The feelings of loss when you are no longer able to hold the person you love, due to their passing or as a result of the breakup of a relationship, are noticeably magnified during the Xmas holiday period.
Xmas is a time when expectations to be surrounded by loved ones, both family and romantic, are high. It’s a time when heartache that can normally be distracted by work commitments, or everyday living, is ever present in your thoughts. A time when you are seemingly surrounded by people in happy relationships, making plans with their partners and looking forward to family festivities.
Letting go of loved ones at any time can be emotional, angst ridden, isolating and painful but when you add Xmas into the mix the heartache can, for some, be almost unbearable.
For those whose loved one has passed on, there is the pain of never being able to hug or be hugged by that person again. There is the loss of hearing their voice, receiving their advice or of seeing their smile again.
For those going through a painful relationship breakup, regardless of the reason, the loneliness felt at Xmas can be as intense as that felt from a bereavement. You too will feel the pain of loss, for what could have been, for the ending of dreams and for the loss of your ability to both give and receive love within this relationship.
For those ‘losing love’ in either of these ways there is grieving to be done.
Bereavement counsellors site the 5 stages of grieving as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are also to be felt in the loss of a relationship and the subsequent dreams that end.
This grieving is often chosen to be done in private so it is extremely hard to cope when, at the same time, you are expected to turn up, smile and be at your best for others during Xmas festivities.
For those that experience the grief of relationship loss you could be clinging onto the hope of reconnecting to your loved one, a hope that the passing of someone does not, for many, offer. However, this hope alone can sometimes impede the journey of grieving.
There is no quick fix to these grieving stages, but there are opportunities to manage the pain.
For those with a spiritual leaning the reconnection to someone who has passed is possible when you recognise that your connection to someone is not just on a visual level. The love and memories of parents, children, friends or partners are all part of your soul journey and can never be “lost”. They are there to access whenever you choose, they are part of who you have come to be and will continue to shape who you will choose to be in their absence.
Although you may not “see” someone on this level again there is nothing stopping you, talking to, hearing from or feeling close to them. They are but a vibration away as you close your eyes and connect to the sense of them around you. At The Love Coach we offer assistance that has seen clients love, laugh and heal via re-connection with the ones they love and felt they had lost.
On a practical level, time and talking are your friends during this grieving process.
You could look at Xmas as a time to mourn what you have lost but you could also choose to celebrate the love you shared and the loving times you experienced. I know , for some this is a difficult ask, but when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change (Wayne Dyer).
Don’t hide your love, talk about them, recount memories of previous xmas’ to others, allow yourself to move on from denial to acceptance, do not punish yourself by feeling obligated to stay in anger and depression. Time will work for you or against you,that will be up to you.
For those of you who are still working through a relationship loss, time is also your friend. Time to unravel the truth about how you really feel once the shock wears off.
Talking is also your friend as long as you can find the right person to talk to. When those you love see you in pain all they want is for your pain to stop. If you are processing pain due to someone else it is only natural that they would be in favour of you letting go of the person quickly in order to alleviate your pain.
Soul Mates come into our life for a reason, a season and sometimes for a lifetime. The season or reason may or may not have finished or there may be other lessons for you to learn with this partner before you are able to let go.
For some you may have found out only recently that your relationship is not what you thought it was as the pressure of Xmas can bring things to a head that have been simmering for a while. Relationship bombs are even more devastating when they land in your lap without warning.
Here are a few options to help you work through the heartache of not being able to hold someone you love this Xmas, or if the loneliness of being on your own get’s too much. Just know that you are not alone in this pain and there is no reason to suffer in silence.
The Love Coach Quick Consult service offers professional, friendly, non-judgemental advice on love to get a clearer handle on your emotions should an emotional curve ball be thrown at you this Xmas (or any other time of the year). You can find out more about this service here http://grfl.co.uk/sessions/quick-consult
Many know of the Samaritan’s in the UK as an organisation that is a service designed to help those in emotional pain, especially at this time of the year, when all you might need is someone to listen. Here is the Facebook link to how to access them –all you need do is ask. https://www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity/
Without loss we would not understand the true value of love.
Do not let the loss of love put you off from loving again. Love and loss are all essential experiences in our overall growth and learning, when you become afraid to love you will become afraid to live.
I wish you all love, peace and happiness this Xmas, and for any of those hurting, just know that the hurt is merely temporary as everything and everyone moves on in life.
TJ Gibbs, Love Therapist and Founder of The Love Coach
Articles that TJ writes for The Love Coach cover all steps in the cycle of love and include tips and advice for many dating or relationship issues. Her experience as a Love Therapist, Love Coach and Life Coach bring a real-life approach to everyday situations.
Remember life is for loving – that includes yourself!