December can be a particularly difficult time for those dealing with grief. While everyone around you is filled with excitement about the coming Christmas festivities, you’re left feeling lost and consumed by sadness. These emotions can be especially raw if your bereavement is very recent or if this is the first Christmas without your loved one.

Everyone experiences grief differently and how you cope with Christmas will be personal to you. Some people find comfort in holding onto their usual festive routine and traditions, remembering that’s how they did things when their loved one was still with them. For others, making changes can make Christmas feel more manageable. You might decide to eat Christmas dinner at a restaurant rather than having it at home, or open Christmas presents before the Queen’s Speech instead of after, if that’s what you normally do.

It’s a good idea to sit down in advance and talk to your family about how you’d all like to celebrate. This gives everyone chance to communicate how they feel about dealing with Christmas and to suggest ideas that may help make it less painful. It’s also an opportunity to recognise that this will be a very sad time and remind yourselves that it’s OK to feel sad and to cry.

At this time of year, you will be thinking a lot about the person who’s no longer with you and you will have many memories of your time together. You might want to share these with others – perhaps a dinner party with friends where each of you recalls a special moment with the deceased. Or it could be something you’d prefer to do privately. Maybe you could buy an advent calendar and each time you open a new window spend a few quiet moments with your memories.

However you choose to celebrate without your loved one during this difficult time, our thoughts are with you and from everyone at Austin’s we wish you a very peaceful Christmas.

* Austin’s are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please get in touch with us on 01438 815555.

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