Getting Through The Festive Period - Advice For Those Who Are Grieving
Posted on 22nd December 2022 at 17:57
Ultimately, it is important to remember that if you’re struggling at this time, grieving and missing someone – it’s testament to how much you loved them.
There is no right or wrong way of ‘getting through’ the festive period and doing ‘what feels right’ at the time, is the best advice anyone can give.
But while you may want to hide away, getting together with family and friends might give you a chance to laugh and remember fun times. It’s important to know that having fun isn’t a sign that you don’t miss them, and it is OK to enjoy this time, if you can.
If there is someone missing from your Christmas festivities this year, I’m sure they won’t be far from your thoughts and your hearts. It is through your thoughts and your shared memories that you keep them alive.
Here are some suggestions for coping with your grief and loss this Christmas:
1. Light a candle memory of your loved one, do so with gratitude that they lived and that you shared their life for a time.
2. Consider your own Christmas traditions
It’s important to acknowledge that this Christmas will be different to other years and will be tough. You might want to think about your usual traditions and decide if there are any you want to change if they bring painful reminders. Keep expectations low. Whatever you decide to do, it is the right thing because it is right for you but remember to respect other people’s expectations too.
2. Continue bonds
Grief is ongoing and never ends. It isn’t something you go through, but something that becomes a part of you, forever. Stay “connected” to your loved ones. Share a funny story about them. You might want to do an activity you always used to do together or revisit a place you spent time with each other. It might even be nice to include one of your loved one’s favourite dishes during celebrations.
3. Understand your emotions
This pain of loss can feel magnified at Christmas; the sadness feels sadder, and the loneliness goes deeper.
Listen to yourself and allow yourself to feel what you need to. Don’t be afraid to express your sadness when you’re feeling it and know it’s OK to excuse yourself to have a good long cry as often as you need to.
Remember that you can’t always expect those around you to know what support you need, so it’s important to communicate and tell them – whether that’s being hugged, listened to, distracted, or time to remember and share stories about your person.
4. Become self-accepting
When you feel ready, it’s important to accept help, support, and company from those around you. Be kind to yourself and let go of any guilt, learn to forgive yourself.
5. Consider gratitude
Be grateful for all the times you had together. Christmas is a time to contemplate the past but also to look to the future, a time to move on. May the memories of Christmas past sustain you in Christmas present. Allow yourself a smile remembering those happy times and be grateful.
6. During all the business of the coming few days make sure you spend time with those you love and let them know how much they mean to you. Life is short no matter what age you live too, try to make the most of every moment, but most of all be kind to yourself and to those around you.
May you find some joy in the season. May you find some peace in it's reason. May you find blessings in Christmas.
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