What People Wish You Knew About Their Grief at Christmas
While the holidays are typically a reason for joy and happiness, it may not be the case for everyone. To those who have recently lost a loved one, they may be having a hard time handling grief at Christmas. It’s hard, really hard. Even though we may not be able to take away our loved ones’ pain as they grieve through this holiday season, there still are some things you can do to help them throughout the season.
How to Handle Grief at Christmas
Be aware of these simple things grieving people wish you knew during Christmas. These will help with handling grief at Christmas, while still making it a great holiday season.
Someone is Always Missing
Even if you are taking an amazing holiday getaway with someone who is grieving, they will still be sad. It is not necessarily the place or the vacation, but rather the person who is missing from the scene. It is challenging to go on a fun adventure when you lost your adventure buddy of all the previous years. They can and still have fun, but they will always be reminded of the person missing from the fun as well.
Social Settings are a Challenge
It is a challenge to talk small talk with people, especially new people. When you meet someone new, there is always the dreaded question about your family, which leads to explaining and relieving the death of a loved one. It is also hard to go to a party without your spouse who has previously gone, or go when everyone knows your child has passed.
Social gatherings will never be the same again. It is crucial to let your loved one who is grieving know that you completely understand if they would rather not come. Explain that it is okay to cancel at the last minute as well. If you want them there, offer to be their buddy throughout it all, to guide them out of hard situations and conversations and be there for them in their time of need.
Grief can be Awkward
For some people, grief is awkward. They don’t like getting tons of sympathy looks and stares. They don’t want to hear how sorry you are for something, not in your control. For others, they take longer to grieve and feel weird and hurt when family members simply don’t understand why they can’t move on yet.
Other times family members might be awkward around the situation while the griever is not. They aren’t sure how to bring up, while the griever is perfectly fine with talking about what happened. Losing a loved one is a hard conversation for both parties. Be willing and open to talk about it, if the griever brings it up. If not, just be supportive of whatever they decide to talk about.
It is Normal to Cry
Don’t be bothered if your loved one cries during the holidays. It is perfectly normal and okay to cry. Losing someone is so hard, especially during a time that is supposed to be joyous. Let them cry, let them talk to you, share in their grief’ it will help more than you realize.
It is Hard to Remember Joy in Christmas
With someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, it can be hard to see why Christmas should even be happy and joyous. Be patient with them. Share with them that the birth of Christ ended with death as well. But not a mournful death; it was a conquering moment, which is the same for your loved one filled with grief during this Christmas season.
Be aware of those you come in contact with this holiday season who are grieving. Let them know you love them and will support them with whatever they need. Follow their lead, and be okay with whatever happens. Remember that for some, Christmas is not always as joyous as they would like it to be and that it is okay. Grief is a challenging thing to overcome, but you can help by following these five tips for handling grief at Christmas.