Although pain never really goes away following the loss of someone close to you, the sense of loss can feel greater on some days than it does on others, particularly during the holidays.
Whether it is your first or tenth Christmas without a loved one, the festive season can be a difficult time filled with painful reminders.
We have put together some tips and coping mechanisms to help you cope with your grief throughout the Christmas period.
Talk To Others
You are likely not alone in your grief. You should speak to others that are grieving to find out how they are doing and what they are feeling.
It may also be considerate of you to ask if they have any wishes, and you may want to express your own, so as to not cause any additional upset.
For example, some people may feel it is too painful to talk about the person they lost, whereas others may appreciate having someone to talk to about them.
Some families find it comforting and honourable to continue with old traditions.
However, others may find it too painful to carry on with traditions in the absence of a loved one. If that is the case for you, why not start a new tradition?
Find ways to commemorate your loved one and include them in your Christmas day.
You could visit a special place, light a candle, read a poem, have their favourite food or drink, listen to their favourite song, send up a balloon, or buy a commemorative ornament for the tree.
You may wish to visit their grave or the place where their ashes were scattered, and leave something for them, such as a card or flowers, or simply talk to them.
Keep the memory of someone who has died alive by sharing your memories of them with others, and ask them to share their memories of them with you.
You could go around the room and each share a funny story, your favourite memory, or the best or worst gift they got you or jokes that they told.
Look After Yourself
It may be difficult, but it is important that you remember to take care of yourself.
Not only does this mean embracing your emotions and letting yourself grieve, but also allowing yourself to have fun and enjoy yourself, without feeling guilty.
Try to stick to a routine as best you can. If it all gets a bit too overwhelming, you can always take a step back and have a breather. However, be sure not to isolate yourself.
Ask For Help
Do not be afraid to reach out to someone for a chat, or to ask for support if you need it.
If you are struggling and feel you do not have anyone to talk to, you should seek professional bereavement support.