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Grief at Christmas 
and during the Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again when the energy in the community is in a celebratory mode. However, for those of us that have experienced a loss we may struggle with the whole thought of the holiday season and all that goes with it.

We may dread the thought of trying to cope when loss is still raw or grief is triggered by the reminders of our loss.

Particularly if we have experienced the death of a loved one in recent years, the impact of the pandemic has made itself felt. We have experienced that extra layer of restrictions excluding us from our usual support systems of physical contact and human touch with family and friends, along with minimisation of funerals and the usual systems that would support us through our grief.

The experience of grief is so individual and the roller coaster of emotions unique to each person over time. Navigating Christmas and the holiday season can be exhausting both physically and emotionally … go gently!

We may be left with a sense of dread in the face of the celebrations and joyous greetings of all around us, wanting simply to run away or avoid the ‘holiday joy’ when a vacant space in our heart is prominent in our being.

There is a way through this … trust yourself as to what you need and NALAG may be able to assist you in recognising the continuing bonds that can support you through this year and future years as well.

Supporting Children and Young People

This holiday season,
we remember all of those
who left us too soon.
We remember you
in the morning,
in the night,
when we look at the stars,
a song, a place, a smell.
You are always with us.

Candle and Berries

Those we love can never be more than a thought away.
For as long as there's a memory,
they live in our hearts to stay.

Christmas and the holiday season can be an extremely difficult time for children, young people and families especially when a parent, sibling or other significant person has died, or because other circumstances prevent that special person being with them.

 

Coping with grief around Christmas and the holiday season can be tough for everyone and the feelings of loss and grief can be especially hard during this time. NALAG’s recommendation is to prepare for this difficult time, and plan ahead.  

 

Top Ten Tips for Coping with Grief During the Holiday Season

1.

Talk together as a family; discuss how they feel and ask what they want to do.

 

2.

Take time for them to remember their loved one who has died or who will not be with them.

 

3.

Light a candle in memory of your loss.

 

4.

Making a special remembrance symbol, placing the person’s name and a message on it.

 

5.

Place a photo of the person in a quiet space in your home or a special item like their favourite hat.

6.

Visit the cemetery or special place of remembrance and write a message on a card or place flowers at the site.

 

7.

Let your children know that it is still ok to laugh and have fun during this time.

8.

Have an escape plan for events and activities that may be triggering.

9.

Volunteer or donate to a charity in memory of your loved one.

10.

Remember, support is always available. For 24/7 crisis support during the holiday season, call

Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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Additional Resources

Click the link below to visit NALAG's Resources webpage.

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