In one corner of the room, Mum Eleanor and her 12-year-old son George are choosing pebbles to put into a small, see-through bag. Pretty, coloured stones signify happy memories while rough, jagged rocks represent more painful times.
Rebekah Lawson, counsellor with Winston’s Wish explains why these activities were so important.
“We know that sometimes children can focus on very painful memories but they also need to focus on the happy memories too,” she said.
“They’re also really worried that their memories won’t last into the future so this gives them a lovely way of having something tangible to remember that person by.”
It also gives parents the opportunity to share sad times. Picking up a rough stone, Eleanor says: “My tough memory today which I’ve never shared with George before is; the day Glynn died, the last thing we did was have an argument. That’s a bit of a tough memory.”
On hearing this, George gives his mum a comforting rub on the head before picking up a coloured stone. It’s so nice to see how open they are with each other.
Eleanor and her three children have been coming to these sessions for seven years.