If you look around at Christmas time, mostly what you will see is smiling faces, laughter, happiness, perhaps a little over indulgence and someone flustered behind the scenes from trying to get everything done and perfect.
What you don’t tend to see or perhaps a better way to put it is don’t want to see is sadness and grief. Christmas can be a painful time whether it’s your first year without someone who has died, or you were bereaved long ago. Losing a loved one is always hard, but the festive season can make it even tougher to be missing someone.
The traditions that used to bring joy now act as a painful reminder of the person who is no longer here to share it with us. Different people will choose to cope with grief at Christmas in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to do things, the important thing is that it is the right way to do things for you. Take some time, early on, to think about how you want to do Christmas and how this will or won’t affect those around you whether or not they are bereaved as well.
Some bereaved people find that they do not wish to celebrate Christmas at all, whilst some find that simply maintaining their routine and celebrating as normal is the best tribute they can pay their loved one.
Make time within the hustle and bustle of Christmas to express your feelings of grief. It’s so important that you feel able to talk about and cry for your lost loved one with people who will really listen without trying to ‘fix’ you.
Trying to keep to regular patterns of sleeping and eating are small things that can make a difference. We can all drink more on festive occasions, but it’s important to remember that using alcohol to escape the pain of loss provides only very temporary relief.
Don’t deprive yourself, but be careful not to let the rich Christmas foods become your comfort at this hard time. Make sure you are eating healthy, nutritious foods and drinking plenty of water.
Finally, find ways to celebrate and honour the life of the person you have lost. Sing some Christmas carols they loved or dance madly to some of their favourite festive tunes. If there was a cause that was particularly meaningful to them, consider volunteering there or helping out in the community.
Of course if you need to talk, we’re always here. 01202 303722 or firstname.lastname@example.org