Many parents who first call Hope & Healing contact us for help with their children's grief.
Children, beginning at age 4, usually enter grief support services either nervous about being around others or excited about the arts and activities that will always a part of any children's group.
Teens are usually reserved, "cool" in their "I don't want to be here" physically stance.
All groups are co-lead and most times a Junior Facilitator also.
Children quickly learn about grief and share their story with new friends.
I am always amazed how children show Compassion with the story of other children.
When we close the door to a middle or high school group kids find their own space, their own way of sharing their story. Sometimes in words, often through art, ITunes, and uTube.
The parent who told us they were only here for their children find their own grief story, with other parents, as well.
After the first evening, the kids bring the parents with "Remember Mom, it's Hope & Healing tonight."
Hope & Healing Place began in 2003 to "heal the hole in the heart of a child." Still true today.
Over the years Facebook shows the Upper Elementary child now entering high school as I did this Monday morning.
Other teens are at AC, WT, or trade schools.
We are proud of each one as they grow up, always remembering the death in their family or peer, and grow into their own unique person....hopefully with a healed heart and a new story to tell.
Children's grief is magical, humbling work. We open a new Generations family program Aug. 29th....the mission of healing the heart of a child or teen continjues. Roy
No one's grief is exactly the same. Families are encouraged to contact
The Hope and Healing Place when they feel they are ready to confront and
move through the pain of their loss. We believe that each person/family
grieves differently and that they are the best judge of when they are ready to
embark upon the healing journey.
One of the many pleasures at Hope & Healing Place is the opportunity to tell the Hope & Healing Place story and educate the public about grief and the grief journey,
We regularly speak to civic clubs of Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions. Some talks are at 6:30 AM and others at Noon.
Their members are already volunteer givers to their community. Many have long standing special projects. The Lions are known for their glasses and Ambucs for the specialized bikes that allow physically weaker children to regain some control on their ability to move.
All the groups are interested in Hope & Healing grief services. Most have experienced a family or peer death. I have seen more than a few tears and I have humbly listened to many a story.
One common question is "How can we help?"
A civic club or member can make a monthly gift to Hope & Healing in the name of the club or member.
A member can attend our volunteer training and become a support group facilitator.
Club leadership can be a referral point as there are deaths within their club family.
I like the opportunity to share Hope & Healing with any civic, educational, or professional association. Just contact us .... our calendars are ready to pencil you in!
I Will Rise Again
by Douglas Rhodes
To help and to hold
No longer will I judge through my previous eye
Now I see
I am a Better man
And through my grief
I will walk with others
Because they have given me strength
And with their
strength I will celebrate again
I will celebrate life
I will celebrate
the love of all
I will celebrate Jack
Because in his death I am
Tom & I were exploring a possible speaker/singer for special event at Hope & Healing. Tom recommended Judy Collins. I asked whether the general public would know her in 2013...& since we can volunteers setting up for the half marathon Tom asked these late 20's & early 30's volunteers. Not one knew the name, the songs, the history.
We see the same divide a families and teens struggle with death, memorial services, and grieving.
There "elder" rituals that are important such as visitation, flowers, memory gifts to Hope & Healing, telling the dates at the service and then there is the burial site or cremation urn.
Teens and young adults do not always know Judy Collins, or the rituals so important to the older adult. We listen to teens and young adults push back at a time when everyone is numb from the death and loss and yet young people really do not have established rituals of their own.
Five yrs ago I listened as a teen sister of a sibling death read her words of praise from her phone...that was 5 yrs ago!
We see teens and young adults using this numb time of a death differently....less time in public gatherings....more time informally setting and talking, plus all the postings on FBook, Twitter, videos, and e's.
Generations of family finding their own path in sadness, missing, and grief.
The blurring of rituals and "how we do this" is working its way out in front of us all. We listen, we learn together.
Judy Collins and Lady Gaga exist in the same space.
What is important is to value, respect, and appreciate each.
A common question and a common challenge concerns the Faith experience as an individual or as a couple.
At Hope & Healing Place we see/hear those who lean into their Faith as well as those who are angry and lost regarding where their Faith fits into the saddness and "missing" in a tragic or sudden death.
We have been doing specialized training for Pastors and Youth Ministers regarding Teen Suicide Prevention. The ministers really want to learn with great questions.
We are also learning the education for ministers does not many times include the grief journey experience by so many of their members.
Sidenote: We have also learned our community volunteers receive more training/learning about grief & loss than doctors during their medical education.
So, Faith and grief is complicated.
Here is what we know.
By attending a grief support group, those attending share their hopes, frustrations, and growth with others.
By "showing up" our families show courage (that is Faith), forgiveness (that is Faith), all the emotions of loss and missing (that is Faith). At Hope & Healing Place we pray together in a hand holding circle with 18 to 20 families (80+ children, teens, adults) as we begin our Generations/Family Program evening.
What we close the door to a grief support group, God and the Faith experience is open group sharing. Whatever we work through we do so together (that is Faith community).
Faith and grief loss. Complicated. So is everything else when there is a car accident, a suicide, a heart attack death.
Faith and all the emotions of death come in the door with the family or individual....We say Welcome!
Like many of us we began yrs ago with a web site.
www.hhpamarillo.org is our 4th site and represents the maturing of web pages and also Hope & Healing.
In the past yrs I have added words like Formstack, Highrise, and Hootsuite to my techy vocabulary.
Hope & Healing is responsive to all deaths, family types, ages, gender, and culture.
No one communication touches all.
Heartprints is a grief support group for infant death up to 2 yrs of age. Although we have had grandparents in Heartprints the majority are young adults and older teens.
Our Volunteer Facilitators range is age from Amarillo College to the retired elder.
About 80% of new callers are active on a home or work computer.
Parents, teens, and workplace peers want help 24/7....the device in their hand is their connection to a ever widening world.
Thus, at Hope & Healing Place we FBook, Twitter, Linked-in, email, respond to Contact Us on web site, and more.
At 2AM someone searching for a grief resource can Google, find Hope & Healing Place, tab Support Groups, select the support group best for their situation, submit brief, confidential information online, and we are linked.
Social media promotes ongoing touch with past individuals and families to encourage, share more about the grief journey, and not be isolated in their grief.
We know also the importance of communicating our mission beyond social media. We print, have PSA, and traditional means of ensuring the Panhandle knows we are a grief resource at the most difficult times.
At Hope & Healing Place social media is one way to touch, to learn, to share this journey together.
Wonder what new techy word I will learn today???
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