To say that people are uncomfortable with emotions such as sadness, rage or fear – especially after a personal loss – is an understatement. 
 
Sit back for a moment and think about the times in your life when you were feeling sad and tried to talk about those feelings with others. On a few occasions your friend or family member may have simply listened without analysis, criticism or judgement. More often than not, however, you may have received one of the following responses:- 
How to Listen to a Griever
Losing a pet can be one of the most heart-breaking experiences in a person’s life. The bond between a human being and an animal can be deeper and more loving than some could ever imagine. Often a pet is the most trusted companion in a person’s life, providing unconditional love and loyalty in even the most difficult of circumstances. 
 
When a pet dies or runs away, an owner may lose someone who has always been by their side. The loss can significantly affect their ability to concentrate and function, just like a loss of any other kind. 
Coping with the loss of a pet
I remember vividly within days of my husband Kevin dying being asked about his stuff. Honestly! You would imagine that there would be a whole host of other topics people would ask about before this, but no. Everyone wanted to know "have you done anything about the clothes yet?" 
 
If you are reading this and grieving yourself I bet you will have immediately noticed that these possessions which sat next to his skin have been de-personalised. THE clothes, not his clothes. "The Clothes", as if they are wild animals which left untamed & uncaptured will riot around the house (i.e. your life) out of control. 
What to do with the clothes when someone dies
Whether you always made a big deal of Father’s Day or it barely raised a mention in your household there is no doubt that this year it will feel like it’s everywhere and unrelenting. 
 
Continual reminders of the life you no longer have, rubbing salt into your wounded heart. 
 
Unfortunately, however much you want to put your head under the duvet and not come out until Tuesday you can’t. You have to continue to be both parents to your kids who also are being bombarded with images of kids playing or bonding with their Dad’s. So what can you do to get through this as best you can? 
Widows Guide to Surviving Fathers Day
Age is not a factor here, as in it doesn't matter how old you are. 
 
If your Dad has died Father’s Day sucks. Yes I know that is an American phrase but it’s one that I think says it all really succinctly without swearing. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has died Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has run away or gone missing Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Mum whose husband has died Father’s Day sucks. 
Father's Day when you're grieving sucks
One of the most common questions we get asked is "What is the difference between what you do and Cruse?" 
 
There are lots of points of difference, so I'll explain the key ways that the Grief Recovery Method and Certified Grief Recovery Specialists are different to Cruse and Cruse Bereavement Support Workers. 
Grief Recovery vs Cruse Bereavement Care
In 2006 my husband Kevin died aged 41 from the most curable form of cancer. When his life ended so did my world. When people said (trying to be helpful) 'he’s out of pain', I’d look at them in dumb shock. On a bad moment I’d reply “lucky him, mine has just got unbearable.” 
 
How I could still be alive and in so much pain? I wouldn’t let myself think of continuing to live with this pain and without him, I started to exist from moment to moment, these were the darkest days of my life. I remember sitting on the harbour wall in Malta at Christmas – I’d fled there to try to escape – leaning forward and contemplating letting go and falling in. 
The Grief Recovery Handbook Saved My Life
In the wake of the terror attack in Manchester, which was even more horrifying as it seemed to target children, many parents are left lost as to what to say to their kids and how to say it. Parents left with a strong emotional reaction themselves, are having to do an emotional juggling act between the strong natural urge to protect their children and the need to not let the terrorists win. At Grief Recovery we know that the definition of grief sums this up: "Grief is the conflicting feelings following a change or end in a familiar pattern of behaviour." So having acknoweldged that what you and your kids is experiencing is grief here are some practical tips to help you address this. 
How to talk to kids about terror attacks
There aren't very many days when a thought about Kevin doesn't cross my mind. It’s not really surprising that there are still so many associations that trigger these, after all, we were together for most of my adult life. Familiar objects, tunes, posts from his family on Facebook, even certain foods will trigger fond memories or more rarely a remembered aggravation. The thoughts are not painful they are merely there. A fact of life after a death. Each year it is different, because each year I am different but I still notice the anniversaries – of the day we got married, of his birthday and of his death. 
The Grief Recovery Handbook Saved My Life
Father’s Day isn’t something I’ve given much thought to for many years – my Dad always forgot about it, he really didn’t see the point so quite often we didn’t bother. Somehow this year it’s different, so I’ve been pondering why. 
 
Timing is all – we’ve just had our first wedding anniversary – marking an event that Dad wasn’t around for because he sadly passed away quite some years ago which meant that he wasn’t there to give me away. In the run up to the wedding I’d noticed that I was thinking about Dad a lot and it took me a while to work out why I was suddenly missing him so much more than I had been. Then I realised. This was my first wedding without Dad there to give me away. 
Father’s Day
Yesterday I popped into the supermarket to get a few essentials and there it was – the massive display of flowers, pot plants & baskets etc. reminding shoppers “Not to forget Mum on Mother’s Day.” I was hardly going to forget! Today is the first Mothering Sunday since Mum died last spring so I’ve probably never been more aware that this weekend is the traditional time to say “thank you”. 
 
My Mum was a very pragmatic woman who didn’t expect to be taken out to lunch on this day “it will be too busy, expensive and service will probably be slow – better to go on a different day.” She did have some expectations though – a bunch of daffs and a card and she was happy. 
Mother's Day without your mum
All grief is unique. It’s something we say a lot around here. It seems obvious at one level, after all every relationship is unique. The statement sounds true when we hear it because no matter what our life experience is, by the time we are adults we have all experienced loss of various kinds. Even if we've never given it much conscious thought we know that we experience loss differently each time. There may well be common features of course. Reduced ability to concentrate or the urge to eat a bar of chocolate the size of Belgium, but no matter how hard some theorists try and push our messy human emotions into little boxes or “stages” it doesn't work. Grief IS unique. 
Mother's Day without your mum
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