Coping with Grief at Christmas

Normally my posts are light-hearted and making a joke of everyday situations but I know I am not the only one dealing with grief this Christmas so wanted to write something that may help someone else who feels the same as I do.

Sadly this is the first Christmas me and my sister will have without our dad who tragically passed away in March this year.

Whilst I want to be excited and feeling festive I’m not afraid to say I’m really struggling. I feel a HUGE void where my Dad should be. He should be sat at my table this Christmas enjoying it with the rest of us and it completely breaks my heart that he won’t be! Having said that I know he wouldn’t want me spending the day crying (which I probably will be anyway as ill be locked away in the kitchen) so I looked up so ways to deal with grief at Christmas. None of these things may help but its worth a try to attempt to fill the emptiness that I and others will be feeling this year.

Before I go into some of the things I’ve read, one thing I did do is buy him a present. I know it may sound silly to some people but to me, its helped. It’s a little windchime that I will be placing at his grave on Christmas day with an angel on. My dad used to buy me angels as little gifts so it felt fitting.

So onto some of the things I’ve read about:

  • Acknowledge that the holidays will be different and they will be tough.Don’t try and force yourself to be ok and strong. It doesn’t help anyone, certainly not yourself because all of that pent-up emotion is going to come out at some point! It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be different but go with it and feel how you feel.
  •  Create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.I think ill light a candle by his picture as I often do, go and visit his resting place and have a Sloe Gin with him (he made the best Sloe Gin so I think he would approve).
  • Make a donation to a charity that was important to your loved one in their name.I will be looking for a sepsis charity to donate to. It doesn’t have to be a lot but what a gift to be able to put towards a cause that could potentially prevent further deaths in the future in honour of the special person you lost.
  • Skip an event if it’s all getting too much.Like many of us, there are so many events over Christmas, don’t feel like you have to show a brave face at all of them. If you’re not feeling up to it then don’t go, I’m not saying mope about in the house but keep busy in other ways. People aren’t going to be upset with you, they will understand your reasons.
  • Talk about your Christmas memories with them.Keep their memory alive, talk about the wonderful times you had together. Surely that’s what they would want, you to remember the fun and laughter you had in previous years.
  • If leaving an empty seat is too depressing, invite someone who doesn’t have any family to spend the holiday with.This is something I’m trying to do at the moment. I don’t have any grandparents alive but I’ve asked my Fiancee’s Nana if she has any friends that don’t have family that would like to join us Christmas day. I try and turn negatives into positives where I can to make the bad times bearable.

 

For anyone going through their first Christmas without a loved one it’s going to be tough but remember to try and enjoy yourself and don’t feel selfish for doing so.

Whether you know me or not if I can offer any support, a chat, even just a moan about how unfair it feels then contact me, send me a message, I may not be able to help but I understand the motions and a problem shared is a problem halved.

I wish you all the best Christmas and will keep all of those who are missing someone this year in my thoughts.

Lots of love to you all xxx

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2 Comments

  1. Such an important message to acknowledge our grief and how traditions and festivities can bring it up for us. Also, some good, proactive tips. I hope you feel able to grieve, remember and feel some enjoyment all at once.

    Liked by 1 person

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