As members of The Compassionate Friends, we know first-hand the agony of child bereavement, as we are bereaved parents or close family members of a child who has died. We are each unique in our own ways, with our own families, backgrounds, circumstances, religions and cultures, but one thing we have in common is the desire to honour our child or sibling’s memory. We are pleased and proud to announce the publication of our latest leaflet and accompanying handbook which offers you some practical suggestions for remembering and honouring the memories of our children. We also look at some of the issues that can arise as we remember. We invite you to select what you find helpful, or perhaps use this as a springboard for activities that are more appropriate for you. Just as there is no wrong or right way to grieve, there is no wrong or right way to remember.
Memorialising is a way of marking the memory of our child, focusing on their life and not just their death. It allows us the opportunity to carry precious memories of our child forward with us. Our child may not be physically with us anymore, but the memory of them will live on and be in our hearts forever. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but there are a variety of things we can do. Whether we choose to remember our child through photos, by planting a tree, or some other method, memorialising gives us the opportunity to ensure that our child has an everlasting presence in our lives, the lives of other people who knew and loved them, and even those who never met them. Some people refer to this type of memorialising as “continuing bonds”.
The Handbook is designed as a resource that you can dip into when looking for new ways of honouring your child’s memory. Everything here has been suggested by bereaved parents or close family members as something that has worked for them, but that doesn’t mean that all of these ideas will appeal to you. Time stretches out before us; we live our lives without the physical presence of the children we love so much. Nothing can take the place of their actual presence, but in their absence, we find ways to connect with them and experience a sense of closeness. That’s what this Handbook is aiming for, and hopefully you will find some good ideas here.
Bereaved mother, R commented…“As I read through [The Handbook], I found myself becoming quite emotional, not so much with sadness but more because it offers so many diverse and positive activities and avenues to remember and reconnect with our children. I think many of us can become a little static with our grief after a few years, not changing or even looking so much at the photos we have around the house, not going into our child’s bedroom very much or connecting so much with their possessions, instead doing more just day to day living and managing our ‘new normal’ – your handbook opens up new ways and ideas to re-engage positively with our child, who they were and the life they had – thank you so much”.
Read the leaflet REMEMBERING OUR CHILD
Read the accompanying HANDBOOK OF IDEAS FOR REMEMBERING OUR CHILD