Surviving Christmas

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Surviving Christmas
From acknowledging that it is OK to accept your mixture of feelings at Christmas, to knowing where one can access support – Lisa Henry, Bereavement Coordinator/Counsellor at Wakefield Hospice, shares some helpful tips around dealing with loss and bereavement at Christmas.

Everywhere we look at the moment we are confronted with messages of Christmas – ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, ‘a time to be merry’, ‘the season to be jolly’.

And yet, for those who have lost a loved one, the pressure of embracing the sense of merriment over the festive period can stir up many challenging and conflicting feelings and emotions. Whilst many around appear to be preparing for ‘the perfect Christmas’, it can further add to a sense of isolation and disconnect for those who are grieving , and who this year perhaps ‘don’t want to do Christmas at all’ but for who it is unavoidable – after all, no one wants to be labelled a Grinch at Christmas.

However, just like in the story of The Grinch, hiding away from the ‘world of Christmas-joy’ isn’t necessary for anyone. There are ways in which those grieving loved ones at Christmas can find support and solace, and likewise ways for all of us to play our part in ensuring that nobody feels alone or lost this festive season. For every person seeking a Christmas of Joy, there is another seeking a Christmas of Comfort.

Lisa Henry is the Bereavement Coordinator/Counsellor at Wakefield Hospice, having held similar roles within hospices for over 17 years. Throughout this time Lisa has supported countless individuals and families with the challenges that losing a loved one brings, including at Christmas time.

Below Lisa shares some of her top tips for anyone worried about the emotional rollercoaster which bereavement can present at Christmas.

Read More:
Surviving Christmas - Acknowledging Differences
Surviving Christmas - Finding the right balance
Surviving Christmas - Conversations
Surviving Christmas - Five Festive Tips

"However you are spending your Christmas and whoever you are spending Christmas with I hope shared memories of your special person bring you warmth and comfort.

"Let your gift to yourself be Kindness - Lisa."