The holiday of Christmas is drawing near, and as I go through Marqués del Turia on my way to the clinic, I notice that Valencia is beginning to be decked out for the occasion, becoming filled with lights, decorations, colors, and joy. In This blog we are talking about How to manage Christmas in the face of the death of a loved one.
Christmas is, without a doubt the most wonderful time of the year, a time when joy and tranquility reign supreme and when families get together to rejoice. However, for those who have just suffered the loss of a loved one, this time of year may be an extremely difficult and sad period.
This merry mood starkly contrasts the melancholy that is experienced and the grief endured by individuals who have just lost someone close to them.
Everything that we have around us extends an open invitation to have a good time, to celebrate, and to join in our happiness. It is without a doubt a trying time because even pious people feel as though they are caught in the middle of a profound paradox when they are simultaneously commemorating the birth of Christ and the passing of a loved one.
Because of this, the holidays pose a significant problem for such individuals since they are forced to confront memories and heightened sentiments at a time when they are already experiencing a great deal of melancholy and guilt due to the loss.
Some of my patients have reported to me that smiling, having a good time, or taking pleasure in a celebration can significantly increase feelings of guilt and the need to continually address them.
Because everything around us encourages us to rejoice and have fun with our families throughout the holiday season, it is extremely normal for feelings of guilt and feeling awful to surface at this time of year.
If you, a member of your family, or a close friend are going through this circumstance, I would want to use this opportunity to explain some suggestions that may assist you in coping with the Christmas season in a more pleasurable manner.
Guidelines for managing Christmas before the death of a loved one
When we grieve the death of a loved one, the mourning phase can be difficult to go through. The following are some suggestions that might assist.
Talk and plan as a family what you are going to do
The first bit of advice I have for you is that if it is a direct relative, you should call a family conference to plan the next holidays.
At this meeting, you should discuss which festivities are going to be conducted and which ones are not going to be held, in case certain members of the family do not wish for certain celebrations to take place, and you should reach a consensus on everything within the family.
Let yourself be loved by others
Try to open your heart and accept the displays of affection that other people give you, even if you feel as though you have nothing left to give anybody else.
Let yourself go and enjoy these dates and the rest of the family, they need you too
It may be difficult on the one hand, but on the other, it is an excellent situation to face the loss and go through that sadness that we all have to go through when a member of our family passes away.
Allow yourself to be taken away by the spirit of Christmas, peace, and love. What could be more appropriate than to do it together as a family, surrounded by other people, remembering him the whole time and gradually getting over his loss?
Create a reminder
One further piece of advice that many people find useful is to associate a symbol with the person who has passed away in order to remember them.
For instance, we may light a candle, create a picture book to show our loved ones around this time of year, decorate our Christmas tree with an ornament that brings back fond memories of the person who passed away, or any number of other activities.
Christmas Fact For You: Christmas has been banned in the past.
In the mid-17th century, the Puritan-led English Parliament banned Christmas celebrations in favor of a day of fasting.
Don’t avoid the topic
There are many situations in which mentioning the person is avoided because it is painful to do so; yet, it is important to keep in mind that it was useful to do so, particularly on certain anniversaries.
You may, for instance, say a few words before supper, or you could ask for a toast, or you could conduct a particular deed for that person, such as reciting a mass in their honor, for example. There are many other options.
Don’t feel bad for laughing, enjoy it with family or friends
You may be sure that the person who has passed away would want you to take pleasure in the present and remember them with happiness.
Adapt this process to your needs
Regardless of anything else I express, the most important thing is that we comprehend the fact that every single one of us needs our very own method of mourning as well as our very own timeframes, regardless of how it manifests itself.
Some individuals feel the need to weep, while others do not, and some people feel the need to express their sentiments, while others either do not feel the need to, are unable to, or choose to do so later.
During the holiday season, managing the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming and emotional. However, it’s important to remember that finding solace and even moments of joy is possible amidst the grief.
Self-care is crucial during this time, as is allowing yourself to grieve and seeking support from friends and family. Incorporating new traditions or honoring the memory of the departed loved one can provide a sense of connection and continuity.
By acknowledging the pain, practicing self-compassion, and finding ways to remember and celebrate the life of the person you’ve lost, it’s possible to navigate this difficult period with resilience and a sense of healing.
Remember that you are not alone, and there is no right or wrong way to cope with grief during the holiday season.