For most the Christmas Holiday season is a happy occasion. A relaxing and enjoyable time spent with family and friends. However, this is not always the case and can be especially difficult when someone you love has died and you are left to face this season without them. If this is your reality this year, we want to provide some simple suggestions to help you navigate this challenging time.

First, acknowledge that this year is going to be different. Give yourself permission to do things differently from what you would traditionally do. Keep your plans flexible so you can opt out of events and gatherings if you do not feel up to being social. It is ok to take things quietly if you want to.

Second, acknowledge the person who has died. This can be done in several ways. For example, you might still buy them a gift, donate to charity in their memory, or light a candle on Christmas day. It might also be appropriate when you are gathered with family to share treasured memories with each other. Taking a moment to remember and even shed a tear is a good thing to do.

Third, nourish yourself. Do things that feed the soul and build you up. This might be a walk on the beach, reading, meditation, spending time with family, pursuing hobbies or whatever works for you. For many Christmas means good food and drink and while we encourage you to have a good time, we would caution you about over doing things (especially alcohol).

As you go through this season we offer our continued support. Our assistance does not end with the funeral, so if there is anything we can do to help don’t hesitate to reach out. If you are finding this time overwhelming additional support (including counselling) is available through our bereavement support service. As always, we have team members working through the period who are only a phone call away 09 4158720.