Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, is helping bereaved children face one of the toughest days of the year with confidence.
Mother’s Day can be especially difficult for children and young people who have lost their mum or another special female role model in their life. Sadly every day, more than 100 children are bereaved of a parent in the UK.
Uncertainty about the future combined with painful memories from the past mean many bereaved children will be anxious about Mother’s Day on Sunday 6th March. Winston’s Wish is encouraging families to use the day as an opportunity to do something positive to remember the person who has passed.
From cooking her favourite meal, to listening to music that reminds children of mum, these ten recommended suggestions can give families a way to keep her memory alive:
- You could buy a special candle and light it on Mother’s Day and other special days that remind you of her.
- How about making a Mother’s Day card and displaying it somewhere special?
- It might be important to take a card or a special message to her grave, or to where her ashes were buried or scattered.
- You could mark the day by doing something special e.g. tying a special message to a helium balloon (make sure it’s biodegradable) and watch it soar into the sky
- Plant some bulbs or a shrub in a place that holds special memories of your mum
- Eat her favourite meal – Risotto? Roast dinner? Curry?
- Listen to her favourite music, or music that reminds you of her
- Ask your nan or granddad for their memories of mum as a little girl, and/or your dad for his memories of when he and mum met
- Write her a letter or a poem; maybe you could start with something like ‘I have one thing I’d like to tell you…’
- On Mother’s Day itself, remember to look after yourself. If things become a bit too much, you could always find a way to take a breather. Give yourself permission to not be OK and, equally, to have fun and smile.
Suzie Phillips, Clinical Services Development Team Leader, said:
“When a child’s mother dies, it is likely to be one of the greatest losses that they will experience. What children tend to notice initially are the everyday changes; mum not being there in the morning, not being able to ask mum for help or other people not knowing what they like they like for tea. Later on it will be important dates or times in their lives, like Mother’s Day this weekend; birthdays, Christmas, when they leave home and get their first job. Grief of a parent is carried with you forever but at Winston’s Wish, we support families to find ways to remember their mothers and feel connected to them at times when they might be missing them most. There are many different ways to remember a mother – from cooking her favourite meal to keeping some special perfume”.
Some young people may be struggling with difficult memories of their mother and struggling to find a balance between remembering tough times and celebrating positive memories. For these times, memory stones can be a useful tool.
These different stones are used to represent different types of memories. A smooth pebble for ordinary, everyday memories of mum, a rough rock to remember difficult and hard times, and a gemstone to bring back precious memories of time spent with mum.
Each year, Winston’s Wish reaches more than 30,000 bereaved children and young people through an array of dedicated services. These special support programmes include support following death as a result of accident, illness, homicide, suicide and military service.Back to news