DOING STUFF – CREATIVE RESPONSES TO THE DEATH OF A CHILD
In this section of BEYOND GOODBYE we want to explore the many different ways that bereaved families find to express their loss. We have called the section CONTINUING BONDS in recognition of the new relationship that we must build with our dead child if we are in any way to remain sane. Â As parents of a dead child,Â we are so fundamentally changed, so bereft, so lost, it is difficult to see how life can offer any rewards, but they are there. Â By creating new rituals in which to mourn,Â by making things with which to remember, we can begin to reshape our relationship with our children and to continue the bond that we never want to break.
But grieving is hard work – it is tough, emotional and very challenging work. Â It is full of contradictions – we are trying to forget the pain and remember our loved one both at the same time. Â Â If you know how long your grieving journey will be, this might make things easier. Â But you don’t. Â Â Grieving is like a hill you climb – Â you reach the summit only to find another lurking in the distance. Â Â But while it can be a very lonely experience, but grief can also be a wonderful educator – with new discoveries to be had.
InÂ SAY THEIR NAME,Â the filmÂ we made on behalf of THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS, Rachael Claye (a bereaved sister) talks about how important it is to try and find your own unique way through a grieving journey. Â Â “Grieving is doing”Â she saysÂ “and itâ€™s not just feeling dreadful in a dark room.Â If you do stuff, you express stuff and its active, thatâ€™s when you move forward in grief … Â its when you express your love because grief is about love.Â And no one can tell you what you need to do because it is about love and it’s about your unique relationship with that person whoâ€™s died and only you can possibly find the right symbols or metaphors or things that express that.Â Â No-one can lecture you, you can’t read a book that tells you.Â It comes from within that stuff …”
On these pages we would like to share some examples ofÂ the stuff that comes from within. Â Â They represent the many different but wonderfully creative responses to the worst loss and the worst pain we can imagine. Â Â As this section grows we hope to see it divided into various media – words, images, creative tributes of all kinds – but for the moment the list is a random selection from those we know and some we don’t.
If you are a grieving parent, or a brother or sister, and you have found your own individual way of producing stuff to help you express your grief please do contact us – we’d love to hear your story. Â Use the contact form here Â CONTACT FORMÂ
Discover what others are doing to continue the bond with their children – Â Click on the images below