Grieving this Christmas? Here are some ways to cope
Grieving the loss of a loved one is never easy, but life milestones and holidays are extra tough.
Sally Douglas and Imogen Carn, who both lost their mums unexpectedly in their early thirties, launched their podcast, Good Mourning to share how loss shapes peoples' lives, with honesty and humour.
Here, Sally and Imogen along with three inspirational women (and former podcast guests) share their advice on how to cope with grief during the festive season.
“My advice to those experiencing loss would be to surround yourself with people who are understanding. Remember it’s ok to have boundaries for those who don’t make your life easier during this time of year– quality over quantity is what matters.” Danielle Snelling, Co-Founder, Motherless Daughters Australia
“If you’ve lost a baby, Christmas can be a brutal reminder of how things should’ve been. One thing that I have found really helps is to buy gifts for your baby and invite those spending Christmas Day with you to do the same, so that you have something under the tree with their name on it. Buy a keepsake or something that can be donated afterwards. We also registered a star in Lily’s name, and we spend each Christmas gazing and looking for her star.” Priyanka Saha, Founder of the Lily Calvert Foundation
“My advice for grievers is to consider limiting your social media use. Sometimes, if you’re coping with a loss, scrolling on Instagram, seeing everyone else looking happy can make you feel worse, so try monitoring how much time you spend online.” Sally Douglas, Co-host of Good Mourning podcast
“Create a new festive tradition that honours the person who has passed, so that their legacy lives on for future generations. Each year, we give a toast to my dad and do things that he loved to keep his spirit alive, such as playing tennis as a family and dressing up in silly hats and wigs. We also all share one thing that we loved about him.” Sally Steele, Style and Mindset Coach and Author of ‘Dare More, Care Less’
“Christmas can be so tough when you're mourning a loved one who is no longer around to share it with you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t honour their memory – why not make a donation to a cause that mattered to them, in their name. You will feel good and be helping others, which can in turn make you feel better. I will also be buying my daughter a small gift from her grandma, to keep her involved in our Christmas day.” Imogen Carn, Co-host of the Good Mourning podcast
“My advice is to remember to be kind to yourself this festive season. There is no “right” way to grieve and there is no time limit. Feel however you want to feel – anger, resentment, frustration, numbness, sadness – all of it. Your feelings are valid. Do whatever helps you in that moment, to take you to the next. And know this: it will get easier.” Sarah Tarca, Co-founder of The Wayward and Gloss etc.
Good Mourning is released fortnightly on Friday mornings and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts & all other major podcast platforms.