Did you know that November 16th, is Children’s Grief Awareness day? Neither did I. “Children’s Grief Awareness Day is designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others. Children’s Grief Awareness Day is an opportunity to make sure that grieving children receive the support they need.” I became aware of this day as I was researching different articles for myself on how to deal with grief. My father died four years ago and I still feel a bit shell shocked. Anyway, it got me thinking and I was reminded of the first time I ever felt loss and how I reacted.
When I was seven-years old, my best friend Jenifer died of leukemia. All I remember is watching the adults hug each other and cry, the quietness, my mother’s bloodshot eyes, the fact that I couldn’t play dolls with Jenifer anymore, or wear matching headbands. Time passed, and the grief of knowing my friend couldn’t play, stayed with me. The adults in my life tried not to mention her and as with all things, we all just moved on never really addressing how the loss affected me. It wasn’t until I was thirteen that grief overwhelmed my soul and changed my life forever.
My parents were in the process of adopting a newborn baby who was diagnosed with severe fetal alcohol syndrome. Micheala came home at just 2 days old and so began our journey of learning. Over time, she had a feeding tube inserted, a trachea, and my parents were told she would never walk. We loved on that little girl and watched as she blossomed under the care of our family, doctors, and home nurses. She was happy and chubby! Then, our world came crashing down right before her second birthday. She passed away quietly in her crib due to complications from a surgery she had just days earlier. Grief overwhelmed our household. Looking back, I don’t think anyone had a clue as to how to help. My parents were in a state of shock and just trying to live day to day, while we children huddled together crying and wondering. This is where, I believe, if we had the known about, a company like Ted E. Bear Hollow-now Grief’s Journey it would have helped.
Grief’s Journey believes that “everyone has a right to excellent and compassionate grief support” and that our community is stronger with it. They’ve designed their “services, education, and professional training so that no one has to walk their grief journey alone.” Grief’s Journey has a lot of programs, resources, and kits that can help grieving kiddos, starting at the age of three. They also provide a 20-hour training for adults to become Grief Facilitators. While researching all that Grief’s Journey has to offer, I was overwhelmed at the amazing support they provide to our community. If a child in your life or you yourself is grieving. please check out the website for Grief’s Journey.