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I hear you, Maree. I love how excited the kids get for Christmas and that is a huge part of Christmas Day. For me though, Christmas is about being together and any relationship loss, whether because of death or estrangement, is felt more deeply at this time because the holiday offers a direct comparison to previous years where we felt more connected and less alone. Having said that, sometimes you can have a big crew around you and still feel lonely or focused on the person/people no longer there. Griefline has a resource on coping with isolation and loneliness (https://griefline.org.au/resources/loneliness-and-isolation/) and also on relationship loss (https://griefline.org.au/resources/relationship-loss/), which you may find useful. Journalling and any form of cardio exercise may also help you process some of your feelings of hurt and anger as it’s healthy for you to express these feelings in safe ways.
Other things that may help you survive the holiday season include travelling (if you can), because being in a new place is less likely to bring up memories that still hurt right now. Volunteering, spending more time in nature, finding a way to honour your Mum’s memory and spending quiet time with one or two friends rather than joining large group functions may also make this time a little easier.
We are always here to listen without judgment and you can call Griefline on 1300 845 745 any day between 8am-8pm if you want to talk to someone.