Often, when we grieve, Christmas is nothing but filled with heartache and sad memories. The Christmas season can be one of the most challenging times to face when you have lost someone that meant everything to you.
A grieving heart doesn’t take a break; it grieves because it loves.
We have asked some grievers for their advice on how to cope with grief during Christmas.
Here’s what they said:
- My advice is that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad and miss a loved one, human or animal. It’s okay to not do the whole Christmas thing if it isn’t what you want, and equally, it’s okay to have so much Christmas cheer and so many decorations that you can see the lights from space.
- Do what you need to. Don’t hide your grief to make other’s feel comfortable. It’s also perfectly acceptable to visit the cemetery and take flowers if you want to. Or go to church alone if it helps.” (Naomi H.)
- This will be my first Christmas without my Mum. Every year I’d try to get her as much as I could because she grew up without a lot. I’m so heartbroken she won’t be here. “(Maree B.)
- My advice is don’t overdo it, don’t try to fill the shoes of those you miss. You will just wear yourself out and make yourself sick like I did last year. Do what you need to do for yourself, even if it is nothing but watching TV. Don’t try to please everyone else.” (Daniella M.)
- I am so sorry, all the “firsts” are very hard and heartbreaking. Treasure the memories, but it is just not the same. We all need our Mum; mine left 4 years ago.” (Margo E.)
- It’s definitely a pain we shouldn’t have to go through. Still, unfortunately, it’s the hands we’ve been dealt; just try and be kind to yourself, and let yourself have the moments you need to take to grieve.” (Jodie V.)
Christmas is often a very emotional and difficult time if you have lost someone.
There is no such thing as right or wrong, and everyone grieves in their own unique way.
It is common and normal to feel overwhelming sadness, anxiety, stress, regret, anger, or isolation during the Christmas season.
Here are some of our thoughts and ideas on how to cope with grief during this Christmas season:
- Be kind to yourself. You are allowed to grieve and feel all the emotions. It is also okay to feel grateful and joyful.
- Create a new family tradition to remember your loved one
- Write a letter to the one you lost and place it in a special keepsake box.
- Talk about the love you lost, you will have tears, but it can also bring comfort.
- Everyone grieves differently. No story is ever the same. Don’t listen to the ‘you should.’
- If you feel like it, decorate your home with a handcrafted memorial ornament
- If you don’t want to be alone, maybe volunteer some of your time to a charity close to your heart.
- Start a Grief Diary to guide you through the grieving process
- Cook your favourite comfort food, snuggle up on the couch and let the world go by
- Plant a Memorial Tree this Christmas in honour of your loved one
- Make a photo collage filled with your favourite memories.
- Reach out to a counsellor to talk about how you feel. Organisations like ‘Beyond Blue’ offer free phone hotlines
You are welcome to comment below if you have some advice on coping with grief this Christmas, and we will add it to the list above.
Be kind to everyone you see or speak to because you never know what they are going through.
Be kind this season!
‘The first Christmas without you was hard. This Christmas doesn’t seem to be any easier …