Coping with Grief at Christmas

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Christmas can be extremely difficult after the loss of a loved one. 

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?

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. On the other hand, some people 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 worried about the first Christmas since her mother’s death. 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 rituals

Creating your own rituals can help ease the pain of losing a loved one. The Good Therapy website suggests things such as lighting a candle, watching their favourite film or donating to a charity their loved one supported. Find out more ritual ideas here.

We hope you find some of the above advice and links helpful during this difficult time. Remember to be as kind to yourself as you can. Be true to what you feel is best for you during your first Christmas without your loved one.

Call Meic

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 to Meic.

Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people under 25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us for free via phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.

Related Information

Visit TheSprout’s Grief, Loss and Bereavement Information Page. 

Learn more about dealing with grief. 

Find out how to support a friend through grief.

Grieving whilst someone is still alive? That’s anticipatory grief – read more.

This blog was submitted by Meic, the information, advice and advocacy helpline for young people in Wales. 

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