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Festive Highs and Lows: Navigating the holiday's through grief

The holiday season is often a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, the season can also be a time of intense sadness and grief. The festive atmosphere can serve as a stark reminder of the person lost, and the absence of their presence can make the holidays feel hollow and incomplete.

Festive Highs

Despite the challenges, there can also be moments of genuine happiness during the holidays. Sharing traditions with loved ones, creating new memories, and feeling the warmth of community can provide some respite from grief and offer a sense of hope and comfort.

Festive Lows

However, the festive atmosphere can also trigger painful memories and intensify feelings of sadness and loneliness. Seeing old friends and family who haven't yet experienced loss can be difficult, as it can highlight the emptiness in your own life. Additionally, the pressure to be happy and cheerful during the holidays can make you feel guilty for feeling sad.

As much as I enjoy Christmas It's a mixed bag of emotions, with high expectations for something magical and memorable to be experienced that's never quite met.

Christmas in the 1980's, 90's was something that felt really special, when all my family were together. Although not a huge family, I have wonderful memories of the love, enjoyment and happy times with my mum, dad, sister, grandparents and extended family and friends.

When we lose a family member it can be difficult to imagine how life can be the same again. For me, losing my mum at 17 transformed my life. Things were never the same again.

Christmas is quite poignant as this is the time of year where everything changed. So every year Christmas is a reminder of things that once were and that will never be again.

As much as I've moved on many years later, I can honestly say each Christmas since has never lived up to my expectations. Maybe I've not been around the right people to help my Christmas Spirit Live on... Maybe it's because I've grown up and lost that sparkle and magic, or maybe it's because my immediate family have never spent Christmas Day together since.

Losing a loved one is a big life changing event, So it's not surprising that it's difficult to adapt to life without them at special events through the year.

Even if they hadn't passed, life is never constant so we'd be experiencing seasonal events differently as we age, have children, move home.

I think for me it's the fact that I was still a child so it's kinda stuck in my head that this celebration has been cut short for me.

How I've coped over the years

  • Lighting a candle : I bought a candle holder with my mums name on that I light a candle in each year

  • Church: I visit the Christmas Eve Carols Service at church to open up my heart to the festive season.

  • Jewellery: I like to wear my mums broches, she used to wear them at Christmas

  • Walks: I love to walk the streets of an evening, gaze into people's window's look at the Christmas Dec's and feel that warmth in my heart wondering what other people's Christmas' are like. Feeling the gratitude for some solo time to feel and sense peace.

Not particularly at Christmas but over the years since losing my mum I have been to various clairvoyant's for readings as I felt such loss I needed some form of additional comfort. Interestingly, she chose not to communicate very often. Instead I connected with my grandfather, who would bring her forth a couple of times. She was very particular about not sharing our business with everyone so this made sense. I don't feel the need to do this now it's 27 year on. This may be something you choose to do, although i know it's not for everyone. For me I felt the small messages I received helped me to move on and to encourage me to succeed in life.

My Suggestions for Coping Strategies:

  • Focus on your self care needs: what lights you up? how can you find ways to do this? It could be going to your local village to listen the brass band, watch the light switch on, or it could be choosing not to participate in the festivities at all.

-I have an online self paced course Roots to Abundance that can help you ignite your inner light. It's full of nuggets of gentle movement, meditation, mindfulness and self care practices that can fill your heart with love again.

-Maybe you enjoy a massage, or Reiki - There's an abundance of practitioners if you google, If you are looking for Distance Reiki I can help you out, feel free to message me.

-Reading, arts and crafts, finding a hobby that brings you joy. Even a walking group to socialise and make friends. I know a couple if you'd like some guidance.

  • Ask for help: there's many good people ready to bring you a meal for your Christmas dinner, places that welcome those without family. Or generally offer support.

-Local Community Centre's is a great place to start

-Age Concern

-Family Hubs

-Carers Centres and Councils


  • Connect with your community: they have gatherings, events to help support everyone. Social media have many groups set up to connect with those who've experienced loss, there may be one that suits your needs.

For now, I'm taking each Christmas as it comes, allowing the tears to flow when needed, savouring the memories but also making small steps to enjoy myself, even if it's a meal out, a couple of glasses of bubbly, a cosy night in, connecting with my family where I can, either online or face to face. Knowing that Christmas is what you make it, it's not always about all that jazz like I thought it's time to embrace what you have.

Wishing you a gentle energy to flow over you this Christmas, please feel free to reach out should you even want to chat. My door is open.

Blessings Louise

Peace and Presence Wellbeing

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1 Comment

I have to admit your memories of your Mum brought tears to my eyes. I seem to have lost a number of close relatives these past few years including my wife and eldest daughter and somehow Christmas isn't the same anymore despite the valiant efforts of my youngest daughter to see me through this sad time of year. God bless you.

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