Statement of intent

They say you can get away with anything if you walk purposefully and carry a clipboard. At times of uncertainty we all look for the person who seems to know what they’re doing but those are the times when it is most important to be that person in your life.   Okay, let’s be honest:…

Q&A: My siblings think my frail mum should move in with me

Q: My brother and sister think my elderly mother should move in with me. Is there any help available as she gets more frail?   A: The first step is to ask yourself if you truly want your mum to move in with you. Better to find an alternative now than go through the stress…

Family strife: A short resource guide

A little understanding and a fresh perspective can go a long way.   The Association of Family Therapy www.aft.org.uk   When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People by Dr Leonard Felder (also a book but this talk is gently humorous) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYd87Be594Y   Coping with Difficult Families by Dr Jane McGregor and Tim McGregor   Families…

Q&A: My sister thinks I should be over it by now

Q: It’s been a year and my sister thinks I should be over it by now. My sister-in-law agrees with her. They say they miss my husband as much as I do but that wasting my life is not the answer. I know they’re right but I don’t feel like joining the big rowdy girls’…

Empty nest syndrome

If you are worried about children leaving home at the end of this summer, specifically, dreading how you’ll feel without them, then a bit of acceptance and some planning will help.

Three ways to build support and empathy in your family

Three things you can do with your children to help you all support each other after a bereavement, by Karen Holford of the Association of Family Therapy.

Comforting a grieving pet

A grieving dog or mourning cat is a heartbreaking thing to see but there are ways to help.   How to tell if you have a grieving pet   You might notice that they seem withdrawn or a bit more clingy than usual. There could be some loss of appetite or general lethargy. Favourite toys…

Ideas to help children celebrate their dad’s birthday

The 19th of November is Children’s Grief Awareness Day. In honour of the great work done by organisations working with bereaved children, here is an article from our archives, first published in Issue 2 of Widows and Widowers magazine. There is also a list of  organisations that support bereaved children, at the end of the…

Getting through the holidays – part 1 of 6

We asked a few bereavement support groups at hospices up and down the country if they could share with us a few tips for getting through the holidays. Over the next six weeks I’ll post what they sent. The complete collection will be published in the winter edition of the magazine, which comes out on…

Give and take with the in-laws

Parents-in-law want to feel that their experience is recognised and all their hard work in raising a family is appreciated. We want to be recognised as fellow grown-ups with plenty experience of our own thank you, and to have our own sacrifices noted once in a while.   Those are the basics. On top of…

Keeping in touch with stepchildren

He used to spend nearly half his time with us. Now I never see him. There were a few, awkward visits with his mum, in the months after his dad died, but now we only do birthday and Christmas stuff in the post.   He’s a shy adolescent who’s been through too much already. I…

Different attitudes across the generations

The elders and youngsters in my family have each handled the death of my husband quite differently. And my approach has been different to both of them. But it turns out that I’m not an island of reasonableness in a sea of eccentrics. We’re just living in a time when there are big differences between…