image

How to keep lost loved ones alive at Christmas

It doesn’t matter if you lost a loved one last week, last year or 11 years ago. Come Christmas, there’s a big aching hole at the table, in the room, and in your heart.

Because there are so many family traditions woven into everything we do throughout December, it can be a really difficult time of year, but ensuring you remember those you’ve loved and lost can really help to keep them alive.

Get everyone involved on the first Christmas

The first Christmas without that certain someone is normally the toughest. It’s likely you’ll want to start sobbing the second you wake up, and as the day unfolds, every festive act can make memories spiral. It’s tough when the emotions are still so raw, but turning this into a positive can really help.

If your mum was the big organiser at Christmas, you’ll want to remember her. If your partner always made the mulled one, you’ll enjoy toasting them as you slurp that first glass. If your dad was the first to kick off charades, you should definitely play it in his honour.

It won’t be easy, but by getting everyone together and asking non-blood relatives to take the lead in raising a glass (just in case the lump in your throat is stopping you from saying something, even when you really want to), it’s a chance to remember those who aren’t with us any more, and keep them being a part of your Christmas celebrations.

Share those memories

View this post on Instagram

Well, that was an emotional one, but the tree’s up… Cheers Mum. Miss you so much

A post shared by Claire Richardson (also Spreadbury) (@clarabell1979) on

“Talk about the person you have lost,” says Donna Lancaster, grief counsellor and co-founder of The Bridge Retreat (thebridgeretreat.com). “Share together all of your happy memories of them from over the years; the funny stories and individual quirks that made them so special to you all. Get out the photos and film clips and celebrate their life. Allow yourselves to laugh and cry together in honour of the love you all shared.”

Celebrate their life as well as Christmas

Create a simple area in the home dedicated to your lost love one, suggests Lancaster. Display photographs and meaningful objects in a cluster, then for December, you could add a festive candle and light it each morning as a symbol of their presence.

Do what they did around the festivities

“Play their favourite Christmas games, sing the festive songs they enjoyed and watch the films that they loved,” suggests Lancaster. “Go for walks together along the route they used to take. Make sure they’re felt through all the many ways you share the festive season together as a family.”

Make a toast

That toast really is so important. If it’s all you can manage to squeak out the words, ‘To absent friends’, before you all raise a glass – that will do. It can be so, so hard. But everyone who’s there with you at that precise time knows exactly who you’re thinking of, and everyone will think of them too. If you want to raise money or awareness for charities that are connected, it’s also a good time to pick something to sign up to the following year, so you’re doing something positive. Ensuring lost loved ones remain a part of your Christmas Day is something that will bring you so much happiness every year.

The following two tabs change content below.

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
Cosmopolitan
16th Dec 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I lost my beloved husband 15 months ago and the pain stays with me every day. I am finding the run up to Christmas this year just as hard as I did last year. Last Christmas was just a blur to me, I went through the motions for the sake of my grandchildren who were excited about the visit from Santa, but inside I was churning up at the thought of having to pretend everything was all right. To be perfectly honest, all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry. This year I have been trying harder to accept invitations to go out, but inside, my heart is just broken and weary of trying to be "happy". I doubt the pain will ever go away, but like everyone else in this situation, we have to accept what has happened and learn to live with the pain.
I hope you all find the comfort you are looking for this Christmas.
MartinC58
16th Dec 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I lost my wife 4 years ago, I hate this time of year. Jan used to love Xmas. The pain never goes away or gets easier with time. You just learn to live with it. I don't accept invitations, I just baton down the hatches and wait till it's all over. Probably not what you wanted to hear but that's the way it is x
LillianF
16th Dec 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I lost my beloved partner is Sept and dreading Christmas even though I will be with family. X

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!