My son had the opportunity to join a bereavement camp for children.  My son’s situation is somewhat unique in experiencing this loss, and peers unfortunately may not be able to empathize, or even understand his grief and situation.  Every person grieves differently, including children.  When Dadda was in the ICU and then after he passed away, my son would have dreams that I left him or forgot him somewhere.  His memories of Dadda pop up in daily activities.  He cries more easily, can be whiny, and clings to my side.

Children are not necessarily resilient and I do not think we should expect them to be.  Children may act differently and live more in the moment than adults, causing others to think they are “okay”.  Children have experienced losses that sometimes they cannot verbally express.  While I lost a spouse, my son lost a Father, a hero.  This camp gave children the opportunity to express themselves through art therapy, music therapy, healing circles, and yoga.  My son loved the music therapy the best, banging out emotion on drums, remembering his musical Dadda.  I am thankful that this camp showed these children that they are not forgotten, allowing them to grieve and talk about their emotions and loved ones.  No one has to be strong or resilient.  No one has to hide away emotions.

-Signed, Lisa

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