christmas decors on a wooden table
Blogmas 2021, Health & Wellness

Dealing with grief at Christmas (Blogmas Day 7)

christmas decors on a wooden table

So I missed Blogmas Day 7 yesterday but I am determined to catch up. Great news! You’ll therefore get two new posts today. 

Now the reason I missed the day was that I was finalizing preparations for the burial of a loved one, whose spot at the Christmas table will go unoccupied this year.  As I observed the proceedings at the memorial service, I remembered that we’re going through a period of persons losing loved ones. 

This inspired a whole new post that was not in the content calendar. Today’s topic is dealing with grief during the holidays. Oftentimes we focus on Christmas as a joyful, problem-less season for all, but in reality, that is not always the case. 

There are lots of people who, despite the promotion of the “magic of Christmas” feel nothing but dread during this period and are wrestling with themselves to put on a brave face and make it through the season. I think of a family who lost a child earlier in the year,  a daughter/son who lost a parent or another close relative, a friend who lost a friend; and the joy of Christmas diminishes to a time of hurt, reminiscing, and longing. 

Christmas as they know it can never be the same – and that is perfectly okay. Grieving is a process that varies, with each person having a different reaction to it and their own way of managing. 

If you’re grieving during this period and facing the dilemma of how to make it through Christmas; here are three tips on how you can cope:

Create new traditions 

  • You may need to switch the location of the family celebration
  • Incorporate visiting the resting place on Christmas morning 
  • Make a donation in his/her name 
  • Still include them in the Christmas decor – hang an ornament with their name on the tree or hang their stockings 

Take a break from the celebrations

  • Go on vacation and spend time at your favourite place 
  • Spend time with other relatives and friends 
  • Create a suppose group and invite others to share with you
  • Go for a walk and reminisce on your loved one 

Celebrate when you’re ready 

  • Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable
  • If you need time alone, take it 
  • Allow yourself to grieve – try not to bottle up your feelings
  • It’s alright to cry and let people know how you’re feeling 

Wrap up

Remember there is no hard and fast rule that says you have to celebrate Christmas and do so in a particular way. Do what makes you comfortable and honour the memory of your loved one if you’d like. Christmas is usually about love, joy, and all things nice, but it is also a period that heightens grief. 

Drop a yellow heart in the comments to show your support for the persons who are grieving, especially those finding it difficult to make it through Christmas.

See you in a few for the other blog post, Villagers.

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