We don’t necessarily experience a trauma reaction when a loved one dies but we might and if we do, it is important to understand the workings of trauma. One child in a family might have a trauma reaction to the death of their parent while their brother or sister does not. Children’s symptoms of trauma can be confused with misbehaving so it is even more … Continue reading Children and traumatic grief
Carl Gorham has written a memoir about life with his wife Vikki, her death and how he got through the first year or so of widowhood with their six-year-old daughter. I listened to the audiobook version, which is read by comedian Alan Davies. It might be my favourite reading of an audiobook. His voice conveys real warmth and copes equally well with the emotionally … Continue reading Book review: The Owl At The Window
Do all your prep work before mid-October. This is your early Christmas present to yourself. (Obviously get yourself something a bit more fun too.) Game plan for winter weather In accordance with what is appropriate to your property: get your boiler serviced, your chimney swept, ensure your pipes are insulted and that you’re stocked up on gritting salt for your paths and driveway. … Continue reading A solo parent’s seasonal cheat sheet
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.
Continue reading “Empty nest syndrome”
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.
Continue reading “Three ways to build support and empathy in your family”
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 post. Ideas to help children celebrate their dad’s birthday … Continue reading Ideas to help children celebrate their dad’s birthday
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 don’t want to be a boring obligation but I don’t … Continue reading Keeping in touch with stepchildren
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 the generations. I lazily think of us as three … Continue reading Different attitudes across the generations
Widowed dads who are not being besieged by eager, would-be step-mums do not get much press. Remember Sam Baldwin’s sacks of mail in Sleepless in Seattle or Benjamin Mee’s fridge full of lasagnes in We Bought A Zoo? The hot pursuit of an available man in a retirement community has been the stuff of tv and film comedy for decades. I’m guilty of … Continue reading Welcoming a new widowed dad voice
Your child’s school might have an excellent track record of dealing with bereaved children. Or it might not. Go in prepared, just in case. Some children, particularly as they get older, hate the idea of being subjected to any sort of special treatment and strongly protest about a parent talking to their teachers. They might want no one to know or they might want … Continue reading What to say to teachers
Us Minus Mum is about two boys, their dog and their mum who is dying of a brain tumour. It has just won the first ever UK Literacy Association Highly Commended 7-11 Award. It was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. The author is Heather Butler and you can read more about the book, including an extract, on her website http://www.heatherbutler.info/my-books/us-minus-mum/ Continue reading Book award: Us Minus Mum