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When you know you do not have long to live, this Christmas with your children is a time to leave them with special memories.

For some children this Christmas might be their last with a mum or dad, and a time to create special memories. It is vital that parents keep communicating with their children about what is happening to mum or dad. Children read body language, overhear conversations and notice changes in routine.

Momentous situations in a family cause changes and children quickly sense when something serious is happening. They need clear, simple, truthful, often brief explanations about what is happening from their parents.

Children do not need protecting from their feelings, but support with them. When this is the last Christmas with a dad or mum, children of all ages need to know what they can give as a special gift. By suggesting they can make a card expressing themselves through a drawing, painting, or writing – this is an invaluable opportunity for children to do or say how they feel. Long after a parent’s death, children remember what they did or didn’t do.

This is a time for creating special memories for children. Memories of their last Christmas with a father or mother before they die.

With warmest wishes,

Jenni Thomas

The true way to mourn the dead is to take care of the living who belong to them.

Edmund Burke