Continuing Bonds Theory says that when someone dies our relationship with them does not end, but it slowly changes over time. The bond can remain just as strong and some activities and rituals may help to establish and maintain the development of these bonds.
You may wish to keep a lock of hair from the person who has died, or to have some jewellery or a keepsake made with the unique fingerprint of the person who has died, This is a very personal way to have something tangible with you at all times.
Some people choose to do something meaningful with ashes, or have them placed somewhere which gives a permanent setting to be able to come and visit. Choosing the style and words on a headstone can be a helpful process for many and visiting a grave can become a regular and helpful activity for some.
We have a number of different suggestions about how you might be able to engage children and adolescents in memory making creative activities. For example, spending time making a sand or pebble memory jar can be very helpful and you may find our Sand Memory Jar Video, Sand Memory Jar instructions, Pebble Memory Jar Video and Pebble Memory Jar Instructions helpful.
Bereavement books, podcasts and Apps
Many people find it helpful to read books and listen to people sharing their experiences of bereavement, or to better understand their own bereavement, grief and how to develop continuing bonds. Gathering information can be very helpful and empowering, especially for people who may not want to talk openly about their feelings and experience.
There are a waide range of resrources available to support people in their bereavement. There are books, audio guides, podcasts and Apps. Many people choose to access these resources alone, but others choose to do so with someone close to them. This can be especially helpful when people are experiencing grief very differently, or when children are involved.
The following are a very small sample of the resources available and please get in touch with your local service (or the support services team), if you would like any more information.
Books for teenagers – Weird is Normal when Teenagers Grieve by Jenny Lee Wheeler, Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas by Alan Wolfelt, You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk about Life After the Loss of a Parent by Lynne Hughes.
Books for adults – Next to you, Caron’s Courage Remembered by her Mother by Gloria Hunniford, Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving by Julia Samuel, Thinking Out Loud: Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad by Rio Ferdinand, Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living with Loss by Jan Warner and The Grief Survival Guide: How to navigate loss and all that comes with it by Jeff Brazier.
Podcasts – Griefcast, Terrible – Thanks for Asking, Good Grief, Help 2 Make Sense, Grief Outloud and Coming Back Life After Loss.
Feedback from the families we have supported