How to deal with grief and loss at Christmas



CRYING together is so less painful than crying alone.

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Losing a loved one is difficult at the best of times, however, Christmas is especially difficult.

After attending a seminar on Grief and Loss at Christmas by Doris Zagdanski, a leading figure in modern day grief and loss, I walked away with some thoughts on dealing with grief, not limited to Christmas, for the entire grieving process.

There is no set time for grieving to finish, grief can take years if not decades to come to terms with.

According to Ms Zagdanski, “You are the expert on your grief.”

There is no timeline, no right or wrong way and sometimes well-meaning family and friends may say, “Move on, but where to?”

‘Welcome to Holland’ by Emily Kingsley, is an exceptional analogy of describing how life can change.

Grief is any loss that we did not want.

She also said, that we need to deal with grief as it happens because if we don’t, “Your grief will come and find you, so you might as well be found.”

If you feel like following your traditions, do that, if you feel you can’t possibly then don’t, both options are absolutely right for you.

If you’re a friend of a grieving person you can send cards, you can mention the name of the lost loved one.

It is ok to send a card saying “Thinking of you and missing (name)”. It is ok to acknowledge the loved one, follow up with a phone call perhaps.

Ask family what they would like to do to remember their loved one, can be setting a place for them at the table, partaking in a tradition they enjoyed or lighting a candle, whatever will work for those grieving is ok.

Please seek support, it is available, head to

‘Welcome to Holland’, is readily available through google search.

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By Mandy ELLIS

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