Christmas can be an emotionally charged and intense time, whether you’re bereaved or not, says Breffni McGuinness of the Irish Hospice Foundation. “A lot of the advertising in the lead up to it is about people being together. When you’re bereaved, all that can accentuate the absence in your life. We all become more aware of gaps – of people no longer there or things that have happened or not happened, as the case may be.”

If it’s the first Christmas since you’ve lost a loved one, it can be particularly difficult, he says. “You know it’s coming and that it’s going to be different this year, and it can all seem a bit overwhelming.”