National Grief Awareness Week
Many people across the country will be facing their first Christmas without a loved one who passed away this year.
Our expert team of solicitors understand the grief and complexities of losing a loved one suddenly, or without warning. It can make you feel as though your world has been put on pause, while you learn to navigate to a new normal.
In light of National Grief Awareness Week, (Dec 2-7) we want to share our support for those dealing with grief during Christmas.
Managing grief at Christmas time isn’t going to be easy. Working closely with Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, we’ve shared a few ways that may help you better deal with grief over Christmas. But, remember everyone copes with loss differently. You should treat these as a guide and do whatever feels right for you.
Consider different ways of celebrating
Take the time to think about what you would like to do over the festive period. Some bereaved people find that they do not wish to celebrate Christmas at all. Whereas some find that keeping a routine and celebrating as normal is the best tribute they can pay their loved one.
t may feel important to make a special effort to remember the person who has died. This can be as simple as ‘speaking’ to the person, silently or out loud, or it may involve visiting their grave, or a place that was special to them. These can be things that we do alone, or with friends or family. You may have photos or particular memories which you treasure; sharing these with others may be something that brings you together.
Talk to who you spend Christmas with and agree arrangements that best suit your needs and the needs of others who share your loss.
Accept that others may have different ways of mourning
We know that people remember and mourn in different ways. Conflict within a family can sometimes arise when we have expectations of how others should grieve, so try to be sensitive to others’ needs, and to talk openly about what will be best for you.
Try to maintain a routine
The Christmas period may mean that your normal routine is disrupted, and this can make it easier to forget to look after yourself. Trying to keep to regular patterns of sleeping and eating are small things that can make a difference. Seeing friends or family, or volunteering for the day, can all help.
Limit your alcohol consumption
We can all drink more on festive occasions, but it’s important to remember that using alcohol to escape the pain of loss provides only very temporary relief. If you find you’re relying heavily on drinking alcohol, consider taking some drink free days. You can also find advice from Drink Aware on how to reduce your alcohol consumption.
Aim to focus on the present
As time passes, special occasions like Christmas can help us to begin to focus on happier memories of good times shared in the past. However, they can also be difficult, intensely emotional times when we need to look after ourselves and those around us.
Skip the Christmas films
While you might think watching a film is a welcome distraction, consuming Christmas content might leave you feeling worse. Instead, consider taking or a walk or getting some fresh air in any way you can.
Talk to someone
If you’re struggling to deal with the grieving process over Christmas, you can call the Cruse National Helpline on 0808 808 1677, see here for opening hours. Alternatively, you can message a trained grief counsellor using the CruseChat service 9am – 9pm Monday – Friday.
Our commitment to grief awareness
Whether you’re coping with death or offering support for someone who’s grieving, it’s normal to have questions. What do you say when someone dies? How long are you entitled to time off work as bereavement leave? Where can I find financial support? Were affairs in order, such as a lasting Power of Attorney or a Will?
Collated in partnership with Scotland’s bereavement charity, Cruse, this guide is for anyone struggling with grief, or anyone offering support to someone who’s grieving. At Watermans, we believe you should understand your rights to grieve, and we want to help make things a bit easier. We’ll aim to answer some of the most common grief questions with a blend of emotional support and practical legal advice.
How Watermans can help
We understand how immensely difficult it can be when you lose someone you love, and it can be even harder if their death was someone else’s fault. Our team of solicitors, who deal with sensitive cases on a daily basis, are there for you on a practical and legal level, offering a tailored service for you.
When you get in touch with us, you’ll speak to a member of our response team who will listen to your case and assign you to an expert member of the team. Contact us today for more information.