Monday, November 11, 2019

Understanding And Coping With Grief At Christmas

Hey lovelies, today I wanted to talk about something special, something different. I don't regularly talk about grief on this space on the internet, mainly because it's raw and it's new, and until this year wasn't really anything I cared to share with my readers.

I think it has to be said, loss is an awful thing, and Christmas embodies everything that makes grief harder to cope with, in my experience. The loss of a loved one, doesn't go away even with festivities and for some is more hard hitting around the holidays.

For writings sake, I don't feel solely comfortable sharing with perfect strangers on the internet I lost but it was an intimate family member.

Last year was the first Christmas I ever spent on my own, I couldn't cope with going home to my family and faking it. The pressure to be happy was overwhelming, when really everything just feels like a blur of bright lights, food and excessiveness. It brings to the surface all the memories you have with that person, from hanging Christmas lights to eating on Christmas Day, to the gifts you used to buy them. 

I've heard that Christmas can be healing for some people and their loss, it allows you the time and space to celebrate the person and everything you shared with them. Personally I found the dull noise of Christmas Day, Christmas jumpers and gifts just amplified the hurt I felt. Also alcohol is a massive depressant and I made the mistake of continuing to drink during the festivities.

I think it's personally how the grief affects someone, but I'm going to share a few tips for copying with grief and/or supporting a loved one who is experiencing it.

If You Need Space, Have It

No one will be upset if you need space during the festivities because it is too hard for you to bare, knowing when to step back for the sake of your mental health is fine and completely valid. If anyone makes you feel bad about this move, stop talking to them asap because how you feel is valid.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you need to be around friends and family, and don't want to be on your own, do it. No one worth being around will make you feel bad about this.

It Doesn't Matter What Other People Want You To Do

In my almost two years of grieving I'm come across some sorts, the type that have told me "I'm selfish and attention seeking" for needing space, or not wanting to do things when it suited them. Remember, how you feel is valid, do what makes you happy and comfortable. As I've mentioned above those who are right to be in your life will help you and support you no matter how you go about your grieving process.

Remember Them In Ways That Are Helpful To You

You're always going to have thoughts that are going to hurt, memories that will make you miss someone. As for memorial ideas at Christmas you can really do whatever you want to, to help with the process of grief. Personally, there's a place I visit that I would have with my lost loved one and it makes it so much easier for me, because I feel closer to them. 

Don't Feel Guilty About Enjoying Yourself

Honestly, it's not all doom and gloom although it really does feel that way. If you have an amazing Christmas, that's great and you don't need to feel any form of guilt about it. There's so much fun that can be had with fun and friends, and if you feel up to it, don't miss out on having a wonderful time, or feel guilty about enjoying it because your loved one isn't there.

I know this post won't be for everyone but I'd love to know how you cope with grief in the festive season.


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