Christmas is coming; When I am on my way to the clinic in Marqués del Turia, I see that Valencia begins to decorate itself, to be filled with lights, ornaments, colors and joy.
Christmas is the quintessential time of the year of peace and happiness, to gather together as a family to celebrate. However, for some people who have just lost a loved one, it can be a very painful time of year . Everything we have around us invites to have fun, to celebrate, to share the joy, and yet for those who have suffered a loss recently, this party atmosphere contrasts with the sadness one feels and the pain one suffers. Even people who are religious experience a great contradiction before the celebration of the birth of Christ and the death of a loved one, it is a difficult moment without a doubt.
Therefore, these parties are a great challenge for these people who, in the face of intensified memories and emotions, feel very sad about that loss and also feel guilty.
Some of my patients tell me that laughing, having fun, or enjoying a celebration creates a great sense of guilt and feelings constantly confronted. During Christmas, it is very common to appear this feeling of guilt and feel bad, because everything invites you to celebrate and enjoy with your family. If you or a family member or friend of yours are going through this situation, I would like to explain that there are some guidelines to manage the Christmas period more pleasantly.
- Related article: ” The duel: facing the loss of a loved one“
Guidelines to manage Christmas before the death of a loved one
Here are some tips that help overcome the phase of grief when we suffer from the loss of a loved one.
1. Talk and plan as a family what you are going to do
The first thing that I would like to recommend is that if it is a direct family member, you have a family reunion to plan the parties, which celebrations are going to be held and which are not, in case you do not want to do some, and agree everything in family.
2. Let yourself be loved by others
Even if you are empty or empty, try to appreciate the signs of affection that other people give you , and open your heart.
- You may be interested: ” The 4 types of love: what kinds of love exist?“
3. Let yourself go and enjoy these dates and the rest of the family, they also need you
Let yourself be carried away by the spirit of Christmas, peace and love, although it seems hard on the one hand, on the other, it is a good scenario to face the loss, and to pass that duel that we all have to go through when a family member leaves us. What better way to do it as a family, in company, remembering it, and gradually overcoming its loss.
4. Create a reminder
Another guideline that works for many people is to remember the person who has left with a symbol . For example, put a candle, frame a beautiful photo that we have of the person and put it in a visible place during all Christmas, put an ornament on the Christmas tree that reminds us of the person, make a photo album and share it with the family during these days, etc.
5. Do not avoid the subject
On many occasions it is avoided to name the person because it hurts to talk about it, but it is beneficial to remember it, especially on these dates . For example, before dinner, you can say a few words, or ask for a toast, or perform a special action for that person, such as doing a mass in his honor, for example.
6. Do not feel bad for laughing, enjoy with family or friends
Surely that person who has left would like you to enjoy these moments and remember her with joy.
7. Adapt this process to your needs
Despite all this I say, first of all you have to understand that everyone needs their own grieving process, their times , either one way or another. There are people who need to cry and others do not, there are people who need to express their feelings and other people do not need it, or cannot, or decide to do so at another time.
First of all, everyone has to respect themselves, and be patient with their own feelings. Gradually everything will return to its course, but you have to give yourself time . In some cases, yes, grief becomes an insurmountable process by oneself, and the help of a professional is needed. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or need more information. A psychology professional can help you overcome stages that you may not be able to face alone.
I hope I’ve helped.