10 Ways To Help Bereaved Parents and Siblings This Christmas

I am really struggling at the moment

Christmas is coming

And my anxiety is soaring

As I face a full on family Christmas

Where very few people will acknowledge the existence of Tilda

And less than a handful will mention her name

Tilda at Christmas

I am always surprised by how few people

Write Tilda’s name in our Christmas cards

It is such a little thing to do

But makes a HUGE difference to us

Christmas Tilda

You are not going to ruin my Christmas by saying Tilda’s name

I have not forgotten she should be there

A five a a half year old girl

Full of festive spirit

Entranced by the magic of Christmas

You will make my Christmas so much more better

By finding a way to show me

That you remember her too

Tilda out of reach

Today we saw someone that we have not seen in 5 years

As I introduced the children sat round the table

Esther pointed at the sky

And said to me

Don’t forget Baby Tilda

My children know their sister is missing

It is not something we will ever forget

Especially at festive family occasions

Like Christmas

Tilda lights up Christmas

I realise that it does not come naturally to others to talk about Tilda

I understand that people may not really remember her

Or think much about her

I get that people worry about upsetting us

Fret about saying the wrong thing

But trying and getting it wrong

Is so much better than not trying at all

matilda mae at christmas

So how can you help a bereaved family this Christmas?

Here are 10 things you could try

1: Write her name in our card this Christmas

2: If you see us, say to us, ‘You must miss Tilda so much at this time of year’

3: Go outside together as a family and blow bubbles to the sky or wave sparklers with us and wish Tilda a Merry Christmas

4: Light a candle at the start of Christmas dinner and leave the candle burning to remember

5: Make a toast in her memory

6: Tell us that you remember her and share something you remember about her

7: Give us a small token of remembrance … a star for our tree, a pebble for her garden, a photo you have of her

8: Do an act of kindness in her name and tell us about it

9: Light a candle for our daughter when you go to church

10: Say her name, Matilda Mae, say our baby’s name

star tilda

If you have a friend like me

A relative like me

If you know someone surviving the holidays

With one or more of their children missing

Whatever you do this Christmas

Do not do nothing

Do something!

Let us know that our children are not forgotten

At Christmas

At all!

christmas 2012

5 thoughts on “10 Ways To Help Bereaved Parents and Siblings This Christmas

  1. Jennie, I never knew Tilda and I don’t know you apart from through your blog, however I remember a particular photo of her, all cosy in your sling, sticking her tongue out at the camera. You were at, I think, Bekonscot Model Village, a place we often go. I always think of you, Esther, William and Matilda Mae when we’re there. Bea wasn’t even a twinkle in your eye at that time, obviously! I wish you a peaceful Christmas. Xx

  2. I have thought about Matilda a few times this week already – I never met her, but she so often pops into my mind. I will light at a candle for her when we go to the church on Christmas Eve. Sending lots of love Jennie x

  3. I never met Matilda, I too love the photograph of her sticking out her tongue, it is such a lovely characterful photo. I do remember her, often. Each time I see a rainbow, each time I take my handbag with me (I don’t use any others apart from my Matilda bag). When I go into a church to light candles for those who are missing in my life, Tilda gets one too. You know, you and David do so well to survive each and every day, to love and nurture your family, I don’t think I could do it. Such a strong family unit, even if one cog is just in another place at the moment. Much love and Christmas wishes. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>