As Mother’s Day approaches Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services is reaching out to people who have lost their mum and to mothers who are grieving the loss of a child.
It's hard to go anywhere at the moment without seeing something to do with Mother's Day.
There are cards and gifts everywhere and adverts on the telly with messages such as "show her how much you care".
For someone who has either experienced the loss of a mother or a mother who has lost a child, these messages can be particularly painful and difficult to avoid.
So taking extra care of yourself if you have experienced this type of loss is particularly important at the moment.
The pain of your loss will always be there to some degree, but Sunday March 31st will be the most painful reminder for some and possibly one of the hardest days of the year.
We wanted to suggest some ideas that may make the day a little easier and perhaps even offer an opportunity to remember times you spent together.
Writing a card
Writing a card to a loved one who has died may be really helpful as an outlet for our thoughts and feelings. It can offer an opportunity to consider what would you want to say to your loved one if you could.
You may have on previous Mother's Days, bought a bouquet of flowers for your loved one and it can be helpful to continue to do this. You may want to lay the flowers at the place of burial or memorial. Alternatively you may want to keep them as a reminder of your loved one and enjoy them at home.
Lighting a candle
The lighting of a candle can be a symbolic way of remembering the light that once shone so brightly in your loved one. It is also a way of giving yourself time to reflect on your loss. You may even want to think about what you would like to say to them.
Choose the right place for you.
Think about where you want to spend Mother's Day. Who do you want to spend it with? Where would you feel more comfortable?
You may prefer the day to be a quiet one. One for contemplation or to not be reminded by others of your loss.
You may want to spend time with others, perhaps share memories or to even give yourself a distraction from how hard the day may be.
Most importantly, you chose what is right for you. We all grieve in our own way and doing what is right for you is the most important thing.
If you feel you would like to access our specialist bereavement counselling, please do contact HBBS on 01277 283199.
If you are feeling the pain is overwhelming on the day and you would like to talk to someone, please do contact the Samaritans on 116123.
Written by Lisa Mason-Gates, Counselling Manager at Havering & Brentwood Counselling Services