0044 117 908 6102 clare@novaassociates.co.uk

It’s the time of year when we’re contemplating holiday menus, realising the days left until Christmas Day, and trying to figure out what to wear for New Year’s!

Sadly, it’s also one of the times, when we become acutely aware that there may be an empty space at the table, party, or under the tree.

Maybe Mum or Dad isn’t there anymore this year to carve the ham or make the plum pudding…

Maybe one of our ‘little ones’ isn’t unwrapping presents beneath the tree…

Or maybe one of our ‘fur babies’ isn’t begging at the table…

There’s so much happening in the world right now, and now we have to navigate the holiday season, deal with someone missing in our lives, and try and cope with our conflicting feelings, sadness and loneliness; as well as someone else’s obnoxious behaviour because they are hurting too and don’t know what to do.

 The feeling of loss and loneliness

 What are we supposed to do with all this confusion and pain, besides bottling it all up, pretending it doesn’t exist, and denying our loneliness, because no one seems to be able to understand or help us?

Here are 5 ways to deal with loss during this holiday season:

  1. There can be a great deal of conflict and confusion about how we feel around someone’s absence. We all have our own relationship with someone who’s not with us anymore, and therefore our own reaction to that absence differs. No one will feel exactly alike— some might have moved on and others haven’t.

Please Do:  Give everyone the grace and space to express (or not) their feelings, no matter how annoying they may be! Let’s be kind to everyone’s feelings; we do not know what they are going through.

  1. The pain never really goes away. It may be a recent loss or it may have happened years ago, but the pain is possibly still there and if you/they haven’t done the work to deal with it, it’s still going to hurt.

Please Do:   Allow yourself or them to heal at each own pace. Let us not be expecting everyone or even yourself to be over the loss or pain already. There’s no timeline for healing grief and everyone’s pain is different.

  1. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. We just find ways to cope with the pain because it’s still there. We or others may be acting out or behaving out of character and it’s very difficult to put up with that. When this happens, your support is needed the most.

Please Do: Offer a safe space for others to share, if they need to. You may be surprised by what they say and confide with you. Grievers need to be heard; not fixed!

  1. Traditions are often hard to deal with when there’s someone missing. It’s just not the same anymore, especially during this time of celebrating.

Please Do:   Consider building some new traditions that will honour your absent loved ones in a way that is comfortable for everyone.

  1. It’s hard enough to deal with all of this and to find compassion for ourselves or others.

Please Do:   Understand that we express loss and grief differently. Remember, there’s a good chance they’re hurting as well, just not displaying it or dealing with it in the same way you do. Have a little compassion for yourselves and others. Give everyone a break and recognise it’s perfectly normal to feel lonely when you don’t know what to do with a broken heart!

 Struggling with your emotions like loss, grief, and loneliness is the same as being at war. Whilst others try to stay away from the battlefield and solve their problems by suppressing them all, believe that you are probably here for a reason.

 Take a moment to watch Clare Davis’ interview with Ann Allen in her Mental Health Chats YouTube series here to learn more about grief and the grieving process.


This guest blog is written by Ann Allen, RN, an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist. Ann is also a Reiki master, speaker, and coach. She is an advocate for real and honest recovery from grief and finding joy in living, again. She ends the idea that grief is a taboo subject. Using very specific steps, her clients know exactly what to do, to heal their pain and live their lives, again. 

Get to know more about Ann  on her website www.healyourgriefhealyourlife.com

Managers, if you or any of your team is experiencing loss or grief, especially during this season and you need help in opening up those conversations with them, book a call here so we can support each other.