THE death of a beloved grandparent is tough – and sometimes even harder when they’ve become a great-grandparent to your own small children.

Vicki Tibbitts and her children Sebastian, aged six, Angharad, three, and Benjamin, one, live on Romsey Road.

Last year Vicki’s grandmother Mary Bond died. She remembers an “amazing lady” who worked as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

This year the family are remembering her by writing a decoration in her memory and hanging it on a “memory tree” at St Paul’s Church in Fulflood, Winchester.

The tree will be at the church until after Christmas. Anyone who has lost a loved one – recently or a long time ago – is invited to drop in and dedicate a hanging decoration to the family members or friends they may be missing over the holiday season.

The Rector of St Paul’s, Canon Peter Seal, said: “Of course, Christmas is meant to be happy. But among all the other pressures it can also stir up memories of loved ones who will no longer be joining in the parties and family reunions.

“In our busy lives, we hope our memory tree will give people an opportunity for a few moments’ peace and reflection. This season of Advent is about watching and waiting for Christmas. For many, it is a natural time to think about those special people who have shared their lives but have now died.

“We want the local community to know there is somewhere they can come to reflect, and to physically mark the memory of departed but still cherished family and friends.

“There is no charge for dedicating a bauble: we hope people will visit freely and that the tree will be weighed down with love and precious memories.

“The cards will be removed in the New Year and brought to the altar during our Epiphany service at 9.30 am on Sunday January 7. Anyone is most welcome to join us for that occasion – and indeed for any of our Christmas services.”