When you lose someone you really love, grief becomes your constant companion.
There is no ‘closure’, no ‘moving on.’
Grief comes with you, everywhere.
Christmas is no exception.
Bereavement doesn’t end.
The loss recurs every day in various ways – conversations you can’t have, hugs you can’t give or receive, experiences you can’t share, milestones you can’t mark with all the people you love.
Wait, WHAT? Grief never ends?!
Yeah. It sucks, huh?
It’s not something you know unless you have lost someone close to you.
I’m not sure why so many people expect the bereaved to magically ‘gain closure’ after the loss of a pivotal person.
It makes the whole grief thing SO MUCH HARDER… and it’s already bloody hard as it is!
Grief for someone you really love never goes away.
You have to learn to manage it.
So, from the outside you might eventually look like you’re ‘over it’ – but chances are that you most definitely are not.
You have just learned to bear it.
But how do I get through Christmas with my grief in tow?
Christmas is relentlessly jolly, which can be hard to bear if you’re missing someone.
So why pretend things are other than they are?
If we can accept that grief never ends, and if life is going to happen anyway (and it is,) I reckon you might as well make room for your grief at Christmas.
It doesn’t sound very seasonal, I know.
But I’m not saying celebrate Christmas like it’s a funeral.
Maybe you could find a way to softly fold memories of the person you lost into your festive traditions.
Whether you light a candle.
Play their favourite Christmas song.
Wear their Christmas jumper.
Watch their favourite Christmas film.
Or hang their Christmas tree ornaments on your own tree.
Or something else.
Your grief isn’t going anywhere and they are not coming back, so let’s stop pretending otherwise, and make space for your grief at Christmas.
That way you don’t have to add pretending to be ok to your grief’s burden.
Would you like some support with your grief?
Losing someone you love is f*cking tough.
It takes time to process, much more time, generally, than most people expect or allow for.
Plus other people’s discomfort with the idea of your grief often makes it hard for them to allow your perfectly normal but often mixed and unpredictable feelings and reactions.
Often those who try to supporting a grieving friend or relative end up making things worse.
They don’t mean to.
But their own feelings and ideas about grief can get in the way.
They give you crappy platitudes that just hurt you, or even make you rage.
Or they disappear right when you need support.
And so they accidentally become part of your problem.
And you feel more isolated.
So if you’d like to find some warm, friendly, professional support, maybe we could chat?
I offer everyone a free 60 minute chat, so that you can suss me out and decide whether or not I’m someone you could really talk to.
If you’d like to book that chat, click here and let’s discover if I’m someone who might be able to help you find a way forward.
And if you’re struggling to cope right now, and feel in need of immediate assistance, please click here to access more direct help.
Finally, whether we meet or not, I wish you the happiest possible Christmas, and the least difficult New Year you could have.