Grief at Christmas
We all cope with grief in our own way and with Christmas around the corner, many of us are dealing with the time of year when focus is on family. Loosing my brother earlier this year to COVID was devastating and with Christmas looming, this ever shifting feeling feels somewhat weightless and heavy.
The way I view my grief is as much as a symbol of love without an anchor. Our bond has been severed for now and feels directionless. Some of my family have drifted apart because he was the glue to so many of us. The first year has so many significant firsts with birthdays (yours and theirs) to a day of any importance. Christmas also being one. This is the time for giving and kindness to others which also applies to yourself.
There is not one size fits all for grief - it’s complicated, shattering and not something you can take a way for someone you love. It’s extremely hard to navigate, messy and sad. And while some may feel understandably angry, others may just feel numbness.
Sometimes family and friends have the best intentions but it feels lonely.
How you support someone in grief is very much dependable on the relationship you have with them. Just offering support by being there or sending a message goes a long way, don’t lose faith if they don’t respond. You may feel helpless and find it difficult to find the right words but don’t delay contacting someone who is grieving. Practical help for someone going through grief can look like a meal, taking the kids to the park, picking up some shopping or dealing with paperwork, or the very tricky task of informing people.
Often people who are grieving want to talk about the person they miss the most, so when it feels right, create an environment for them to be themselves rather than cover it up. Acknowledging that some days are more difficult reminds them that you are supporting them through the hardest times.
Through every milestone we all need our friends and family around.