A red banner image with the words, coping with grief at Christmas. There is gold glitter down each side of the banner image.

For some people, grief can be more intense during the holiday season, whether it’s your first Christmas without a loved one, or they passed away many years ago. Despite all of the festivities, you might feel angry towards people around you, or anxious about the season and wondering how you will get through it without your loved one. 

Sue Ryder and Cruse outline helpful tips and things to remember if you are experience grief this holiday season: 

  • Plan a Christmas you are comfortable with – If it doesn’t feel right for you, you don’t need to have Christmas as usual. Give yourself permission to do what you want to do and be kind to yourself. Once you have decided how you want to spend Christmas, be open to your friends and family about this so they can support you. 
  • Accept that others may be grieving differently to you – People remember and mourn in different ways, which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and arguments between families. Try to be as sensitive as you can to others needs so that you can all support one another. 
  • Consider old and new traditions – Keeping with old traditions can bring back memories of your loved one, and could be difficult to upkeep, especially if they are hard to carry out without them. Don’t be afraid to alter these traditions, or to start new ones, as this might also help others who are struggling with grief around you too. 
  • Talk to someone – If you are struggling with grief over the festive season, it’s very important to speak to someone, even if this isn’t family or friends.  
A graphic cartoon style image of two women sitting. One is holding the others hand as she looks upset and has her eyes closed.

Please see below suggestions on where you can find support: 

  • Sue Ryder – Support people through grief and bereavement with their online bereavement support services, community and counselling. 
  • Cruse – Bereavement support – Call their free helpline on 0808 808 1677. 
  • Child Bereavement UK – Supports families through child bereavement and supports grieving children - call 0800 02 888 40 or chat with their team online. 
  • Sands – Information and support for anyone affected by the death of a baby - 0808 164 3332 
  • Mind – have resources, sign posting and support for people experiencing grief- their helpline is 0300 123 3393. 
  • Samaritans – 24/7 support for anyone who needs to talk – freephone 116 123. 

Please note that this article has not been written by a healthcare professional, and if you are struggling with your mental wellbeing it is important to speak to a GP. 

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