Grief and the festive season.

Christmas conversations are never easy. The office is winding down and the festive season is winding up. But, where do you fit in? What are you doing? Where will you be? Who will be there? It can be a painful and challenging for those grieving and to overcome feelings of someone special missing from the table. 

That vacant chair, piece of your heart and the missed opportunity to share with them all that this wondrous family time brings.Say their name. Speak of their memory. Share the stories, love, laughter and the tears. Their love for you will never die, nor yours for them.The festive season is often full of family gatherings and festive traditions. 

There are no rules.
Most importantly, be gentle and kind to yourself.

Every family deals with grief differently, however you may take comfort in honouring your lost loved ones by including them in holiday celebrations and creating new traditions. Cook a favourite recipe, prepared together as a family, and shared along with stories of holidays past. Choose a particular ornament or decoration, and put it in a special place. Create a memory book, and fill it with photos and other mementos. If your family takes a photo every year for your Christmas card, start a tradition of including a candle, angel or special symbol to represent your loved one. 

As difficult as it seems, you will survive the holidays in one piece. Whether it’s your first Christmas after a loss or many years since; make plans, but be flexible. There are no rules. Most importantly, be gentle and kind to yourself. The best gift you can give anyone you love is to be true to yourself as you adjust to your loss and cherish every beautiful, chaotic, magical moment.

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