Dealing with grief at Christmas

 

For many of us across Victoria, this Christmas will be the first year without a loved one. The holiday season can be a particularly hard time of year as memories and traditions are now just yet another reminder that your loved one is no longer here to share them with.

 

“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.” 
Aeschylus

 

For those that have a family member or friend going through the stages of grief, remember that dealing with loss doesn’t always get easier, so don’t expect them to be fine if this isn’t their first year without their loved one. 

Here are ways for you to help them get through this difficult time of year:

  • Just be there - When a person is grieving they don’t need to hear ways to get over their grief, they often just need someone to sit with them and let them grieve. Pop over for a visit to check in. If they want to talk about their loved one, let them. If they need to cry, lend them your shoulder. Simply being there will provide them a lot of support during this difficult time.
  • Ask how you can help get them through the holidays - Having open conversations with a family or friend who are going the stages are grief can be hard and overwhelming. But it may be just what they need. Ask them what you can do to help them at Christmas and honour whatever decisions they make for the day. 

At Le Pine Funerals we understand that coping with grief can be a daunting, difficult time in anyone's life. Feelings of loss and sadness may never go away, but with time the grief will lighten. If you’d would like further information on grief either for yourself or a loved one, please visit My Grief Assist.

Dealing with grief this Christmas

You may find that it will be small moments that trigger the most overwhelming feelings, the smell of perfume or cologne, a Christmas carol on the radio, even walking past a certain store. There are many ways that will help you to cope at Christmas after you’ve experienced loss, here are a few:

  • Remember your loved one in a special way - Keeping your loved one’s memory close to you at Christmas can help you feel comforted that they are not forgotten. Placing a special ornament on the tree, lighting a candle, or making their favourite dish on the day are all wonderful ways to honour them.
  • It’s OK to miss some or all of Christmas if need be - The holiday season is always busy, but it can be particularly exhausting when you are coping with grief. Explain to your family and friends what you do and don’t feel up to doing this year, and don’t feel guilty if you need to cancel plans on the day.
  • Start new Christmas traditions - Keeping up the traditions that you used to enjoy with your loved may be too much of a painful reminder. Starting new traditions with friends and family can help you through your grief and give you something positive to focus on during Christmas time.