Coping at Christmas Without a Loved One

Christmas is fast approaching, less than 30 days now in fact. For most it’s a time of great joy and of loving and giving and if that’s how you’re feeling that’s wonderful.

For others, however, it can be a time of dread and sadness. Much of the sadness around Christmas can come from the loss of a loved one, especially if it will be the first Christmas that they won’t be there.

These feelings aren’t confined to those who have suffered a recent loss of course. There are no rules as to how or when you should stop missing someone at Christmas time.

If this is something that affects you then there are a few things to remember and steps that you can take to cope a little better this year.

Some of the tips may seem to contradict the others, however they are just suggestions. You pick and choose which feel right for you. There’s no “one size fits all” solution.

Spend time with people who uplift you

Sometimes we can be so focussed on the people that aren’t with us that we forget about the people who are. Grieving at Christmas in a healthy way involves choosing who you most want to be with. Don’t spend time with people who create negative feelings or drain your energy. Choose those people who make you feel wonderful.

Allow yourself to grieve in your own way

Some of us grieve at Christmas by keeping extremely busy, so we have less time to think. Others grieve at Christmas by withdrawing or even leaving the city or country. Whatever your grief process is, accept it. There are no rules and whatever you feel, that’s ok.

Accept help

Understand that friends and family may not know what to do or say. Accept their help at Christmas, whether it’s cleaning your bathrooms or cooking Christmas dinner at their place instead of yours. Grieving at Christmas involves letting others show their love and grief in different ways.

Celebrate the good times

You know that your loved one would never want you to be sad at Christmas time. Focus your attention on all the good times you shared and celebrate those. Raise a toast, get some old photographs out or just take some quiet time alone to have a conversation with them in your mind.

Find what it is that uniquely brings you comfort at this time of year.

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