Grieving Daughter Plans To Season Christmas Dinner With Mum's Ashes

They say that everyone deals with grief in their own personal way. Never has that phrase been more fitting than in the case of Debra Parsons, who plans to ease the pain of her beloved mum's passing by seasoning Christmas dinner with her ashes.

Mum Doreen died suddenly from an airway obstruction after suffering a chest infection in May, and Debra has been eating her ashes on a daily basis ever since.

Credit: Nicholas Bowman/Sunday Mirror

Now, Debra says using her mum's remains in the Christmas dinner is the only way she can make it through the special day.

"People might think I'm mad or that it's not a very respectful thing to do but I just can't stop myself," Debra told the Mirror.

"I see it as a positive thing - allowing her to be close to me and also involving her in the family day.

"It is the only thing that will get me through my first Christmas without mum."

The bereaved daughter knows that her behaviour might be perceived as bizarre, but that it makes her feel as close to her mum as possible.

Credit: Sunday Mirror

"I feel like she can live on by being inside of me because if she is part of me she can breathe through my body. My breath is her breath.

"It will be my first Christmas without her and I want her to be involved and this is the only way that feels right to me."

Doreen's passing wasn't the first time that Debra has suffered a heartbreak. She was bereft at Christmas in 1996 when her son died after being born prematurely.

She has struggled to come to terms with the loss, but then when her mum passed away she sank to an all-time low.

"My mum and I had a really strong bond and one which could never be broken, even by death," Debra said.

Credit: Nicholas Bowman/Sunday Mirror

"She has been the one who has helped me through all the other ups and downs of my life and then suddenly she just wasn't there anymore.

"I was distraught."

It was following the funeral that Debra began to think about what she was going to do with Doreen's ashes, but she didn't like the traditional idea of scattering them at a beauty spot or a location with personal significance.

"It wasn't something I had ever thought about," she said. "I always thought I would have more time to think about it.

"I knew Mum was ill but never expected her to pass away when she did. So when she went I had that feeling of huge loss but also of regret over all the things that went unsaid and all the times we would miss in the future.

"I decided I wanted to do something with her ashes that would make a ­difference to how we remembered her. I didn't want to just scatter them because that would feel like throwing her away."

Credit: Nicholas Bowman/Sunday Mirror

Two months later, unaware of her unorthodox ritual, one of Debra's two sisters, delivered her share of the ashes to her home.

"At first I kept them in a ­plastic sandwich bag.

"I wanted to be with them all the time so I had them by my bed or with me around the house.

"Then I got a ­little box for them so I could have them on display but no matter what I did I just couldn't get that feeling of closeness." But one day - when she was missing her mum more than usual - Debra had a moment of inspiration.

"I don't know what made me do it the first time - it was just an urge. I can't describe it.

"I opened the box and licked my fingers and just dipped them into the powder.

"Before I knew what I was doing they were in my mouth and the chalky, salty taste was comforting. I felt confused by what I had done to begin with but the feeling of comfort and closeness it brought was the first bit of solace I'd had since her death."

Now, as Christmas looms, Debra plans to take her habit to the next level.

"But Christ-mas has always been a really ­difficult time of year since the anniversary of my son's death is December 28 and as it gets close this year I feel the urge even more. Christmas is a special time of year when you want to be close to the ones you love the most and I feel the loss of those that aren't here more strongly now than ever.

"But I don't want to just eat the ashes on my fingers - I'd like my mum to be a part of the celebration this year so I will have her with my Christmas dinner.

"We will have a place laid for her and a picture of her on the table so she can be with us on the very special day."

Featured Image Credit: Nicholas Bowman/Sunday Mirror

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to LADbible. He specialises in men's lifestyle, music and news, which has seen him work with publications including ShortList, FashionBeans, Menswear Style and many industry-leading brands. Contact him on [email protected]

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