Margaret Claveau, Grief and Loss Counsellor, spoke with The PCSBV Bulletin and shared insights and ideas for managing grief over the holiday season.

Grief through the holidays can be difficult for many experiencing it, and exploring ways to navigate through the season can be incredibly important. What many experience is a sense of emptiness and a lack of joy. When there is a bombardment of advertising, images, and social media messages with happiness and family gatherings, these feelings can be amplified. Some people feel like they can be side-swiped by emotions, triggered by traditions, routines and memories that emerge through out the season. 

Claveau shared strategies to help people move forward that may be helpful:

  • Acknowledge that the season may be difficult.
  • Inform family and friends and make them aware of what you feel you might need.
  • Dedicate a special time dedicated to honouring your loved one.
  • Be kind to yourself and take moments to yourself to escape.

“It is so important for people to know that there is no right. The season will feel different. Traditions will feel different. Cry, laugh, rage, smile – embrace whatever you are feeling and don’t be afraid to feel it,” says Claveau. “But, if you feel joy and happiness with those around you whom you love, don’t feel guilty or afraid to feel that as well. You are not being unfaithful or disrespectful to your loved one.”

With 2020 coming to a close, many have experienced losses of many kinds – loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of stability. While grief and loss is associated most with death, it really can come from any corner. it is important to recognize the feelings of grief that can come with any loss and to know that resources are in our community to help. 

At the PCSBV, we are here to help navigate the way through life-limiting disease diagnosis, palliative and end-of-life care, and grief and loss navigation.

“Holidays are the season of love. Remember, you are grieving because you have loved. Take the time and make the space to honour that love,” concluded Claveau. 

Join Margaret for our Speaker Series on December 17th where she will share more information and tips for managing through grief during the holiday season.