Blogmas Day 20: Dealing with Bereavement at Christmas

Hey guys and welcome to Blogmas day 20

Now today’s topic is quite a tough one to write about and for a lot of people, myself included, quite an emotional one too. Today we’re going to be chatting about handling bereavement at Christmas. The festive season can be a horrendous time if there’s someone you love who isn’t there to celebrate it with you. Now I can’t make anyone’s grief go away but I would like to offer some tips on handling this time of year if you are experiencing it without a certain someone by your side.

Should you still celebrate Christmas?

This is entirely your call. Some people, when they experience a bereavement, use Christmas as an opportunity to celebrate that person’s life by making the day as special as possible and getting the family together to look at old photos and share in the joy of old memories. But for others, the thought of celebrating without their loved one around just doesn’t seem right and it’s just too painful and raw for them to be able to enjoy Christmas so they choose not to celebrate it. You should know that either of these is perfectly fine. Whatever you are feeling, regardless of whether you still want to celebrate it or not, Christmas is your day so you spend it doing what you need to do.

Different Ways of Mourning

Try to remember we all have different ways of mourning. Some of us are very open with our grief, others are real bottlers of emotions. These different approaches to grief can sometimes cause conflicts and rows, especially at Christmas when, quite often, it’s a time of year when you want everything to be perfect. Try to remember that although two people can express grief differently, that shouldn’t suggest that one person is feeling more grief than the other. Try to be supportive of one another through this time. Having a hand to hold can be a massive help.

Routine and Self Care

Quite often, when we are dealing with serious grief, everything else takes a back seat. But it is so, so important to look after yourself. Try and keep yourself in a routine. Set your alarm clock for the morning. Shower. Keep eating regularly. Get outside and just be. A lot of people who are going through a bereavement find that being outside helps. It’s a chance to just be still and let the mind be calm for a bit. The importance of self-care during times like cannot be overstated. So look after yourself. You have a duty of care to yourself. Exercise that duty. It will help the darkness lift and get you moving forward with life again.

Accept offers of help

If you are anything like me, you will really struggle to accept help. I have been told many times that I am too independent for my own good. That if I let people in more, I’d get a lot further in life and I wouldn’t wind up cutting off my nose to spite my face, (I think that’s the right saying). But as I say, having a hand to hold can only help. So if someone is offering to nip round and make you a bite to eat or even if they’re just offering a shoulder to cry on, take them up on these offers. When we experience grief a lot of us have a tendency to push people away purely because we feel we need the space to find a way to cope with the bereavement on our own. But trust me, having people around you who love and care for you will make it easier. Let them in. Let them be there for you and, if they’re grieving too, you do the same for them. You might just find being supportive of others helps give you the strength to soldier on too.

Go for a walk and take some soup

If come Christmas, you can’t bear the thought of doing anything Christmasy, then that’s okay. Forget the Christmas dinner, the presents, all of it. But if you are in this boat here’s what I would advise; get yourself out for a nice, long walk. Bring a flask of soup with you and sip at it as you stroll. Forget about what’s happening on the phone. Forget about what’s happening back at home. Take the time to be alone. Appreciate the contrast between the cold day and the hot soup. I always think the outdoors and a good soup can be like food for the soul. So nourish your soul this holiday season. When we grieve, we expel so much of our heart and our energy and this is just a little way of putting some of that back into us so we can continue to look forward.

There you have it guys. If you are dealing with a bereavement this Christmas then may I say how sorry I am for your loss but I hope you find these tips helpful. Bottom line; you make of Christmas whatever you want to. Don’t feel bound by other people or social stereotypes. It’s about what works for you. So look after yourself my lovelies; be strong, be brave, be loving and I’ll see you again soon with another post.

With love this Christmas,

Hannah

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. I shared a similar blog post today that I wrote around Thanksgiving. It’s so important what you’re doing in sharing this information. When one of us is struggling with grief its like you forget what is going on around you. Great Post!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for checking out my post. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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