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Coping with the festive season when you are grieving

Coping With The Festive Season When You Are Grieving

Christmas and the festive period can be difficult for many families especially those who are grieving. The big build up in the shops and in the media, can be a painful reminder of your loss. If you are missing your special person during this festive period and struggle with the anticipation and excitement in the lead up to Christmas, then you are not alone.    

  • Keep things simple try to take the pressure off yourself and ask for help. Sometimes there are so many demands on our time it can feel too much.  
  • Talk to your family or friends about how you’re feeling about Christmas and how they can support you.  
  • Spend Christmas day in a new environment may be with extended family, friends, or go out for Christmas dinner.   
  • Don’t feel bad about saying ‘no’, the pressure to buy lots of presents for your child to ‘make them happy’ and to take the pain of their bereavement away. Try to stay within your financial limits. Your children just want to spend time with you. 
  • Be kind to yourself.  Do what feels right for you. It may feel important to ‘be there for other family members but make time for yourself too if you need it.  
  • There’s no wrong or right way to mark a special occasion like Christmas. Don’t feel you need to stick to a plan or conform to what other people expect of you or what they are doing.  
  • Don’t feel guilty about feeling positive sometimes and enjoying a special occasion – it doesn’t mean you are grieving any less or that your connection with the person is any less important.  
  • Do something special to remember those who have died can be an important part of Christmas day and great comfort for some families. You may wish to continue a tradition or start a new one. What matters most is that, as far as possible, you are able to do whatever feels right for you and your family, and, if you decide on Christmas day that you don’t want to do the thing you have planned, then that’s ok too. 

However you and your family choose to spend this festive period, all of us at Jigsaw (South East) send you our very best wishes.

Further reading:

Young Minds – Coping with Loss at Christmas

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