Grieving the loss of family and friends is a challenge at any time of year, but the holiday season can magnify your loss and mourning. Gatherings and events can be reminders of loss; an empty chair is a chilling reminder. As children you look forward to happy times, Santa coming, grandma’s cooking and spending time with family and friends. Adulthood, however, brings with it a dose of reality and responsibilities that can seem unbearable for many.
There are times when you can feel comforted by your grief and the rituals of the festive season could be one of those occasions. Memories keep your loved ones alive in your presence; they’re the things that maintain the connection to them. Do songs, smells or meals ignite those memories for you?
Here are a few tips we feel may help this Christmas.
– Do what feels right. Sometimes activities, gatherings and events that you participate in can be challenging. Don’t feel obligated. Grieving takes time and often getting through the day, can be incredibly difficult.
– However you feel, accept it. Whether it’s sadness, tears, laughter or joy, or a combination of all, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s normal for the ups and downs, especially the first year and possibly every year after. Loving someone doesn’t change after they have died and talking about them is OK too!