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It is often stated that “the grief path is often lonely and frightening.” Not on Saturday at Kate’s Club. On Saturday, Kate’s Club hosted programs and events on “Bring a Friend” day that brought together over 100 children, 40 volunteers, and a number of families. The ability to get friends and families involved helps all in the healing process.
The event was another leading up to Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, March 1st. Grief effects all of us in different manners and the day was an uplifting one as many shared their grief journeys and paid remembrance to their lost loved ones. During the day, there were many concurrent activities for the children including the Grieffiti Wall, Faces of Grief, and the Kindness tree.
“Having my friend here is so awesome.” said one 12 year old, “He’s my best friend and always has my back. Not having my Dad is a big part of what I have to deal with every day.”
When his friend was asked why he decided to come to Kate’s Club, he simply stated “I just want to be the best friend possible.”
While the topic of loss and grief can be a difficult one, the day was uplifting. The ability to openly talk about the grief experience and do activities to remember the lost loved one proves to be highly therapeutic.
The activities were not only limited to the children. Parents who have either lost children or a loved one participated in an emotionally charged “Park Bench” session. They openly discussed the impacts of grief as they continue on with the parenting process. The session was led by a grief therapist who herself had experienced the loss of a family member due to suicide.
“When I start talking about my feelings of being overwhelmed by it all and the powerful emotions I feel, I look around the room and see heads nodding in agreement. It’s uplifting to know the support I have to get through it all.”
After the session, the room stayed full as parents continued the dialogue with one another and created relationships to support one another.
One friend of a volunteer was introduced to Kate’s Club for the first time on Saturday. At the end of the day, we asked her to share her experience. “The kids receive a tremendous amount of support from the efforts of Kate’s Club. It’s amazing to see how much strength they provide for each other.”
When thinking about grief and loss, it is important to remember that you are not alone. For many children and families, Saturday was a strong reminder of that message.