For some of us, our experiences of grief can feel even more poignant during the festive season. Irrespective of when the loss of a loved one occurred, their absence may be felt stronger at Christmas time because of memories and family traditions.
At Rowcroft, our team of Social Workers help to create personal ways for families and loved ones to capture treasured moments for reflection and comfort. Community Social Worker Emily Madsen explains some of the special ways Rowcroft provides this support through specialised memory work.
“Through the support of memory work we help patients and families to go beyond what is currently happening around them in the physical sense and focus on valuing relationships, personal history and family. Children, in particular, can benefit from individualised memory objects/messages that offer an ongoing relationship with the person who has died. Memory boxes, love cards, letters, journals, life stories and video recordings are just some of the ways that we support people to capture the memory of their loved one to continue to cherish. “
“Love cards are simple and incredibly personal to a child and their loved one. The cards provide prompts for family members to complete together capturing special messages like: You are special because… ; I feel so proud when… ; I love you because… ; You shine when… . A memory box might include photos, some favourite music, letters or a recorded message. These special objects and messages can help remind a child or loved ones of happy times they spent together and offer some comfort and continue bonds after a loved one has died. They help to remind people about a favourite day at the beach, a funny jumper they wore at Christmas and most of all, the love that they shared and will continue to share. Nobody completely dies as long as they are remembered.”
Creating and treasuring precious memories is very much a part of Rowcroft’s services and is at the heart of everything we do. Each year at Rowcroft, we remember and celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us during our Light up a Life celebrations. This celebration is open to everyone – not only for patients and families we have cared for and supported. There are several ways to take part in Light up a Life this year such as dedicating a light on the Rowcroft Tree of Light or by making a dedication in the Book of Light.
Click here for more information and details of celebrations in your area.