Your Story: It's not always the season to be jolly

A FEW weeks ago I wandered through the shopping mall humming "it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas" as I saw the decorations displayed and goodies for sale.

For many "it's the most wonderful time of the year".

The wonder and magic of Christmas is alive and well particularly in the faces of little children.

But as we journey though life joy of Christmas can easily get lost amidst the hustle and bustle of those weeks leading up to the 25th December.

Instead if it being the most wonderful time of the year it can become the most stressful time of the year!

The joy of Christmas also diminishes when a loved one is no longer here to share it with us.

The heartache of an absent loved one is very real and the feelings of grief resurfaces as we remember happier Christmases.

Your heart aches.

Tears leek out of your eyes.

You long to be able to embrace them.

But you can't.

Nothing else will ever replace your dear one.

It hurts deeply.

If you identify with these feelings I encourage you to talk to someone about how you feel.

Let the tears flow.

Be kind to yourself.

Think of ways to honour your loved one such as giving a donation in his or her memory to a charity.

Embrace your grief, don't suppress it.

Consider joining a grief support group in the new year.

For many it's NOT "Tis the season to be jolly" but it's the season to be worried about a partner drinking too much.

Domestic violence is unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue.

A zero tolerance stance needs to be implemented in your home.

Never be afraid to call the police or crime stoppers.

Reach out for help.

Your safety is paramount.

Although this next topic is often taboo let's face it head on.

Suicides happen.

For reasons only known to them some people choose an intentional passing.

If you are feeling this way please reach out.

There are other, much better options.

Please phone Lifeline 131114.

Sadly this time of the year has the potential to accentuate the stress, fears or sadness we carry in our hearts.

Some have learned the delicate process of allowing sorrow and joy to coexist.

Others will be very sad on December 25th.

Spare a thought for them.

If we all looked out for one another during this season and reach out to another needy person we are doing our bit in promoting the essence of Christmas which is "peace on earth and goodwill towards mankind".

*Del Marie runs two grief support groups - A Facebook one called Forever in my Heart, and a local one in Ballina called Afterloss.

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