Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration but what do you do if you are bereaved? Here is a how to guide on serviving the christmas holidays.
You may not wish to celebrate Christmas at all or you might find that simply maintaining a routine and celebrating as normal is the best tribute that you can pay, your loved one. It may even feel important to make an extra special effort, to remember the person who has died. This can be as simple as making a toast to the person, saying a quiet prayer, visiting their grave or a place that was special to them. These can be things that you do alone, or with friends or family. A treasured picture or particular happy memories, are worth sharing with others.
Be sure to make arrangements that suit you and work out how you can incorporate the needs of others, who share your loss. Accept that there are some parts of the day that will be more difficult than others and work out how best to manage them. E.g. sitting around the table may be more difficult as the vacant space may be overwhelming. So you may continue to set out a space or opt for a buffet, where everyone helps themselves and omitting a table.
Eating and drinking more than usual is common during this time of year, but it’s important to remember that using alcohol to escape the pain only provides temporary relief. Seeing friends or family, or volunteering for the day, can all help, without losing control.
It will be important that you try to stay present focusing on what you are doing moment to moment. Remember why you have chosen to mark the holiday in this way.
Below are some bereavement support lines that you can call, alternatively you book an appointment for counselling now, via the home page.
Child Bereavement UK Support and Information Line: 0800 02 888 40
Samaritans: 116 123
The Compassionate Friends National Helpline will be open during the Christmas period
0345 123 2304
(10 am – 4 pm, 7 pm- 10 pm every day).
Love and Light.