As another busy year draws to a close at Jack and Jill, we are entering that special period of Christmas. People say that Christmas is really all about the children.
And yes, rightly so, it is. But it is also about kindness and love – of family and friends, and that one special day where we all make the effort to be together, to make memories and to share the gift of time.
For our team of Liaison Nurse Managers, it is extra-special to visit homes where some the festive fun and excitement is building up towards the big day..
But we are also acutely aware that even though Christmas is such an exciting, happy time of year, it is also an extremely tough, and lonely time for others.
For some, it isn’t easy to find suitably adapted clothes or toys or gifts for their children.
For some, its financially a strain to make Christmas special, while surviving on just one income as one parent is now a fulltime carer for their child.
For others, they are afraid to hope that they will get to spend all of Christmas at home, and not in hospital.
For others, someone very special is missing from their family. If you know one of these families, please make an extra effort for them this Christmas, which could make all the difference. Offer to help with the practical things like shopping or sibling outings. Invite them to festive gatherings but make the invite flexible so that they feel the choice is theirs to attend or drop out even at the last minute. Understand that their grief is like no other emotion you can ever understand.
It is for life… They will not bounce back or get over it in time. But with kindness and support, they will learn to live again, carrying their precious child, with them in their hearts. Speak to them of their child. Honour the memory of their little one, by saying their name. Add their name to Christmas cards and messages. You will not upset them any more than they are already upset, but by letting them know you remember them and think of them, you are showing the most wonderful act of kindness to a bereaved parent or sibling. To hear your child’s name spoken, is to keep their memory alive, and is like music to their broken hearts.
In Jack and Jill, we pride ourselves on keeping the child and family at the centre of our care. We listen to what our parents tell us they need and give them back a little choice as to how their family life proceeds daily. Our families tell us that what we give them in their own homes, is the gift of time.
Kindness, Love, and Time to share.
We remember this Christmas, all of our Jack and Jill loved ones who have passed away, and honour their memories..
We fondly remember our founder Jonathan Irwin, and our colleagues Majella O’Rourke, Tracy Marsden and Rhona Kett Sheridan.
May Their Gentle Souls Rest in Peace.