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Festive season makes it really hard

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Home Forums Personal relationships Festive season makes it really hard

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  • #13753

    Many in our Griefline community talk about the distress and confusion at being estranged from family… and this time of the year can make it even more painful. We get bombarded with images of ‘perfect families’ reconnecting and its hard to keep some perspective. It can set you on a spiral of powerful emotions – hurt and confusion, frustration and anger.

    These feelings are all perfectly valid, after all, you’re only human, but it might be reassuring to know that there are plenty of others going through something similar because not all family bonds are unconditionally loving and close.

    Some tips on making this time of year more manageable are; treasure the close relationships you do have and reach out to people who understand estrangement distress. This forum is a great place to start.

    Let us know how you’re going – we’re here for you.

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  • #23199

    Thank you, this was a very thoughtful post. There are many occasions which may raise again those powerful, difficult emotions after experiencing a loss. I remember keenly how overwhelming it felt at times, to get through the first year’s worth of “firsts” without our beloved family member. First birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, even the changes in season through our first year without them. I’m reminded of that today as we bask in a rare day of sunshine out of all the rain we’ve had recently. For some, today’s sunshine will be bittersweet, difficult to enjoy with the loss and grief they are currently experiencing. Please take time to let the sunshine warm you gently, remembering to be kind to yourself.


    Im dreading xmas, I spent last year looking after Mum, who had Dementia,and my doing so, split my family apart. I have no regrets looking after Mum. Im not only mourning mum but my extended family. Mum would be devastated for me, knowing as a result of following her wishes, I have no family,any more. I dont want to reconcile with my sisters, but my niece and her chilren,I do. Christmas to me is about kids. I reached out, no response.
    I was spoilt up until mums decline, as she would make me xmas cake every year. I am full of emotions, hurt and anger about family and deep sorrow, missing Mum.
    Vmsapphire hits nail on head about the “firsts”
    Excruciating is the feeling I have.
    Im so grateful to have found Griefline, and can speak openly with out being judged.
    Many Thanks

    VM- thanasis43

    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 ( and also on 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.

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