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23rd November 2018

Coping at Christmas: After the Death of a Loved One

The first 12 months after you lose someone are full of unwelcome firsts. Occasions often bring back memories of joy alongside the grief of missing out on those precious moments together.

   

Your first Christmas after losing a partner, parent or child is often a time of dread and sorrow. Add to that the seasonal change of less daylight and it is no surprise that this time of year can be the most difficult for those who have recently (or not so recently) lost someone close to them.

   

If you are grieving, here are some top tips that you may find useful to consider as we lead up to Christmas:

 

  • Talk about your loved one – share memories and stories about them. Keeping it all inside will be more painful and the rest of your family will enjoy talking together and remembering the happy moments you all shared.
 
  • Don’t feel guilty for enjoying yourself. The clichés are true – ‘life goes on’ and your loved one would want you to enjoy the festive period. It is not disrespectful to laugh during dark times; in fact, sometimes it’s the only way to get through them!
 
  • Enjoy a Christmas drink but avoiding numbing the pain with alcohol. This will only make you feel worse in the long run.
 
  • Find a way to honour your lost one on Christmas Day. Whether it is a toast before lunch, reading a poem, visiting their grave, playing a meaningful song or lighting a candle. It can be helpful to take a quiet moment to yourself to remember them.
 

  • Be gentle and realistic with yourself. If you can’t face the office Christmas party or bear to write out Christmas cards this year – then don’t! If cooking for everyone on Christmas Day is overwhelming, then ask someone else to host. There is always next year and people will understand.
 
  • Take care of yourself. Make sure you are eating and sleeping well along with getting some exercise to keep your mind and body working well during this difficult time.
 
  • Surround yourself with support. Don’t suffer alone, surround yourself with understanding family and friends who will support you through your grief and give you a Christmas you deserve.
 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it is help with the shopping, decorating or shovelling snow, don’t struggle alone. Ask a neighbour, friend or family member to lend a hand. If you are desperately struggling and need emotional support over Christmas reach out to professionals or contact a support service such as the Samaritans. They understand how difficult this time of year can be for those who have been bereaved and can offer guidance.
   

If you have lost a loved one and need legal assistance this December, our kind and professional Private Client Team will be in the office up to Midday on Christmas Eve and will return on Thursday 27 December. Call us on 01256 844888 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com for legal advice.

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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