Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grief Camp

Imagine my surprise when I recognized this little girl's name in the newspaper!
GALION - Six-year-old Olivia Morrison has experienced something no child should have to - the loss of a parent.
Morrison joined more than 20 other children Thursday for the first day of a three-day grief camp for kids.
"I lost my daddy. I am feeling better by being here," Morrison said. "I liked when we jumped off the hay bales with blindfolds on."
Marion Star
I had to message her mom and find out all about it! So today and tomorrow I'll share with you what it was like in a Q & A format.

Q. Rebecca, thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. How did you find out about this grief camp and why did you decide to send your oldest daughter?
Rebecca and daughters
          A. I got an advertisement for the grief camp in the mail through the hospice organization we used when Scott was dying. I knew about it last year, but our grief was so raw I didn't think it would do any good then, also it's only for kids 6-12 and Olivia just turned 6 in May. But when I received the advertisement this year I felt like it would probably be a good idea for her to go.

Q. How many children attend, and is it only for loss of a parent?
A. The camp is for kids ages 6-12 who have experienced any kind of loss. (There is also a teen camp held at another time in the summer...) At the close of camp, the children wrote the names of the people they'd lost on a balloon for a balloon release; I saw all sorts of things - mostly grandpa, grandma, but also several moms and dads. Even great grandparents.

Q. What do the parents do while their kids attend?
A.  Parents are welcome to stay, but I felt like I should not...I wanted Olivia to feel free to talk about anything with the counselors / volunteers there and not worry about what I was thinking or feeling. Sometimes she seems reluctant to talk about Daddy with me because she knows it might make me sad. I always tell her its okay to be sad, it means we really love him.

Thanks, Rebecca!
Check back tomorrow to hear what Olivia had to say about it, find out if Rebecca saw any effects of the experience on her daughter and more!

Is there a Grief Camp in your area? What sort of grief support have your children participated in? Sharing your experience helps other widowed moms decide about, or look into the resources they need for their children. Please help them today!


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