From in front of our Memory Tree, Dr Ros Taylor MBE shares words of comfort for anyone grieving for someone during the festive period.
“I’m Doctor Ros Taylor. I’m the Medical at Harlington Hospice and Michael Sobell Hospice and at this time of year, I’m thinking about the people who have been very special to us and who we’ve lost.
“I want to share a story from my children who used to love a book called Flat Stanley. They loved this book and it was the story of Stanley who one morning he was in bed, but his parents went in and found that he’d become invisible. And Stanley had left an imprint in his bed clothes, and I’ve often thought about the imprint that people leave on our lives after they die.
“This is the outline, or the imprint, that I hear about when I talk to families after they’ve lost somebody special. It’s an imprint that’s based on memory and jokes and stories and time shared together. Maybe recipes, maybe gifts you’ve shared. But it’s that imprint that stays with us and should sustain us in the saddest of times.
“And I hope that this Christmas, even though you might have lost somebody so special, that you get some comfort from thinking about the imprint that those you have loved and lost leave on your own lives. And perhaps a final thought is, think about the outline and the imprint that you might leave when your time has come.
“So I hope you all find comfort at this special time of year and in this moment, if you are grieving for someone, I hope you find peace.”
If you feel you would like to talk over the festive period, the following organisations can offer support:
Samaritans – 116 123 (open 24/7)
Cruse Bereavement Support – 0808 808 1677 (opening hours vary)