Jane, our Counselling and Bereavement Services Manager, blogs on dealing with Christmas when you’re bereaved.
I hear so many bereaved people say, ‘oh no how am I going to manage Christmas?’. And the reality is that what may be helpful to one person may be intensely difficult for another. What I do know is Christmas and New Year can be one of the most challenging and painful times of year for those who have recently had someone close to them die.
So many people feel lost and alone, even when surrounded by friends and family. Some people often are very well-meaning; but don’t really get it and this can bring about painful pangs of pain and sadness, longing and overwhelming memories.
The following are some ways of looking after yourselves during the Christmas period:
- Take time out whenever you need it and ask others to respect this
- Share as little or as much as you wish with people, grief is a private affair and deeply personal. We have the right to our dignity
- Make a specific time to remember them and put a time boundary
- Dedicate your thoughts to them during this time and do something to mark their passing. Write them a card or a letter, or go for a walk, whatever feels most appropriate, and
honourthe time that you had together
- Give your feelings your full attention. Acknowledge and validate the way that you feel, however distressing remember that the way that you feel is testimony to the love that you had for them
- At the end of the time that you have allowed for this in your day, light a candle and then go and have as good a time as you can. Because this is what they would have wanted for you