When I was asked to write this blog, I thought to myself this will be a real challenge, as I lost my beloved mum this year. She was my soulmate, my queen and my best friend. Also there have been so many deaths this year more than I can remember. I really do not know how I have coped. Life without her is empty there is a big void in my heart.
I can hear her saying “Claudette don’t get upset, move forward and enjoy yourself and try to remember the good times”
It is very important to remember that grief is a very personal thing and everybody is different, and will experience different emotions. Also it depends to a certain extent how the loved one died. My mum used to love Christmas she was very religious she had her special table set up with pictures of loved ones, she was the only one in the family to do this. She loved putting up the decorations and listening to Christmas carols.
Some people may not wish to celebrate Christmas at all as they find it too painful. Often there can be conflict in the families. However some people like to carry on as normal and have a routine.
Here are just some tips which may help you during the holiday season:
- Be sensitive to others needs, remember people grieve differently.
- Do not use alcohol to escape pain it provides only a temporary relief watch your intake of alcohol.
- Try to keep to regular sleep patterns, rest if you need to.
- Eat healthy and get fresh air.
- Be kind to yourself there is no right or wrong way to grieve, ask for help if you need it.
- Visit the grave or place of rest of your loved one and lay a wreath.
- Identify people that may be able to offer support if you need it.
- Avoid people who cause you stress.
- Prioritize and do not over commit yourself.
- Plan at least one thing that you like e.g. watch a favorite television program.
- Say a prayer and light a candle for your loved one.
- Create an online tribute.
- Make a toast, raise a glass in memory of your loved one.
- Donate to a charity that your loved one liked or supported.
Acknowledge and accept emotions, you may experience sadness, anger or frustration. This is all normal embrace your emotions and allow yourself to feel them. Reminisce and remember the good times.
If you need help here are some organizations that can offer support.
www.cruse.org.uk 0208-939-9530 helpline 0808-808-1677
www.samaritans.com Samaritans 08457-90-90-90
Compassionate friends 0345-123-2304 Northern Ireland 0288- 77- 88- 016
I hope that you can find and draw some comfort this Christmas.
Wishing you all a happy Christmas and a happy new year.
Claudette is a passionate campaigner and activist for mental health stigma and domestic abuse. She believes that everyone should be treated equally regardless of their disability or gender. She has diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, endometriosis, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. Claudette has a certificate in Management studies. Her interests include beauty, makeup, animals politics, current affairs and social networking.