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Author Gina Farago wrote to me recently about the grief book she wrote for children: "After my parents and brother-in-law died, I felt so hopeless, but then God put it on my heart to become a Hospice volunteer along with my therapy dog, Skittles. After that experience, which was the beginning of my own personal healing, I wrote "The Yearning Tree: A Children's Bereavement Resource".
It is difficult for children to express their feelings, especially when it comes to the sadness and confusion experienced due to the loss of a loved one. Parents, teachers, and counselors can use this beautifully photographed book and its accompanying questions as a platform to promote discussion with a child about the grieving process.
Children will relate to Maggie and Skittles, two happy-go-lucky dogs whose lives are suddenly changed when Maggie’s friend Sammy dies and is buried by the old tree on the hill. Your child will join these two friends as they each explore the different stages of grief from two different perspectives: Maggie is sorrowful and mourns her loss daily at the old tree, while Skittles is at her wit’s end about how to help Maggie through the grief -- until it is discovered that listening and love are the answers.
My name is Susan Urasky, I'm the camp registrar for Hands Together, Heart to Art run out of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, a non-profit organization.
I wanted the Light Beyond's readers to know about Hands Together, Heart to Art which is a summer camp in Chicago, IL that celebrates the healing power of creative play. It is an arts initiative for children ages 7-14 who have experienced the death of a parent. This is a two week day camp with the low tuition cost of only $50 and scholarships are available. The campers take part in music, dance, and drama classes daily along with grief counseling to help facilitate their healing process. For more information, please visit www.hthta.org or call the program at 312.922.2110 ext 303. Thank you, Susan Urasky.
I've come across a few interesting articles lately about 'grief camps' or 'bereavement camps' and how they can help children and teens cope better with their loss. I hope that some of you might find them useful too...
The UK-based charity Winston's Wish is a resource which provides help for grieving children and their families. It helps bereaved children and young people rebuild their lives after a family death, and offers practical support and guidance to families, professionals and anyone concerned about a grieving child. If you are in the sad situation of struggling to console a grieving child - often whilst trying to deal with your own grief at the same time - I do recommend its work highly.
"At the beginning we couldn't see how to get through. Now we know we can - we laugh, we cry, we find ways to live and remember." Isn't this how it is for all of us, in every loss?
Lucie Storrs The creator behind The Light Beyond, Lucie lives in Italy's wonderful region of Tuscany. This project combines her two passions: the world wide web and helping lots of people!
Nancy Adams Nancy is one of our wonderful writers, drawing upon her own extensive experience of grief and loss. She lives in a truly idyllic, inspiring location at the heart of a forest in Michigan.
You...? Why not share YOUR story with all our readers, so that others can learn and grow from your own experiences of grief and loss? Simply click on one of the Contact Us buttons to send us your story.