Update September 2021: Our Head Office in Hanley is starting to re-open, with Covid-19 safety precautions in place for the protection of our staff and our clients. We are currently seeing children & young people face-to-face and hope to start to open to our adult clients in the next few weeks. Our Dove Buddies groups are starting back up in several locations, please call our office or check our Facebook page for more information.

Christmas…..a time to remember

Christmas is often a time that magnifies feelings of loss and grief, and it can be difficult to decide how best to make space for those feelings when there are so many demands on your time and so many things that need doing.

We often work with our clients, all through the year, to find ways of memorialising and taking time to remember those who have died and losses we have experienced.  It is important to acknowledge grief and loss amongst the celebrations, and to accept that those who have died are not completely gone, because their presence is usually felt, often by their absence.

There are many ways that you can remember them – here are a few examples…

  • Light a candle in their memory
  • Write a letter to the person who you are remembering, which you could keep, or burn on the fire
  • Choose a decoration that reminds you of them to bring out every year
  • Create a memory box and put things in it that remind you of them – include perfume or aftershave, jewellery, an ornament, tickets to events you went to together, anything you like
  • Go for a walk in a place that you both loved to visit
  • Carry on a tradition that your loved one was involved in
  • Have a star named after your loved one
  • Plant a tree or rose or other plant in their memory
  • Make a patchwork quilt or cushion cover from their clothes
  • Have a teddy bear made from their clothes
  • Wear an item of their clothing or jewellery
  • Put photos of your your loved one in a prominent position
  • Make time to watch old family videos
  • Donate to a charity in your loved ones name
  • Have a moment of silence before your Christmas meal in memory of your loved one

One of the things we have done in previous year’s at the Dove Service with clients, is to offer them the opportunity to create a memory bauble – unfortunately due to the pandemic, this has not been possible this year.  However, you can purchase photo baubles, white ceramic baubles and clear craft baubles from the internet to decorate yourself at home.  You can paint the ceramic bauble in any way that reminds you of your loved one.  The clear craft baubles can act as a little memory box for you to fill with things that remind you of them.

Please recognise that how you are feeling is completely natural although it may feel strange. It’s OK to not feel Christmassy, it’s OK to feel sad and equally, it’s also OK if something makes you smile.