I received an email from a local charity which I am sharing with you all today. The following is written by Liam at Winston’s wish. They are a specialist support charity for children that have lost one or both parents.
Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, supports bereaved children and families, helping them to rebuild their lives after the death of a loved one. This enables them to face the future with confidence and hope.
Whilst other families make preparations for celebrating Dad’s special day on Sunday, those families supported by Winston’s Wish often find it a particularly difficult time. Bereaved children and young people are faced with reminders of their loss as shops in every town centre feature Father’s Day, and even at school activities can be centred around the day.
Some people find it particularly helpful to mark special occasions such as Father’s Day by creating activities to remember and celebrate the person who died.
Winston’s Wish provides 10 ways to remember Dads this Father’s Day:
Take a special card to his grave – or to where his ashes were buried or scattered.
Tie your Father’s Day card or a special message to a helium balloon and let it soar into the sky.
Blow some bubbles and send him your love on the wind.
Plant some bulbs or a shrub in a place that holds special memories of your Dad – what was his favourite colour?
Have his favourite meal – Risotto? Roast dinner? Curry?
Listen to his favourite music – (however awful his taste was!)
Begin to make a memory box in which to keep things that remind you of him – photos, shells, holiday snaps, glasses, his tie….
Make or buy a new frame for your favourite photograph of him – what was he doing?
Ask your Nan or Grandad for their memories of Dad as a little boy, and/or your Mum for her memories of when she and Dad met.
Write him a letter or a poem or a song. Maybe you could start with something like ‘If you came back for just 5 minutes, I’d tell you….’
Gianna Daly, Head of Clinical Services at Winston’s Wish, commented:
“We know that on occasions like Father’s Day bereaved young people can feel particularly
isolated. They often tell us that their friends stop talking about the person who has died, and that teachers no longer ask how they’re doing as time passes. Very often these young people want to keep talking about that person, especially on Father’s Day itself,
but to do so they need help and support”.
17 year old Amelia Taylor received support from Winston’s Wish after her dad was killed in an air accident in 2009. Following home visits by a Winston’s Wish Practitioner and attendance at a residential weekend where she met other children in a similar position, Amelia found that talking about her dad became a lot easier:
“I have gained so much from the support given by Winston’s Wish. I suffered severe anxiety after dad’s accident and used to worry about everyone I loved; thinking something bad was going to happen to them. Winston’s Wish gave me strategies to help manage these feelings. WW have helped me realise that anyone can lose a parent, at any age and that I am not the only person going through this”.
Winston’s Wish encourages families to keep memories of dad alive with activities that the whole family can engage in, such as making memory boxes, listening to dad’s favourite music or having his favourite meal on Father’s Day.
For more about what Winston’s wish do please visit WinstonsWish.org.uk