Grieving at Christmas time is normal, and you may be finding it more difficult to manage all of your emotions… Or perhaps you feel numb from all the festive joy seemingly surrounding everything right now. You’re not alone in your grief. To show you that, our Youth Team have put together some tips for other young grieving people on coping with grief at Christmas.
Remember that whatever you’re feeling in your grief at the moment is valid, and your feelings of sadness and joy can actually co-exist. So, if you’re feeling guilty about looking forward to the celebrations and having time off school or work for a few days this year – try not to! Our emotions don’t stop one by one to let a new one in, and you don’t need to feel bad if you’re excited for Christmas. Happiness and hope don’t mean you miss or love your person any less.
Moments of joy are great, so if you can find something that makes you feel happy or hopeful even if only for five minutes, that’s a wonderful thing. Equally, if you’d rather mope around for a day and cancel your plans with your friends, that’s completely fine. Let it out by having a cry, rant, scream into your pillow, write your feelings and rip them to shreds… Letting it out is so good for you, and it may help to clear your mind a bit so you could try to find that glimmer of Christmassy happiness. Even if it’s only a speck of glitter, that shiny smidge of hope is really good.
Our Youth Team have sent in some ideas and tips for how you can manage your grief this Christmas time, so they can do the talking. Hopefully you’ll find something that relates to you and their tip will be reassuring that you’re not alone and there are people out there like you who are also grieving this Christmas.
I think a tip could be – try to remember them whether it’s painful or not, as all reactions are natural, to remember Christmases spent with or without them because grief tends to be the love that has nowhere to go. (As you can’t tell them). Therefore, do activities or things that remind you of them to give your love to them.
Christmas can be a hard time of year, especially when a loved one is missing.
A tip I find helpful is to remember that the thing they’d want most would be for you to have a magical Christmas spent with those who you love. It may not be easy, and uncomfortable feelings may come up to surface but try and see them as waves- they will settle back into the ocean again soon.
If you feel the need to, talk to a trusted person as they will always be able to help.
This year, I decorated my mam’s memorial tree for Christmas for the first time. I’d never thought to do anything like this before and have always struggled at Christmas, which I imagine a lot of people do. It made me feel really made me feel close to my mam and like she was a part of our old Christmas traditions.
Always put yourself first and allow the time to grieve. Don’t hide how you’re feeling because it’s Christmas but also because it is Christmas use it as a time to celebrate lost loved ones in a positive light. I always like to buy my dad a Christmas card and have a drink for him over the Christmas period :)
Winston’s Wish are here to help! We offer one-to-one and group grief support sessions. We also have lots of online resources and a Helpline, email and live chat service where you can talk to bereavement professionals. You can call us on 08088 020 021 (open 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday), email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our live chat (open 3-8pm, Monday to Friday) and find out more on our Get Support page.
Over the Christmas period, our Helpline and email is open as normal until 8pm on Friday 23rd January (live chat is closed on 22nd and 23rd December), normal opening hours on 29th and 30th December, and reopening as normal from Tuesday 3rd January. We are closed 24th-28th December and 31st December – 2nd January.
If you need urgent support in a crisis, you can contact the 24/7 Winston’s Wish Crisis Messenger by texting WW to 85258.