1. SACRED SPACE| Do you have a special place that you visit to be with your children? A place that you feel connected to? Maybe it is their grave, or a beautiful garden, beach or forest. Maybe it is a special spot dedicated to them in your home, like a shrine or altar. What does this place mean to you? Why that place? If you haven’t got a sacred place that you visit maybe have a think about finding a beautiful place or space to remember them. You could create one in your own home or garden. If you would like to create a space in your home or garden, put on some beautiful music, make yourself a cup of tea and light a candle. Clear the space so it is clean and new. Think about what you would like to place in this space. Some ideas are fresh flowers, a candle, photographs, pieces of paper with your favourite quotes of poetry, an ornament that represents your child.  The beauty about your space is that you can make it whatever you desire and it will grow, change and evolve over time. It’s a lovely idea to keep a photographic record of how it changes with your grief and life experience. I light a candle or some incense every morning and every night in my space. If you are lost for ideas, you can visit my pinterest page.

I must admit this one is not something I’ve considered. Aside from the miniature makeshift shrine for the Wave of Light I don’t really have a sacred space. The boys have a tree planted in their memory in the New Forest but five years is nothing in tree terms and we haven’t been back to visit since planting. We tried to jot down the grid reference but the only thing to really mark out the tree is that it will be an ash tree amongst oak.

We keep the urn with their photo and bear cub gifts in the dining room. They aren’t hidden away but the space is often shared with usual household items. This isn’t an act of neglect or disrespect, in a way it makes them part of the family in a way that a shrine like sacred space wouldn’t. With every trip to that space to fetch more bananas our children see the photo of their brothers and the toys and they ask questions and play with the polar bears. The boys aren’t mysterious to them. They are part of the family.

What I do have is the titular shoebox of memories, crammed with photos, condolence cards and the bland bureaucratic paperwork hiding a tidal wave of grief. I don’t consider it as a sacred space. It’s kept in our bedroom close to us but I rarely revisit it.