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a difficult time

How to support a bereaved person at Christmas

This time of year can be particularly difficult for someone who has lost a loved one.

LAST MONTH THEJOURNAL.IE looked at death and dying from an Irish perspective.

During our Last Rites series, Dr Susan Delaney, bereavement services manager with the Irish Hospice Foundation, spoke to us about how people can best support those dealing with a death.

“In bereavement any day can be a bad day,” Susan says.

However, she notes that Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for some bereaved people.

The run up to 25 December can see us bombarded with “images of happy families that are apparently having amazing Christmases and never fight…it can add to the loneliness”, she says.

Here, Susan gives advice on what people can do to help someone bereaved at Christmas:

Orla Ryan / YouTube

Video: Órla Ryan/Aoife Barry

For more information on dealing with bereavement, visit


You can read more from our Last Rites series here.

Read: Everything you wanted to know about grief but were too afraid to ask

Advice: What to say – and not say – to a friend who is recently bereaved

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