For me, I absolutely adore Christmas time. It is my favorite time of the year..In my household, Christmas lasts between October-February. Sadly, I lost my grandfather in 2015 during/after the festive period and it has truly sculpted the way I am today. I was extremely close to my grandfather and knew he was unwell, however, it was unexpected that we would lose him at that time. I was lucky enough to have got to spend Boxing Day with him. We had a lot of fun. Eating, playing games, competing for the prize in the crackers, and most importantly laughing. It is one of the memories of my grandfather that I will cherish forever, as 2 weeks later I got the news that he passed away. When I look back on it, I didn’t suspect anything at the time. He seemed his usually bright and joking self. But I now know how different he looked and acted, he was truly poorly. I was glad to have seen him that day as it was one of the last times I got to see him and it was very nice that we got to spend his last Christmas as a family.
Again, we were fortunate to have got to spend Christmas with my godfather. But for others, some don’t have this luck. If this applies to you, there are many ways to cope with loss during the holidays.For example;
- If you’re from the UK, Samaritans are open to help throughout the Christmas period if you feel like your bereavement is making you feel like everything is getting too much or if you are suicidal. Alternatively for those who don’t live in the UK, search your national suicide helpline, as it is likely that they will provide services throughout the festivities too.
- Surround yourself with family members, as this is what Christmas time is all about. Reflect on your loved one as a family and remember them with celebrations and happiness.
- Be gentle with yourself. Don’t feel guilty about grieving.
- Allow others to help. No doubt that some of these people are feeling sad about the loss too, therefore helping each other can make you feel more supported.
- Be good to yourself. Eat, sleep, bathe, exercise and cry. All of these are important to make sure you stay healthy. Don’t neglect essential needs.
Please don’t feel like you’re alone if this applies to you. You have more support than you think, and we at Teenagers With Experience wish you a very Happy Christmas and hope that you can find a sense of release soon. -Court