Coping with grief at Christmas? Here are some tips from a 'death doula'
EDMONTON -- Grieving the loss of a loved one can be painful and lonely. But there are ways to cope and to support others through their pain.
Amanda Rose is a death doula in Edmonton and helps people who are facing the end of their lives as well as the people around them.
She says that it doesn't matter how long ago a loss happened; it can feel harder during the holidays.
"It's that one time of year that is so much about family and so much about love and so much about community, so it makes sense that it is the time of year that people struggle the most with loss," Rose said on CTV Morning Live Edmonton.
She suggests setting small goals for each day to make everything seem more manageable and to help build a new sense of normalcy.
And while it can be tempting to avoid social situations, it's important to be around your loved ones.
"It's so important to try and stay connected, even if you can't go to all the social situations, stay connected with your people, with your core group of people who are there with you," Rose said. "I would say at least try to show up to one or two because joy is infectious, so even if you're not feeling it in that moment, if you feel like your heart's in a million pieces, there are people around you that can help carry you."
Keeping something with you can also help. Rose honours her son, who died at just a few days old, with a piece of jewelry that has his ashes folded into the layers of metal.
"I cannot think of something more healing than to have my loved one so close to my heart," she shared. "And it's a great conversation piece too. It's another way to introduce a subject that is hard to approach."
If you want to support someone who is grieving, Rose's advice is to just be present. By creating a safe space, you are allowing them to choose whether or not to talk about their loss.