Light Up A Life Coping at Christmas Here are some suggestions that might help you prepare for the festive season Prepare yourself Don't expect Christmas to be the same, however much you wish it could be. Plan in advance how you want to spend the festive season, but don't put excessive expectations on yourself. It's up to you to decide what activities, traditions or events you are able to take part in. If you can't face doing anything, that's fine as well. Accept your feelings Everyone takes their own path in grief and mourning. Some may try to avoid sad feelings, others will be very tearful. Some feel bad that they aren't up for enjoying Christmas, others feel guilt because they are able to enjoy things. However you feel, accept it without judging yourself for feeling the way you do. Give yourself permission to cry and don't deny feelings of sadness. Talk to loved ones Be honest about how you'd like to do things this year - if you want to talk about the person who has died then do so. Talking to others who are also grieving can help you not to feel alone. Faith at Christmas If Christmas is important to you because of your faith, you may find it comforting to participate in Christmas services. This year due to Covid many services are being held online. Have a look and find one that is appropriate for you. New traditions For some, continuing with old traditions can make you feel your loss more acutely. Some people find creating new traditions can help make things more manageable. Ways to remember your loved one can be to light a candle in their memory, or join a remembrance service where candles are lit to remember loved ones. This year may be more difficult for many people as they will not be able to be with their loved ones physically due to the pandemic. However, you should try and keep in touch with your family and friends during the Christmas period either on the phone or on Skype or FaceTime. Our bereavement team will be available to talk to you on the phone during the service on Saturday 12th December between the hours of 4pm-6pm. Please do not hesitate to call us if you need to speak to someone. Outside of these hours please call 02382 548860. The Mountbatten Hampshire bereavement service is open to everyone. You can self-refer to this free service or ask your GP to refer you. Call our team on 02382 548848 Monday to Friday, between 8.30am-5pm or out of hours on 02382 548860. When you call, you will speak to a member of our Mountbatten Hampshire team who will arrange telephone support with one of our trained counsellors.