I remember vividly within days of my husband Kevin dying being asked about his stuff. Honestly! You would imagine that there would be a whole host of other topics people would ask about before this, but no. Everyone wanted to know "have you done anything about the clothes yet?" 
If you are reading this and grieving yourself I bet you will have immediately noticed that these possessions which sat next to his skin have been de-personalised. THE clothes, not his clothes. "The Clothes", as if they are wild animals which left untamed & uncaptured will riot around the house (ie your life) out of control.  
So having lived this, discussed this with dozens of other grieving people and read hundreds of accounts of dealing with these wild beasties here is my suggested way to go about it:  
Clothes after a bereavement
 
Whether you always made a big deal of Father’s Day or it barely raised a mention in your household there is no doubt that this year it will feel like it’s everywhere and unrelenting.  
 
Continual reminders of the life you no longer have, rubbing salt into your wounded heart. 
 
Unfortunately, however much you want to put your head under the duvet and not come out until Tuesday you can’t. You have to continue to be both parents to your kids who also are being bombarded with images of kids playing or bonding with their Dad’s. So what can you do to get through this as best you can? 
 
1) Make it a team effort 
Talk to your kids ahead of time to discuss what they’d like to do to mark the day or not mark it at all. Be sure to let them air their ideas and show them you have listened equally you have your say too – if something is going to be too difficult for you it is OK to say so. 
Father and child in the sunset
 
Age is not a factor here, as in it doesn't matter how old you are. 
If your Dad has died Father’s Day sucks. Yes I know that is an American phrase but it’s one that I think says it all really succinctly without swearing. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has died Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has run away or gone missing Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Mum whose husband has died Father’s Day sucks. 
dad with child
 
One of the most common questions we get asked is "What is the difference between what you do and Cruse?" 
There are lots of points of difference, here and in the video Carole Henderson explains the top five key ways that the Grief Recovery Method and Certified Grief Recovery Specialists are different to Cruse and Cruse Bereavement Support Workers. 
 
In 2006 my husband Kevin died aged 41 from the most curable form of cancer. When his life ended so did my world. When people said (trying to be helpful) he’s out of pain I’d look at them in dumb shock. On a bad moment I’d reply “lucky him, mine has just got unbearable.” 
 
How I could still be alive and in so much pain? I wouldn’t let myself think of continuing to live with this pain and without him, I started to exist from moment to moment, these were the darkest days of my life. I remember sitting on the harbour wall in Malta at Christmas – I’d fled there to try to escape – leaning forward and contemplating letting go and falling in. 
Kevin Batchelor - husband of Carole Henderson MD Grief Recovery UK
If you’ve experienced a major bereavement, then I’m sure you’ll have discovered that your feelings are unlike  
anything else you have experienced. You may also have discovered that it feels unlike any other loss you may have experienced before because all relationships are unique and therefore your grief is just as unique as you & your relationship are. 
 
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people being told that they are 
Young Widow Quote "things are hard enough without others making you feel it's wrong to want to be alone and want you to make more effort"
 
When I was widowed at the age of 40 I found out just how unprepared most people are when it comes to loss. Why is it so difficult? It’s not as if it’s unexpected, after all illness, pain, death are part of the human condition so surely with all that experience around we should learn the right thing to say? Well no, clearly not and because we’re not taught what to say we don’t teach our children what to say and the cycle of complete inadequacy continues. 
 
When I posted on this topic on an internet forum for widows the thread was inundated with examples of crassness and I vowed to write a book on the topic – there clearly is a need for education out there! Well that’s still a work in progress but in the meantime here’s my top five what not to say and if it stops a few people inserting their feet in to their mouths then great. 
 
By the way this list is on no particular order – what’s most offensive to me may seem mild to someone else – just play safe and avoid all of them! 
 
Age is not a factor here. 
 
If your Mum has died Mother’s Day sucks. Yes I know that is an American phrase but it’s one that I think says it all really succinctly without swearing. 
 
If you are a Mum whose child has died Mother’s Day sucks. 
heart on mothers day when you are bereft
All relationships are unique – so an article like this can only serve as a starting point for you and your unique situation. If you have more than one child, then each of them will have had their own unique relationship with their Mum, reflecting their own unique lives and experiences so it won’t be surprising to find that feelings around this annual event will be different for each of you. 
Therefore, our first suggestion is to talk about Mother’s Day before it happens; have some suggestions on what to do on the day and ask them what they want to do, either by talking about your idea and asking for reactions or letting them go first. Even the very youngest may have strong feelings, be prepared for this. 
In the wake of the terror attack in Manchester which was even more horrifying as it seemed to target children, many parents are left lost as to what to say to their kids and how to say it. Parents left with a strong emotional reaction themselves, are having to do an emotional juggling act between the strong natural urge to protect their children and the need to not let the terrorists win. At Grief Recovery we know that the definition of grief sums this up: "Grief is the conflicting feelings following a change or end in a familiar pattern of behaviour." So having acknoweldged that what you and your kids is experiencing is grief here are some practical tips to help you address this. 
1) Remember everyone and every experience is unique so there is no magic set of words that are appropriate for everybody. 
 
2) Kids are people too. The guidelines are the same no matter what age of person you are talking to. The only thing that changes is age appropriate language. 
 
3) It is important to acknowledge that sad, anxious, painful feelings are real and are the completely normal and natural response to loss of any kind. In these circumstances, there may be a range of losses including loss of sense of safety. This means that when your child expresses their fears or anxieties it is important allow them to fully express those fears uninterrupted rather than cutting them off in your rush to help them feel better. When they  

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