Learning to cope.

The song itself says "It's the most wonderful time of the year" and for the majority of our lives we can say that this has rung true for us. We have been blessed with some magical Christmas's, enjoying the simplicity of our small family, cozy home and delicious feast. With each passing year we felt thankful for a Merry Christmas. We felt grateful to be surrounded by those we love, being gathered around the table, laughing and joking; mostly at Grandad wearing Christmas cracker hats in the most unique ways. Then laughing some more in the living room opening our gifts, not really bothered by what was in them, but getting more enjoyment out of Grandad guessing every present he received  before unwrapping it and Nanna crying when receiving a bag of nuts or a jumper...it's the little things that mean the most.

If we are very honest, this Christmas is going to be a difficult one. We've been trying very hard to get in to the festive spirit and of course, there are absolutely days when we succeed; days when we are surrounded by love, happiness and excitement that everything feels like it's going to be OK. Then there are days, wrapping presents, writing cards, singing songs, that my God, we just miss him. We miss him so much and it takes everything we have to not sink to our knees and get angry, mad, sad and frustrated all over again. It all still doesn't seem real. But through this pain and in these moments of hurt, we really wanted to reach out and write this post today, because while we don't wish to dampen anyone's Christmas spirit and be miserable to all of you, we started thinking about all those suffering. It breaks our hearts that some of you out there will be struggling with loss and heartache too and whose Christmas's aren't all that bright. We wanted to share some of our ways of learning to cope and we really, with all our hearts, hope that it helps you if you need it.

This isn't easy for everyone but we find it helps so much. There are days when keeping the sadness bottled up can get too overwhelming and it becomes extremely hard to function. Having someone to comfort you or even to chat to about the person you are missing can release that fuzziness in your brain. And it doesn't have to be sad stories, it can just be days where you need to share a funny memory or something that you loved about them. Shout it from the rooftops and let it out. Please reach out to friends and family or even people online, we are here for you if you are grieving and don't know where to turn, please know we will listen. But it's so important to make it clear to the people in your life that you need them to listen. Work, gift wrapping, present buying, it can wait if you need to talk. Don't be afraid to let people know you need them. 

Writing can be incredibly cathartic. Writing letters to your lost loved one might be that little bit of comfort you need. Simply the idea of telling them things and having a conversation with them can lift your spirits. I (Lucy) find this helps me a lot, some days there will be tears as you write and others you will feel like that person is right by your side. 

When you find that sadness and frustration building, sometimes it can get so very powerful that you want to scream and punch something, if you can, go to a gym. Go hit that punching bag, go run on that treadmill, hit hard, run fast, get that energy and anger out. With the endorphin's released it can just help channel a bad feeling into a good feeling, even if just for a little while. 

We have been working on our Nanna and Grandad's family cookbook for a long time now. We even made a mock up for them for Christmas a few years ago and Grandad loved it. We were so happy he understood what we were doing and that he knew how much he meant to us. We have been finding that, although we have our sad moments, continuing working on this has been a huge comfort. We are not going to let our Nanna and Grandad down and Grandad's legacy will live on. We will be sure of it. Did your loved one have a plan for you? Did they leave behind a task, a message, something you can continue on? Think about it, maybe there's something you can do that keeps them living on inside of you and for the world to see.

When we are grieving we often get people telling us "It's going to be OK" and things of the like. While it's lovely to have people there for you, sometimes it's the last thing you need or want to hear. Grieving is different for everyone. Yes, time is a great healer, but how much time can depend on the individual. Over the Summer we absolutely did not want to do anything, see anyone or be told that everything was OK. It wasn't OK and it just made us more angry and upset. We spent every day at Nanna's house and did not want to be anywhere else and it's what we needed. We know that can't be the case for everyone, work, kids, life has to keep moving but it's so very important to take that time for you. You need to follow your heart and have those moments that are for you, be it crying, singing, curling up and looking at photos or needing to be with your loved ones, you are allowed to grieve and don't ever apologize for doing so.

If you are struggling this holiday season please reach out to these places:
Cruse bereavement care.
The Silver Line.

Or feel free to comment, message us, chat, we hope we can help in some way.

All our love

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