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In 2010, the Hensel family’s life was forever changed when their devoted husband and father, Don, unexpectedly passed away. Within a week after his death a colleague of Wendy’s told her about Kate’s Club. Kate’s Club has been a lifeline for Don + Wendy’s children, Grace + Luke. This Saturday the family is “Racing to Remember Don“ as they participate in geneRACEtion… proceeds to benefit Kate’s Club + Senior Citizen Services. Wendy was kind enough to share a piece of her family’s grief journey here with us.
The Hensel Family
1. What has been the most valuable part of Kate’s Club for Grace + Luke? The most valuable part of the program has been providing an outlet for the kids to find other kids in a similar situation. They appreciate the fact that they are “normal” at the club and that they don’t have to explain what they are going through to be understood by their friends. That has meant a lot to both of them. As my daughter has said several times, “I’m so glad that there are other kids like me to talk to, but I’m so sorry there are so many in the same situation.”
2. What has been the most valuable part of the program for you? I also have benefitted from meeting parents who are in the same situation. There are not many widows/widowers my age in the Atlanta, and I have appreciated the opportunity to talk with them about our common experience. It truly fosters a sense of community.
Don + Wendy
3. In addition to participating in this Saturday’s geneRACEtion, how does your family celebrate Don’s memory? Don died seven months ago, so we are still in the early stages of figuring out how to remember his memory. On Halloween (his favorite holiday), we wrote notes on little pumpkins expressing how much we missed him and left them at his grave. We also visit on occasion to lay flowers on major holidays and birthdays. At Christmas, we put his favorite baseball cap on the top of our tree to reflect the fact that he is now our angel. Mostly, we try to talk about him every day — to remember and recall how important he is to us and the role he still plays in all of our lives.
Thank you Wendy for sharing your inspirational story!
To participate in this Saturday’s geneRACEtion, follow this link. Or, to support the Hensel family + others dealing with the loss of a sibling or parent, follow this link.
Would you like to share your story? Please contact us!
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