Let’s talk Christmas…

You’re probably thinking Christmas? Were in January now, were over Christmas. However, I thought it was important for me to address why I have been absent on blog writing since November.

I started this platform to make grief a more open and less awkward subject to talk about but there was me hiding away from expressing my feelings throughout December and over the Christmas and new year periods. I had a lot of fellow grievers (some very new to the grief community and some that have been in it a while) reach out to me and ask me for advice around dealing with the heighted emotions the holiday period brings, I understand these people where reaching out because they wanted to share there feelings and they know I am very open with my experience with grief but I had to be totally honest with them and just say ‘honestly I find this time of year the toughest and even 10 Christmas’s later its never been changed’. I thought this wouldn’t be the response they wanted but, in all honesty, they were just grateful they were not feeling alone with this huge wave of grief surrounding the holiday which is supposed t be such a happy time.

Without sounding like a scrooge, I just don’t like Christmas, it’s the one time of year I really struggle with my grief. The stress and anxiety around Christmas being the most wonderful time of year kinda gets to me, you know I’ve just always kind of felt guilty I guess that its such a ‘special family’ time of year and the one person that meant so much to be isn’t sitting around the Christmas table and the thought of her never being at that table again really does play on my mind.

For many years I always drank for the majority of December, any Christmas occasion there was id just get drunk. I feel this was my way of dealing without having the ‘jolly’ feelings your supposed to feel at Christmas but during 2020 I spent the majority of it sober and due to lockdown, there was o forced fun around Christmas time to distract me from my emotions and tbh this is why I didn’t blog throughout December because I was just working and feeling these feelings fully without covering them up with alcohol and tbh it was the best thing I could have done for my mental health. I really just sat with my feelings, thought about the Christmas’s I did get to have with my mum and I do have such happy memories of these Christmas’s so it was nice to just remember her and feel rather than being drunk or hungover.

I feel Christmas is had for all those grieving because it is such a public celebration or joy and happiness, its not like the celebrating your loved one’s birthday because that’s private where as Christmas is just thrown in ya face from November even earlier and you feel guilty for not being happy like the rest of the world are. So, to all you grievers new or old remember its ok not to feel joyful, its ok to feel like you’re the sad one in the room surrounded by happy people, its ok to feel lonely but remember there are other grieving people out there feeling the same. You’re not alone and my inbox/DM’s/texts are always open for anyone struggling at this time because its more than likely were feeling the same.

I did share some advice on my Instagram page on Christmas day but I thought id share again here as it can be useful any day not just Christmas day. If you’re feeling like a big wave of grief is currently hitting you, even more so now where in lockdown, take a moment to yourself, light a candle, raise a glass or write your thoughts on paper. I did all of the above over the Christmas period and its nice to just feel like there with us in spirit on our good days, bad days, proud days and every day for that matter there always watching down and I’m sure forever proud of us and the way were living our new normal.

This Christmas was the first-year id spent a long period of time with my sister and niece, I headed back to London to spend Christmas with them and honestly seeing my niece so excited really does bring that bit of happiness back to the day. My mum would have loved to seen her excited face Christmas morning. On Christmas eve me and my sister visited my mums grave laid flowers and lit candles always an emotional time but this year was extra emotional because my sister had finally left a toxic relationship and I know my mum would have been there with us saying ‘well done, I’m so proud of what you have done this year’. Christmas day we spent eating lots and even raised a glass of buck’s fizz and gin to mum, she probs would have been disappointed with our choice of drinks because she was a vodka lover (sozz mum we out grew that now haha). And overall, we did have a lovely time just bitter sweet she wasn’t sat around that table with us.

I hope all of you had that time to yourself this Christmas to connect with your loved one and I’m forever proud you have made it through another holiday period and for the ones who experienced this for the first year, remember were all in this together.

Much love The Girl with Grief xx

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