For those who are facing their first Christmas and New Year without their loved one the prospect can feel so daunting. It’s incredibly hard when others around are lighting their houses and busily shopping for presents, it may seem like the world around has suddenly become exclusively jolly and wrapped in excitement and anticipation. Shops are playing music that evokes memories of better days and the whole scene can feel emotionally tormenting. We know that it’s hard , especially if you are under pressure from family or have youngsters to provide for.Children don’t always understand the finality of loss and may still hold expectations of Christmas as it always was. We hope that you will give yourself permission to do only what you feel able to. That you will take things slowly, think about how you can get through the celebration’ s and if it means not participating thats ok too. What’s important is surviving it. New year can also be a very difficult time ….like anniversaries and other special dates it reminds us that we are being moved forward to a space of time without those we love. Here are a few ideas that may help you through the season of celebration.
1 Don’t feel obligated to accept invitations from well meaning family or friends
2 If you do accept invitations plan before hand how you may excuse yourself if things become overwhelming and let your hosts know.Give them permission not to try to jolly you into doing anything that you feel you don’t want to.
3 Take time out. If you are with family or friends let them know that you may want to take time out and that you are ok to do this (Pre planning will avoid fuss when you may just want to take five alone )
4 Make a space, choose a time to dedicate to your loved one, some people light a candle , release a balloon , visit the grave or memorial place, spend a quiet moment somewhere that was special to you where good times were shared.
5 Allow your tears, indulge in your grief, letting it out will enable you to feel more in control than trying to hold on and it all coming out unexpectedly.
6 Write, Journal-ling can be useful, writing to your loved one can also give a sense of closeness.
7 Don’t expect too much, breathe, take baby steps ,
8 Let others do for you, accept help if you need it and rest when you need to.
9 Children may not seem as though they are affected, they may be distracted by the celebrations /event. However, they may also need time to reflect, to share their feelings even though it may seem short lived – children seem able to move in and out of grief in a moment – this is normal.
10 Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself ,
We will be thinking of you
Alex and Tania