Grief at Christmas

Grief at Christmas

Grief at Christmas

Christmas is a lovely time of year. Honestly, it used to be my favourite but last year was my first Christmas without a very special loved one. Christmas is a time for family. This can be very difficult if there’s someone missing. Christmas makes their absence felt even more than normal. There may be many reminders such as one less person to buy gifts for, many memories, an empty chair.

It can be hard to keep up with the festive cheer. You may be enjoying the cheer and then memories may come flooding back or you mightn’t even be able to put up decorations. Everyone has different coping mechanisms but it is important to remember to be selfish at this time of year. You need to do whatever will get you through the festive season whether this is volunteering to distract yourself on Christmas day itself or spending Christmas alone or spending Christmas with as many loved ones as possible, you do what helps you.

Try and remember that its ok to talk about your loved one at Christmas. It may actually offer some comfort. People will want to help you through the testing time that Christmas can be however many people may feel awkward broaching the subject. People are there for you but communication is key. We need to let them know where our heads are at so that they can help us. However, if you are feeling alone, there are helplines to ring. The most important thing to remember is that Christmas is one day a year. The build-up is the worst but it only lasts three to four weeks and then it’ll be over. You can get through this! You’re stronger than you think. Try and get yourself a unique sympathy gift to remember your loved one at this time of year.

You may need some time alone over the festive season to deal with your grief. This is completely ok. Sometimes it’s too difficult to put a brave face on. You may feel better after spending some time with family as well though. Distractions are so important. Allow time for to be alone but also make sure you have distractions as well. However, don’t feel guilty if on the other hand you try not to think about your loved one. This may be the only way that you’re able to cope. Christmas is a busy time of year so throw yourself into the deep end. Help out within your community by volunteering, DIY Christmas gifts, host the family Christmas day festivities, there’s an abundance of things to keep yourself busy. Don’t feel guilty for carrying on with a ‘normal’ Christmas and smiling and having fun it doesn’t mean your loved one isn’t in your thoughts.

On the last note, be careful around alcohol consumption at Christmas time. Alcohol may temporarily numb the pain but it doesn’t last for long. Enjoy a drink or two but be sensible. Enjoy yourself but remember no amount of drinking will make the grief go away, it’ll still be there tomorrow. You may find you receive Christmas condolence  gifts, be sure to place them in a spot in your home where you will see it regularly they are very comforting

And remember Christmas can be a difficult time whether it’s your first or your tenth. Trust me I know. I also know that it only comes around once a year and that makes it a little more bearable. However, if you’re really struggling, talk to someone. It’ll lighten the load.