Quirónsalud Infanta Luisa organizes this Monday a workshop on how to deal with grief at Christmas after a recent loss

The Psycho-oncology Unit of Hospital Quirónsalud Infanta Luisa of Seville, led by Dr. Raquel Calero Dominguez, gives this coming Monday, December 12, the second edition of the workshop ‘It’s Christmas and at home there is an empty chair. The experience of mourning at Christmas’, where the specialist intends to provide coping tools to bereaved attendees this Christmas because it is a time when absences are accentuated and the feeling of loss of vital meaning worsens.

The meeting also aims to be an invitation to “reflect on the importance of transcendence, legacy and spirituality for the acceptance of death as part of life”, according to the psychologist Raquel Calero Dominguezwho recommends avoiding isolation, even if the chosen option is not to celebrate the holidays, since “there is always someone willing to accompany us without having to celebrate and this can help to face the experience of mourning at Christmas after the loss of a loved one” .

In this sense, the specialist points out that death continues to be a pending “pedagogical construct” as a society. “We don’t usually talk about it, we don’t like to relate to its theme and when it arrives we are not prepared to assume it,” says the doctor. Calero Dominguez. Christmas is a time for parties and reunions with family and friends and by tradition sharing the best dishes at the table. Those empty chairs overwhelm with nostalgia and melancholy and, on some occasions, the emotions are so intense that they make them flee from the events and even suppress Christmas.

That is why “the experience of mourning” is accentuated on Christmas Eve before which the natural reaction is to want to change the scenario. “It is a response that can initially be adaptive but over the years not only does it not help to face the loss of a loved one, but it also empties our existence in these days of the calendar”, he emphasizes.

Griefs do not always need specialized professional intervention, since human beings have intrapersonal resources to deal with them, although the expert insists that “there are losses that can precipitate complicated duels and they will need professional help because they They are characterized by appearing in unexpected, violent circumstances, by the evolutionary period in which they take place (the death of an 80-year-old person can be accepted in society but not that of a child) and by the bond that united us to the deceased/ a”.

Thus, the psychologist recommends all people with recent losses to “openly express their emotional situation, their opinion and desire regarding the celebration of the dates, as well as advises the rest of the family to validate and accompany the bereaved and respect their decision ”. In this sense, she points out that having a meeting with all family members, including children and adolescents, prior to Christmas, can help make a decision regarding its celebration. “It is very important that they too be able to express themselves emotionally and are given the opportunity to express their opinion on how they want to experience this stage”, she adds.

Likewise, he considers that symbolizing the absent person, naturalizing negative emotions due to his absence and allowing the representation of his presence (through a photograph or a candle, for example), can also help to feel the legacy of his existence.

“Duels last a lifetime, but being able to work on them helps us to live our existence with meaning and fullness. That is why it is important that if the person is overwhelmed, they ask for help from an expert professional who will accompany them to face the stages of grief ”, concludes the person in charge of the Psycho-oncology Unit of Hospital Quirónsalud Infanta Luisa, Raquel Calero Dominguez.

Quirónsalud Infanta Luisa organizes this Monday a workshop on how to deal with grief at Christmas after a recent loss