Coping with the festive period when you are bereaved

Coping with the festive period when you are bereaved

Everyone in the TLKC team would agree that it is the Memorial collection and what we are able to do for those who want keepsakes to remember cherished lost loved ones, that are our most rewarding gifts. We are stacked out at the moment, rushing orders through before production and postage deadlines, to ensure all our customers receive their precious keepsakes in time for Christmas.  

Some of the memorial keepsakes bought this time of year are thoughtful gifts to give to friends and family who have lost someone close.  Quite often, they are bought by customers for themselves to help them feel that their own lost loves ones are close and to help them get through the festivities. 

There was a lovely feature on ITV's This Morning this week giving advice on how to cope with Christmas get togethers when you are struggling with a bereavement.  It was lovely to hear them talk about the important of memory boxes and special items round the home that mention the name of the lost loved one, to help you cope.  Many of our gifts can be personalised with messages and whether it be a bauble, tealight holder, memory cushion or plaque, we know our gifts hugely help many families this time of year.  But the feature got us thinking, that aside from offering keepsakes, how else can we help our customers this year?

So we spoke to Counselling Psychotherapist, Cheryl Wilkinson of Wolds Counselling and Coaching Services, who has very kindly offered advice.  Cheryl's experience in this area and wonderful empathic yet practical approach to dealing with bereavement is why she is such a highly regarded practitioner in East Yorkshire.  Cheryl said:  

"Recognise that feelings of sadness, grief and even anger may intensify during the holiday season.

Make sure you do ask for, and accept, emotional and practical help. Be honest about your feelings. You may hesitate to seem like a "downer" when everyone else seems to be celebrating, but realise that most people are eager to help. If you want to talk about your loved one, do, share your special memories and make them part of your celebrations.   

Consider which holiday traditions may be helpful and which may be hurtful. The first holidays following a death can bring back painful memories and emotions and the holiday media blitz can leave you stressed and exhausted.

Help yourself by helping someone else. Consider making a charitable donation, give a gift in memory of your loved one or volunteer at a local charity.

Spend time with friends or family members. Invite someone to share a meal or see a concert with you.

Prioritise your own needs and the needs of those who are also most affected by the loss. Do what works for you and them. You may find comfort in familiar surroundings or you may want to visit somewhere completely new.

Get through today. Don't worry about how you will handle the holiday next year or ten years from now.

Remember and honour your loved one with a special toast, a favourite carol, a lighted candle or a special photo. You can also write a card or letter or keep a journal of your thoughts and remembrances.

You can visit a place you both loved or that the person had always wanted to see and see it 'for' them.

Enjoy whatever you can during the holiday season. There is no harm or disrespect in celebrating. Your loved one would want you to find comfort where and when it comes."

You can contact Cheryl for advice and support:

Cheryl Wilkinson,
BA (Hons)  Ad Dip PC, MNCS, (Accredited) 07949 218189

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