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Coping with special occasions

There are many days in the year that can be painful for bereaved families - public holidays when the whole world seems to be celebrating; and those directly related to our family, such as our child’s birthday and the day he or she died.

Birthdays can be particularly difficult as they are a poignant reminder of what we have lost. Our own birthdays and those of our surviving children may also be sad because of the person missing from our family.

The anniversary of the day our son or daughter died is often difficult in a different way, and as time goes by it may become a date that only a few close family and friends will remember. Planning for these occasions by talking about how you feel to family members and friends may help to get through the day more easily.

TCF’s leaflet Coping with Special Occasions looks at different family occasions including weddings, holidays, Christmas, New Year and other religious and cultural festivals including Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, all of which can be bittersweet as they recall happier times when our family was complete. The leaflet also looks at coping with other people’s funerals, often a particularly difficult and painful situation.

Coping with Special Occasions explores all these issues in greater depth and has lots of suggestions for remembrance activities.

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Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

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