Tips to help you cope with bereavement at Christmas
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Christmas will be particularly challenging for many this year. We spoke to James Showers and Jane Diamond, directors of Family Tree Funeral Company to share their thoughts and tips on how to deal with feelings of grief over the holidays.
“Mostly due to Covid-19, we will all experience some sense of loss this Christmas — from the death of those that we love to the absence of security and income — and it is important to admit and embrace this reality, so we share more and suffer less. If you do find yourself having to cope with the absence of a special someone this season, there are things you can do to stay positive and keep their memory alive,” says James.
1) Find a quiet place for a candle and some photographs of the person who has died.
2) Buy a special decoration that reminds you of them and use it this and every year. Ask friends and family to create special cards and messages to hang on the tree or the mantlepiece.
3) Set a place at the table for those who can’t be there with you.
4) Make a card and get everyone to sign it in memory of your loved one. Keeping it and reading messages from friends and family later can be very comforting.
5) Wrap up, go outside and walk where you might have walked together, or just somewhere that reminds you of them. Talk to them silently, or out loud if you’re alone.
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6) If you put a small glass of something out for Santa, put a large one out for the people you miss the most. Drink a toast to absent friends and family.
7) Write a letter to them — thank them, berate them, let them know you’re there and what it’s like here without them. Putting your thoughts and emotions on paper may relieve some of the pain, and help you to keep your loved one close.
8) Play music they loved; if you can dance to it, or the music brings tears, so much the better.
9) Volunteer locally — at a food bank, for example. Giving to others helps us to be more outward-looking and to feel better.
10) Do what you want rather than what others expect of you. Look after yourself, and don’t push people away. Let others sympathise and take care of you without feeling they’re only doing it because they feel sorry for you. It’s more likely it’s because they love you.
“We are here to provide a listening ear and sympathetic advice to help you cope with grief and remembering a loved one at Christmas,” adds Jane.
Family Tree Funeral Company also share some useful FAQs on their website to help you whilst dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Family Tree Funeral Company, 1 Middle St, Stroud, GL5 1DZ.