Making Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Special

Here are a few hints to help you through these days after the loss of a child.

  1. Pamper yourself-this is a special day in your life. You are a parent forever and your child is your child forever.
  2. Do what you need to do-what helps you. Grieve your way.
  3. Be with those who surround you with love, not demands or advice.
  4. Plan ahead-do things that make you feel good or give you a moment’s peace.
  5. Start new rituals to make new memories.
  6. Share your thoughts with family members; decide together what the day should include. (If you are alone, find a good friend.)
  7. Include deceased children in the day-through prayer, lighting a candle, telling stories about them, looking through pictures, planting flowers or a garden, doing a good deed, writing about them, making their favorite recipe.
  8. Join with another bereaved family to honor this day and have mutual support.
  9. Start a garden or add to a special garden in memory of your child.
  10. Use this day to plant spring flowers so you can always see your child in each bloom and each bouquet that you cut.
  11. Visit the cemetery if that helps your heart on this day.
  12. Plant a flower or shrub that will come to bloom this time of year.
  13. Do something special for someone else or something special in your child’s name (helping Cancer Care, MADD, a Compassionate Friends’ Chapter, Scouting, a nursing home, etc.)
  14. Listen to music that makes your heart feel good.
  15. Cook some favorite recipes that your child enjoyed or cooked for you.
  16. Buy a present for yourself from your child and enjoy the comfort it brings you.
  17. Write a poem or article in memory of your child, sharing memories or whatever has helped you.
  18. Attend a family gathering of relatives – their love and support can give you a lift on this day.
  19. Make a booklet of favorite poems that help your heart, and give copies to dear relatives and friends in memory of your child.
  20. Take part in a special church ceremony honoring Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
  21. Pray to your child-talking is the best medicine and prayer is simply talking.
  22. Set aside some special time to grieve, unloading all the frustration and sadness that can envelop you on such a day giving you time to meditate alone.
  23. Write a letter to your child, telling what’s in your heart (perhaps some unfinished business or some new blessing that has enriched your life).
  24. Allow the tears to flow- crying is healing and allows a release for your feelings.
  25. Think of a way to “share your child with the
    world”-making sure his or her memory lives on through scholarships, writing, good deeds.
  26. Give and get plenty of hugs.

~ Elaine Stillwell, TCF Rockville Centre, NY

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