Where is this year going? It’s almost spring already and Easter and Mother’s day are almost upon us too! For many of these celebrations, family is a real focal point, and they are a great opportunity to show those we love how much they mean to us and to enjoy each other’s company. But for bereaved families, these celebrations can be particularly difficult because they can remind us of just how much we’ve lost; and with supermarket and television adverts almost constantly reminding us of how and what we should be doing to show “mum” just how much we love her, it can be hard to get away from it. Some people do find however, that keeping themselves distracted makes difficult anniversaries that little bit easier. Personally, I like to acknowledge such dates, even though they can be hard and very upsetting, I think that they provide a good opportunity to remember those that we have lost. Whilst I was receiving support for my own bereavements one of the key skills that I learnt and find helpful even today, is being able to think about the good memories I have of my aunty and granddad – like their bubbly and supportive characters, their infectious smiles and the incredible Sunday roasts that we used to all cramp into my granddads living room for – and not focus on the bad ones, and, despite it being hard to know that these things will only remain as memories, I can now remember them and smile and be happy for what they gave me.
Phoenix recently asked their supporters how they felt during the run up to Mother’s Day – what they miss the most about their mum and how they cope with their feelings of loss – using the #missingmum via social media. Many people responded and suggested some fantastic ideas that can be used to mark these special times, such as writing a poem or drawing a picture. At Phoenix, we work with families and can help them to make their memories into objects or keepsakes which can be used to remember loved ones at any time, but especially during anniversaries and celebrations like Easter. For example, we make memory jars using coloured sand, memory stones, bracelets and candles that can be lit during quiet moments of reflection. Sometimes doing activities such as visiting your special person’s favourite place or planting a tree in their memory can also be helpful.
So this Easter and Mother’s Day, whilst celebrating and spending time with your own family and friends, please take a moment also to remember those who have lost someone they love – especially those who have lost a mum on Mother’s Day. If you know someone who might be missing a loved one, especially in the run up to spring, why not let them know that you are there to support them? Even just a quick phone call or cup of tea can make the world of difference. And if you have lost someone you love, please remember that you are not alone.
Published on 13 March 2015