Grieving at Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and though it’s a time that’s associated with celebration, spending time with loved ones and making happy memories, it can also be a difficult and emotional time. It can of course be particularly difficult for anyone who is grieving or recently bereaved – one of a number of ‘firsts’ that we hold in our minds, certainly for the first year after our loss. Even if we’re thinking back to losses longer ago, Christmas can have a habit of bringing some melancholic feelings back.

Personally, when I think back to my childhood Christmases, there seemed to be cards and gifts from lots of relatives, many who I hardly knew. They were the great aunties and uncles, the cousins once-removed, those names that only cropped up at Christmas and birthdays. I didn’t have a lot of siblings, and neither did my parents. There was never that huge Christmas meal with the whole family around a huge table, though I still have fond memories. Every year, that extended family dwindles a little more and Christmas always makes me think back and take stock of all those people.

As an adult, I’ve formed meaningful relationships with some of them and stay in contact when I can, and of course Christmas is one of those times. It also makes me think of those I have lost more recently, those who I knew as a child and an adult. It makes me think of how much they enjoyed Christmas and what it meant to them.

Whether you’re facing your first Christmas without someone very close to you or you share similar thoughts to me during the festive period, talking about your feelings is always useful. It can be hard to offload or open our hearts to even our closest friend at any time, but at Christmas, we’re extra-conscious of how busy a time it is for them, and feel like we’ll be ‘putting on them’ if we reach out.

That’s why talking therapy is so important, because it gives you a non-judgemental and confidential space to talk about your feelings and your loses. If you feel like you want to talk about your bereavement, whether it’s recent or more historic, I’m here to help. Find out more about counselling in Chorley, or online by getting in contact with me.


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