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To Sam


This is going to be the second Christmas without nan, and last year was probably the hardest. She was always a big part of our life and we still find it hard. The main reason I dread Christmas is because she's not here anymore. How can I deal with this?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Special occasions that are spent with people we love can get really hard when someone dies. Holidays such as Christmas or Eid are times when memories of lost loved ones are especially strong. It’s okay to feel the way you feel.

Whenever someone dies it leaves a gap in our lives. The people who mean the most to us leave the biggest hole when they die. Whenever we notice this gap it can make us sad and bring back feelings – even when we thought we’d managed to move on.

Most of the memories you’ll have of your nan will be positive and happy, yet it’s the sad memory of her dying that is sticking in your mind the most. This one memory is so much bigger for you because it’s more recent.

It can take a long time for us to begin to heal when we’ve lost someone but it does get a bit easier. This Christmas you’re likely to feel all those same feelings you did last year – but it might be just that little bit easier than last time. The next year it might be a little easier again.

Coming to terms with someone’s death doesn’t mean forgetting them and it doesn’t mean you don’t care any more – it just means you are able to focus on the happy times you had with them, and not so much the sadness you feel now that they’re gone.

To make it easier for you whilst you are still grieving, you might want to do something like write a Christmas card for your nan – or make her a gift. This is something you can do in memory of her and the act of doing that can help you to cope.

Read more about coping when someone dies.

I hope this was useful for you, thanks for your letter.


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