When Christmas isn’t Merry
Christmas isn’t happy for everyone.
For some, it’s a time of aching grief, remembering holidays of the past. For those who carry the pain of lost family and friends, Christmas is a cruel reminder of happier days, carefree days that belonged to an earlier life.
It’s hard to feel festive feelings when you’re in sorrow. Prepare for how you’re going to get through Christmas. By thinking ahead, talking with family members and making plans you can decrease some of the anxiety surrounding the holidays.
All of us carry grief
As we go through life, grief comes to all of us.
When we leave home, we leave our childhood behind. We move on to making our own homes, our own families, our own place in the world. We say goodbye to those innocent, protected days when we thought we would live forever. We lose our innocence, we lose our trust in the world, we experience disappointment, we lose our dreams.
Then we lose our loved ones.
All of us are different
No matter how we cope with our grief, how we continue in our daily life, how much we have healed from the blow of loss, the pain is always there neatly tucked away from the rest of the world.
Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. There’s no right or wrong time frame for grieving or for healing. How long it takes is different for all of us.
Some days are harder than others and a big celebration, like Christmas with its emphasis on family, friends and shared happiness, is just about the hardest.
Coping with the first Christmas since your loss
- Go easy on yourself Make a list of what is really important to you about the holidays,what is it you Need To Do / Want To Do and / Not This Year
- Talk with your family about those things that you really can’t do this year, but may add back into the planner next year.
Coping with the Holiday Celebrations
Do you usually host the family Christmas meal? Are you normally responsible for lots of activities during the holidays? Delegate.
Lots of us who are coping with grief during the Christmas holidays can feel guilty when we can enjoy, in some small way, the festivities of the Season. If you find yourself having a good time, go with it. it’s natural. As natural as the grief itself.
Have time to be sad
- Take some time out, to remember,
- Find a quiet spot to remember some of the good things
- Write a letter to your loved one
- Share some of the memories.
Create a Ritual for yourself
Whatever your loss, Rituals will serve you throughout your life.
Ritual helps you to manage the feelings aroused by tragedy. We have no choice about grief, it comes to us no matter how our life unfolds.
A Ritual can be as simple as lighting a candle or filling a vase with flowers or thinking a special thought. You’re creating a small event in order to reflect a bigger event in your life.