Christmas is a time for celebration, laughs and happiness but it is not this way for everyone. If this is the first Christmas without a loved one it can be hard. With some advice from friends who have been in this position I am sharing a few tips of how you can help someone grieving over Christmas and New Year.
It is important to try not to change who you are and be natural with your friend. They don’t want you to be walking on eggshells and treating them differently. Be tactful but not different. They will appreciate you for being supportive. Whatever you do try to avoid not contacting them if you normally would.
Help them with essentials
If your friend is struggling to do things like shopping then offering to help could make a real difference. It isn’t just food and gifts they may need help with but also difficult things like choosing memorial headstones.
When everyone is busy over Christmas and New Year it is easy to get caught up with your own celebrations but for someone who needs to choose a headstone, flowers or wreath this could be a time they really need support.
Talk about the person who has died
I have heard many times that people avoid talking to someone about the person they have lost. This is something bereaved people find difficult.
That person was important to them and they still are. Someone dying does not make them disappear from your life so talking about them still is important.
Text and call
When you lose someone who lives with you it can be really hard to get through important days with that empty seat at the table and everyone else so busy.
A simple text or call can make all the difference in showing people still think of them.
Include them in your plans
If they used to spend a lot of time with the person who has passed away then remember they may feel that this is a big gap and want to be away from the house.
If you invite them to spend time with you make sure it is not out of sympathy and showing you actually would love their company. Of course, they may prefer to be alone grieving so do accept this.
Do you have any tips? Maybe you have been bereaved at Christmas and have found something particularly supportive? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.
This is the first Christmas without my Hudson which I am going to find very hard, I am dreading Christmas as he used to get so excited & loved this time of the year.
This will be the 3rd Christmas without my Dad and it’s his birthday tomorrow so this is relevant to me. It’s really thoughtful of you to write this blog and making people aware that being kind and supportive really does help and not being afraid to talk about the deceased. After all, they’re still very much in our hearts even though they’ve gone and as memories are all that’s left, it’s nice being able to talk about them cos it make us feel they’re still with us somehow. RTd via twitter @lesleyarenshaw