Some things to try
Take a moment to think about who else has experienced this loss.
- How are they coping?
- How could you help them?
- How could they help you?
Some people find it helpful to think about this visually. You could draw a tree and write the names of family within it or sometimes people like drawing a circle and placing themselves at the centre with their family around them. Remember family is anyone that is important to you - family, friends, neighbours, and others. Click on a name to view some examples which may be useful to consider how you might use it with your ‘family’.
Sharing memories, thoughts, feelings, and objects can help families create meaning together. This is also a good way to start conversations, for example “do you remember when…?”
- Is there a photograph, letter, piece of music, poetry, art, or story that you can use to share your recollections together?
- What are your favourite anecdotes? Ask others for theirs.
- Is there something you could do together – an adventure you had always planned or a charity event? Do you want to plan a celebratory event?
- Do you want to create an online memorial? An example can be found at www.muchloved.com where digital pages can be created free of charge and shared for as long as you wish.
Questions to Help Families Talk Together
The questions below are intended as a starting point to help families talk together about the death, make sense of what happened, and identify resources and different forms of support that may be available. It could be helpful to revisit these questions from time to time.
- Have you talked about the death itself? If you have what was most difficult? Did anything go well? If you haven’t, is there a reason for this?
- Have you talked to any health and care workers if they were involved? Has anyone in the family had any feedback that has helped?
- Have you talked with funeral directors or faith leaders? Has anyone in the family had any discussions with them that have helped?
- What did the person who has died mean to you?
- What do you miss most about them? Is there anything you won’t miss so much?
- What will you always remember about them?
- Are you able to express your emotions at this time e.g. guilt, relief, anger, jealousy, frustration?
- What are you finding hardest about their death? Is there anything that helps with this?
- How has the bereavement led to relationship changes between family members/friends e.g. taking on different roles, changes in emotional connection?
- Has the bereavement led to additional losses e.g. having to move house?
- If they were sitting next to you what would you want to say to them, and why? Is there anything you wished you had or had not said, and why?
- How can you and your family help each other? What are the different strengths of family members/friends that could be used now?
- Have you or other family members/friends taken on new or changed roles?
- Are there other sources of support could you draw on?
- Are you keeping to usual family routines, or have you created new ones e.g. around anniversaries and holidays?
- How do you want others to talk and be with you?
If you would like to download a pdf version of these things to try click here.