Christmas. For many of us, it’s a time to get the tinsel out – to sit by a roaring log fire, open presents, and spend time with family and friends. Yet while it’s a season of mirth and merriment for many, that may not be the case for those who have lost a loved one. For people living with grief and bereavement, Christmas can feel like a time when the whole world around you is happy, while you are consumed with pain – a lonely time, without much magic or joy. So if you’re living with grief, bereavement, or the painful memories of a lost loved one this Christmas, please remember:
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to grieve: there is only your way.
There is no time limit on grief.
It might feel like everyone else has forgotten, and you are expected to put on a happy face. That can feel exhausting. Remember to give yourself time without any pressure to be or feel a certain way. Everything you feel, you feel for a reason. You don’t have to do anything you don’t feel up to doing. You don’t have to feel guilty for saying “no, I need some time for me”.
You do not need to feel alone in your grief: ellenor are only a phone call away.
It can feel daunting asking people how they are feeling after a bereavement, or talking about their loved one. It is important to respect boundaries – sometimes, people don’t want to talk, and if they don’t feel able to, it is important not to push them to. Sometimes, however, we don’t want to “bring it up” out of fear of upsetting them, or because it can feel difficult to know when the ‘right time’ is, and so we stay silent. But the reality is, quite often they are feeling that pain silently themselves – and when everyone stops asking, it can lead to them feeling like they can’t talk about their loved one or their grief. When everyone stops asking, they can feel like people no longer care, and they can feel very lonely in their grief. Sometimes, just asking can show that you do care, and that you aren’t pretending that everything is okay and that it never happened.”
Click the "More advice on how to support this Christmas" button for advice on how to communicate about grief, and practical things you can do to support a loved one, as well as other support that can be accessed
And if you – or anyone you know – would like to speak to our Counselling Team, please contact our Admin team on 01474320007for more information.
The link also includes information on how you can access other external services for mental health support. However you're feeling, whatever you're going through, and whichever special person you've lost, we’re here for you.