A grieving woman plans to eat her mother for Christmas dinner this year - by seasoning the meal with her ashes.

Debra Parsons, 41, will sprinkle the remains of mother Doreen Brown on the turkey and Christmas pudding before enjoying the festive feast.

The mother-of-two, from Folkestone, Kent, has felt the urge to consume the ashes since Doreen died in May and has been eating small spoonfuls of the dust each day to 'help her cope'.

She was left distraught when she died earlier in the year, and the festive period also marks the anniversary of the death of her son who was born prematurely in 1996.

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Debra says as Christmas gets closer the cravings to eat the ashes become stronger.

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

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

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

"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 Brown died suddenly from an airway obstruction after suffering a chest infection in May.

It was yet another tragedy for mother-of-two Debra after her son died at childbirth over 20 years ago.

She has struggled for years to cope with her grief but when Doreen passed away she hit a new low.

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

"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 any more.

"I was distraught."

Debra rejected the traditional route of scattering her loved one's ashes at a sentimental location.

She said: "It wasn't something I had ever thought about.

"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."

Two months later, one of Debra's two sisters, who are both unaware of her unusual ritual, 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 Debra was feeling particularly low when she felt an overwhelming urge to eat her mother's ashes.

"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."