“Sadness buddy, stay with me. Help me through what has to be. Hug me close; take my pain away. Help me live my life each day. Hear my questions, share my pain. Teach me how to smile again.” -Anne Curtis
Each child in Hospice of the Comforter’s Children’s Loss Program receives a “sadness buddy,” a small stuffed animal accompanied by the above poem. These special services are available to all children in need, children like Tommy.
“When is mommy going to die?” Tommy asked his father Charles one evening after his mother stepped away from the dinner table. Mary had been sick Tommy’s entire life and recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Charles was dumbfounded. How could he go from raising a son with his best friend by his side to going it alone? How was he supposed to explain death to his four-year-old son?
When Mary entered hospice, bereavement support was built into the regular plan of care. Counselors worked with Tommy to explain Mary’s life-shortening illness; they gave Charles the same support but with an added “toolbox” to help him learn to be a single parent. Father and son learned to grieve together. Hospice of the Comforter helped Tommy and Charles manage the crisis when Mary passed away.
School-Based Grief Support
In addition to in-home anticipatory grief counseling services, Tommy also participated in a school-based grief support group.
- Children’s grief counselors work with students grieving the loss of a loved one for six weeks.
- They provide a safe environment to learn age-appropriate coping skills and express grief in a healthy manner.
- Children participate in activities that promote a deeper understanding of the feelings they’re experiencing.
How You Can Help
Thanks to generous community support, Hospice of the Comforter is able to guide families along the journey of grief and loss. You can help provide counseling and education during these trying times.
Our services are extended to anyone in need regardless of their ability to pay. Your tax-deductible gift will be put to use right away:
- Arts and crafts supplies for Camp Healing Hearts
- Sadness buddies for children
- In-school grief support
Thank you for your generosity. You are invaluable to Hospice of the Comforter, and I am grateful for your support.
Regina Nimmo, LMHC
Children’s Loss Educator, Hospice of the Comforter
For more information about any of the programs detailed above, contact Regina Nimmo at Call407-379-0497 or via email.