Coping With Grief At Christmas
Christmas is a time for sharing with family, friends and loved ones – right? Unfortunately, seasonal events such as Christmas can be a painful reminder of the absence of a loved one. How can you deal with this grief?
This article is also available in Welsh – I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg – clicia yma
The feeling of grief can be so strong in the first year following the death of a loved one that you might even find yourself wishing that Christmas would just go away. Some people, on the other hand, find it helpful to ‘keep going’.
Should you celebrate Christmas?
Whatever your feelings – there is no right or wrong way of dealing with grief. It’s important that people understand and respect this. The bereavement charity ‘Cruse’ has some tips on how to cope with Christmas that you might find helpful. Find out whether you should or shouldn’t celebrate, the importance of remembering a loved one, looking after and taking time for yourself. Find out more here.
Communicating how you feel with family and friends can help them to understand how you’re experiencing your grief. This will help them to work out how best to support you.
Some things you might want to think about include:
- Thinking about what feelings you might have and planning how you might deal with them.This includes allowing yourself to cry and feel upset if you need to.
- Knowing where to seek advice and support if you need it. Give yourself permission to react however you need to at the time.
Dealing with not coping
There’s a great article on The Telegraph website ‘Coping with bereavement at Christmas time: ‘It’s the first holiday season without my mum’. An agony aunt helps a daughter who is worried about the first Christmas since the death of her mother. There may be some things in the article that can help you such as planned ways to deal with ‘not coping’ and where to get help.
Check out our blog ‘Need Help at Christmas? Contact Meic‘ for further advice and contacts.
Creating your own rituals can help to ease the pain of having lost a loved one. The Good Therapy website suggest things such as lighting a candle, watching their favourite film or making a donation to a charity that your loved one supported. Find out more ritual ideas here.
We hope that you find some of the above advice and links helpful at this difficult time. Remember to be as kind to yourself as you can. Being true to what you feel is best for you during your first Christmas without your loved one.
If you’re struggling to cope with grief this Christmas, or if there is anything else that you need advice or information about then you can talk Meic.
Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us free on the phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.