Would you like the latest tablet or phone, some new leather boots or perhaps a new coat?
Would you like to be warm, to be able to enjoy it, to be safe and to eat?
Do you wish that your Mum, your Dad, brother, sister or best friend could be here with you?
This blog is to acknowledge that for some, the whole of December will be hard. If this is you, I want to give you some ideas that may make it more manageable. I’m going to focus on those of you who will be without loved ones during the time when spending time with them is advocated and celebrated. Parts of what I write may contradict others as there is no one way that will work for everyone; read the blog and if nothing else, take the away the permission to take care of yourself this December.
There’s no limit on the length of time you will find things hard, find things unbearable; and it isn’t solely recently bereaved people that are hurting. There are no magic words that will take your pain away and there is no potion potent enough to safely take it away.
Often people get swept up in the festive vibes that creates parties, shopping and cheer and you may feel as though they have forgotten. People handle their grief in their own way and often communication suffers, leaving fantasy answers fulfilling real life painful questions. Don’t presume others aren't hurting or aware of your pain as this can spiral into resentment, sadness and isolation. Spend time with people that give you energy, find the strength to communicate what you need and be receptive to the help and/or support there is on offer.
Grieving at Christmas, in a healthy way, together with remembering those who have gone, is about celebrating those you still have.
There are no rules to grieving, at Christmas or at any other time. You know yourself best and know what works for you. Take time to think about what it is that you need and give yourself the permission to do it. There is help out there in services or family and friends but you don’t always feel that this is right for you, don’t worry about pleasing the others, they will be still there for you when you are ready to be present again.
We grieve because those we lost were such a big part of our life, they were of most importance and a life without them hurts. You and I know that they would not want us to be sad at Christmas, to be so preoccupied by pain that we miss the precious moments right before us, if you can, celebrate those who can’t be with you, speak about the amazing times you had, their qualities you were always in awe of and perhaps get some photos out to make them even more present.
December is going to be a battle, stay strong, cry, be quite, tell people how you feel, go away fora few days or surround yourself with people and tasks; whatever it is that you do, make sure it’s done with you and your feelings at the forefront.