Grief and Christmas always come hand in hand for me and for many others. 

I still recall as a child my great Aunty dying on Christmas Day. I also remember how sad my mother was the first Christmas after her own mothers recent death. 

Personally Christmas was difficult for a few years when we were trying to conceive. Especially so after our miscarriages it was a triggering time of year. 

Then 7 years to the day today my own father died on the 1st of December. Which always prompts this kind of Christmas post.

I know my grief stories are not unique. Many many have mixed feelings about this time of year. 

If it’s not grief, than it may be exhaustion or stress. So how can we walk along side grief when it feels like we need to be feeling the festive cheer?

Firstly, we show ourselves grace and compassion. We acknowledge our feelings of hurt and allow ourselves time and space to feel them. It’s ok not to be joyful for all of December! 

We then knuckle down on holding our boundaries. Lean into what feels good and what is energy draining. If something doesn’t feel good for you, or feels triggering put in your boundaries and don’t attend or do that thing. For example: don’t go to the extended family Xmas party if you don’t want to deal with questions about “when are you having a baby” etc.

Thirdly, we create room to honour our grief and losses. Bring in ritual and ceremony that your family can be involved with. It may be special decorations in honour of your lost loved one, a visit to the cemetery, candles lit with their photos, a donation in their honour. 

Reach out for support. The festive season is high demand for agencies who assist those less fortunate or have mental health issues. So if you are feeling fragile get help early. Do not try and just push through. 

So today I honour my grief by lighting candles, buying my dads favourite flowers (Australian natives), Journalling, showing myself grace, looking at photos and talking to my kids about him.  How do you honour grief and loss during the festive season? Feel free to share in comments or DM.

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