Jane, our Counselling and Bereavement Service Manager, gives some of her thoughts and ideas about helping people remember their loved one.
One really meaningful and lasting way to remember someone is to make a memory box. This can be a very personal and individual activity, but also one that can be there to be revisited throughout your life. I’ve helped many children and adults create their own special treasure trove of memories.
I can recall one particular 10-year-old boy, Sam, who used an old Quality Street tin to make his memory box. It was full of special things…his Mum’s hankie, her charm bracelet, a Christmas card, a knitting needle and blue wool (she made him a school jumper every year that he hated!)
The most special thing was that she gave him a tin of Quality Street chocolates every year after his school report arrived. His reports were full of ‘he could do better’, ‘always chattering’, ‘doesn’t fill his potential’…not a lot of achievement. His Mum would smile and say…’here you are Sam…you are always top of my class!’
‘My Mum died when I was 7 years old. Now I am 15 I can’t remember her as clearly as I could then. Looking through my memory box reminds me of her…that makes me smile and feel warm inside’, Joe.
How to make your Memory Box
In a memory
Think carefully about what you put in. Make sure there are stories and memories attached to each item. An old cinema ticket might remind you of your first trip to the cinema.
Some ideas: photos, CD of music they liked, their perfume, cards, letters, postcards from holidays, jewellery, an item of clothing. Pictures you drew for them and a special object.
Once the box is decorated start filling it. You can put anything in it (so long as it fits!). Make sure you check with other people in your family that it is OK with them for you to have the things like photos and objects which belonged to the person who has died.
Our bereavement support team offer support to our patients and their close friends and family throughout their time with us, for as long as they need.
If you or your family need any help and support you can call Martlets Hospice on 01273 273400 and ask to speak to the Bereavement Service.