Going Through Loss and Grief During the Holidays

Going through loss and grief during the holidays can be particularly difficult. You will hear a lot of people say that it will get easier and sometimes you may think it will and other times you think it’s as hard as when it just happened.

The festive season is often filled with years of memories and can be overwhelming and cause feelings of sadness or loneliness. Just remember, you aren’t the only one who may feel that way and that it is quite a common feeling for people who have lost loves ones – no matter how long they have passed.

There may be sudden waves of sadness even if you have been coping very well. Christmas and other festive seasons can trigger a lot of memories and you may find yourself struggling to cope or feeling down, anxious, and tearful.

Here are a few ideas you can use to help you as Christmas approaches:

– Accept that Christmas and other festive holidays will not be the same. It will feel
different and don’t expect it to feel the same.

– Accept offers of help from family and friends when preparing for the holidays.

– Eat healthy and avoid too much sweets and alcohol as they make you feel more emotional

– Tell yourself that it’s okay to be sad. No matter how long you have been dealing with
loss, it’s okay to be sad.

– Spend time with people, if possible. Talking and socialising with other will help with the
feeling of sadness or loneliness. If you are not able to spend time with people you may ask
family or friends to ring you to share stories and talk.

– Start a small ritual for the holidays – look at old photos, share memories with friends, or
buy flowers to put on the table, etc.

– Remember that you are coping with loss and grief. You may not always feel like you are
coping well but the time helps you adjust to your loss.

Here are a few other places you may turn to for advice or someone to speak to about grief and loss:
Dying Matters
The Compassionate Friends
Cruse Bereavement Care

You may also find yourself wanting to speak to your family and friends about your own funeral choices. Here’s a link to our guide of how to start the conversation.

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