7 Tips for Navigating Christmas After a Bereavement
7 things you can do to cope with bereavement at Christmas time
Christmas can be a difficult time for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. The festive season is a time of joy and celebration, and the absence of a loved one can heighten the pain of loss.
The memories of past Christmases shared with the person can bring up both happy and sad memories. It can also be difficult to be surrounded by family and friends who don’t understand the grief that you are experiencing.
Here are 7 things you can do to cope with bereavement at Christmas time.
1. Talk about the person who has died
Instead of avoiding the topic, talk about the person and share stories about them. This can be a healing way to remember and honour the person who has gone.
2. Reach out for support
It’s important to reach out for support from family and friends. It can be helpful to talk about your loss and share your feelings. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people close to you, consider seeking out a grief counsellor or support group.
3. Spend time with loved ones
Spend time with family and friends who are supportive and understanding. This can be a time to connect with those who understand and appreciate the loss you are feeling. You can also find ways to honour the memory of the person who has gone, such as sharing stories or creating a special memorial.
Volunteering can be a great way to channel your grief and help others. It can also be a way to connect with people and find a sense of community.
5. Practice self-care
Make sure to take time for yourself, engage in activities that bring you joy, and take moments to reflect and honour your loved one.
6. Give yourself permission to feel
Allow yourself to experience the emotions that come up during the holidays. It is okay to feel sadness, anger, or guilt. Acknowledge and accept these emotions, and give yourself permission to feel them.
7. Reach out to those in similar situations
Connect with people who have experienced the same loss. This can be a time to share stories and find comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
Not all of these things will resonate with you - and that’s okay. We are all unique and cope with our grief experience and our Christmas holidays in different ways. However, it is important to take care of yourself and seek out support from loved ones.
Christmas can still be a meaningful time full of love, warmth, and joy, even in the midst of grief. Remember to honour the memory of your loved one and find ways to celebrate their life.
It's okay to take time for yourself and to find new ways to honour your loved one.
Incorporating one or more of these tips will help you to make it through the season. Even though it can be difficult, it’s important to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself - and if you’re still finding things unbearably hard, don't be afraid to seek out professional help.