blog Winston’s Wish News

Alternative goodbyes

It is never too late to hold a memorial or other ceremony for an important person. You could consider linking this to an important date – for example the date of their death, or of the funeral or of their birthday. Children and young people who did not attend the funeral may appreciate some of the following ideas; they can also be used for marking the anniversary of the person’s death:

  • Visit the grave (if there is one – or other special place, for example where the ashes were scattered).
  • Visit a place with special memories (for example, the place where you had your best holiday ever).
  • Create a special place of their own choosing (for example, in the garden of a new house).
  • Visit a place that you went to regularly (for example, the park or the swimming pool) – an everyday rather than a once-in-a-lifetime place.

Some of these ideas may make the occasion special:

  • Hold a small ceremony with specially chosen music, poems and tributes.
  • Bring a picnic of the dead person’s favourite food to share.
  • Prepare something to leave in the ‘special place’ – flowers, a laminated poem, a toy.
  • Release helium-filled balloons to which messages are attached on labels. You could say: ‘If you came back for five minutes, I would …’ or ‘I remember when …’ or ‘My wish for the future is …’
  • Light a candle and share special memories with each other.
  • Start a collection of memories from family and friends of the person who has died. (‘I remember the day Jim got stuck on the school roof after climbing up to get his ball.’)

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