LOSS AFTER LOVE; CHALLENGES DURING THE FESTIVE PERIOD
Loss and grief is something that every single human being will experience at some time in their lives, and so we are never alone in this, however, despite this, it can still feel like a very lonely and overwhelming experience when we are in it. Grief can often feel more difficult at certain times of the year, for example, when there is often more talk around family and loved ones getting together to celebrate, and those that are now missing from our lives are remembered, we may find ourselves feeling sad and overwhelmed, wishing they were still with us.
There is no quick fix where grief or loss are concerned, and there isn’t an answer or a strategy on how to cope, but there are certainly some things that we can consider at the most challenging of times.
Patience is one of the main gifts you can give yourself during these times. I have often heard people saying things like, ‘I thought it would feel easier by now’ or ‘It’s been so long I should be feeling different by now’ and many other versions of this. There are no ‘should’ and ‘should not’s’ when it comes to grief. There also isn’t a timeline. It takes as long as it takes for the intensity of feelings to ease, and these feelings can also come in waves, particularly as I already mentioned, around the festive season, birthdays and anniversaries and so on.
Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Grieving doesn’t have a start and an end date, we are not waiting until it just disappears and then we won’t feel loss or pain anymore. Therefore when it does feel particularly overwhelming, notice how you talk to yourself, avoid judgment and criticism and show yourself love and compassion, especially at the times you need it most.
Understanding and awareness is also key. There are various stages of grief we can go through such as denial, anger, depression, but these are not linear stages and so you may find that you dip in and out of the stages, and this is perfectly OK. It can be comforting to know that everything you are experiencing is normal and to be expected. Although grief is something we all experience, how we deal with it and manage it doesn’t need to be the same for everyone. Follow your own gut instinct and give yourself permission to grieve YOUR way.
If you are facing the festive season and feeling like you are dreading this time and want it to be over with quickly due to feeling the sad loss of a loved one, then it’s important to consider lowering your expectations of yourself and your feelings. It’s OK if you don’t want to socialise much. It’s Ok if you don’t want to decorate your home. It’s OK if you want to spend time alone. Equally it’s also OK if you still want to celebrate and make the most of the time you have with friends and family, it’s OK if you want to decorate your home more than ever before! We are still OK to enjoy our time and socialise when we are grieving too. We can experience the whole range of emotions in equal measures, and there is no need to feel guilty about that as feelings are not fixed, they ebb and flow naturally, and the less we resist all of them, the more peace we will feel in our loves day to day.
Overall, it’s really about you seeking comfort in people and things or ways that make you feel more at ease, and that will vary for everyone. From myself and the team at Brood, for anyone feeling grief, sadness or loss, we are sending you lots of love. I wanted to finish with a little quote that gave me comfort when I lost very special people in my life over the years.
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. Alfred Lord Tennyson
Article by Sarie Taylor
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