Coping with Christmas


Christmas can be such a difficult time of year for many bereaved families.

Following the death of a family member, families tell us that they struggle with the anticipation and excitement at this time of year, and some say that they want Christmas ‘over and done with’. If you are recognising these thoughts and feelings, then try to take the pressure off yourself. If you feel like you have to commit to drinks or visits, let them know that you may change your mind on the day. Try and keep things simple this Christmas, and don’t feel bad about saying ‘no’. Look for the things that nourish you, perhaps have a bath, listen to your favourite music or go for a walk along the beach.

In our Families in Grief groups we make baubles in the lead up to Christmas decorated in photos or colours that remind the child of the person that’s died. We also suggest lighting a candle for them, or visiting a significant place on Christmas day.

Talk to your family about what they want to do on Christmas Day and try and make a plan. Doing something special to remember the person who has died can be an important part of Christmas and a great comfort for some families. You may choose to do nothing, or something completely different! What matters most is that, as far as possible, you are able to do whatever feels right for you and your family, and that you have spoken about it ahead of the day. And, if on Christmas day you decide that you don’t want to do what you planned, then that’s ok too.

Talking to someone close to you about how you’re feeling can help ease feelings of loneliness, and if you need extra help then please contact us here at FiG.

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