Being without a loved one this festive period
Christmas-time. Traditionally a joyous occasion. Presents under a sparkly tree, mince pies, festive songs on the radio and family gatherings…but things may be a little different this year.
Yes, Christmas is fabulously festive, but for some this year, it will be more solemn than usual. Apart from possible COVID restrictions we may face, many will be remembering loved ones they’ve said goodbye to throughout the year.
Perhaps they haven’t been able to give that person the send-off they deserved, and so they are hoping to put more focus on this during the festive period.
A time for thoughtfulness
If family gatherings are allowed, it will also be a time when sensitivity is required because people have different ways of showing their grief. It’s important to remember that people may not be grieving in the same way as others.
Coping through Christmas
As Celebration of Life specialists, we thought that we would put together this blog to give you some tips to support you through the festivities and help you to put some emphasis on remembering the joys of the life, not the loss:
Make a plan
You might already have an idea of how you’d like to spend your Christmas this year, or perhaps be hanging on to see what the COVID restrictions are going to be (we’re still hoping there won’t be any!). Take some time to think about what you’d like to do, which family Christmas traditions you’d like to take part in, and those that you don’t. It is OK to say ‘no’ to festivities if you think they will be too painful or that you won’t cope well.
Taking time out for ourselves is something that is talked about regularly throughout the year, but at Christmas, I think we can all agree that we find this tougher! If you are feeling overwhelmed, give yourself a little time, but try not to isolate yourself. Others will understand your need for some time by yourself.
You are allowed to smile
If there are moments of happiness, laughter and joy this festive period, don’t feel guilty about them. Your loved one would want you to be able to enjoy life, after all.
Celebrate their loves, interests and achievements
If you are all coming together, think ahead and see if you can put a focus on your loved ones likes, interests and goals. Perhaps they had an unusual hobby or liked a particular style of food. If you can fit this in to your gathering this year, perhaps you can create a new tradition for relatives or friends.
If focussing on past traditions is too difficult, then perhaps a small dedication to them can bring comfort this Christmas. Celebrate their life with a special photograph or creating a decoration to hang on your tree.
A special place
Take a trip to that special person’s favourite place, or even where you scattered their ashes. Time in special places will be well spent, remembering the good times you shared there.
Enjoyment over the festive period
I hope this blog has helped you feel better about the upcoming festive period. Try not to feel guilty for enjoying yourself. You may find Christmas tough, but there is always lots of love and joy around.
We’d love to hear what you get up to, so please do share in the comments below.
And, before you go, if you’d like to know more about how we support those who wish to create a Celebration of Life for their loved one, then please get in touch.