyArmstrong) November 12, 2017