Thursday, November 15th, was National Children’s Grief Awareness Day! We were proud to wear blue to show our support and to connect with the community to raise awareness of the unique needs of grieving children and teens. Leading up to the event, we asked our TCR community to share their thoughts on the importance of grief awareness and support. Their beautiful handwritten reflections were written on blue hearts. Once completed, every two hearts were joined together as a butterfly, symbolizing the integration of grief and awareness and the changes that occur as we support each other with care and understanding. Ultimately, all of the messages we received were gathered and assembled by our incredible interns into one big, beautiful display. Here in Arlington, TCR program staff and interns hosted activities at the Ottoson Middle School and the new Gibbs School. We also hosted activities at John Glenn Middle School in Bedford, Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea, Lexington High School, and Prospect Hill Academy Charter Middle and High School. At the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club in Roxbury, TCR partnered with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute to sponsor the activity. As part of these activities, children and teens were invited to honor their grief by placing a blue dot on a large piece of artwork in order to represent a person in their life who died. They were also invited to share their memories and reflections on blue hearts or strips of ribbon. The response was overwhelming! What a meaningful week we had! Thank you to all who participated. You continue to help us envision a world where death and dying are more fully integrated into our lives, which leads to greater compassion, [...]
Kota Press has a blogpost with ideas of how to incorporate your loved one into the holidays. Most of her ideas came from parents who had a child die, but their application is universal. Here are a couple of ideas: For those celebrating Christmas, creating ornaments in memory of someone and then giving those ornaments to family and friends is a great idea. The time spent making the ornaments is a time spent thinking about how you loved them at the same time you are doing something creative which is a stress reliever. Sometimes making time to do something active is a stress reliever. You don't have to be too crafty to make it work. One special idea, which I know a couple of people use, is to have a tiny angel paper puncher and to punch a little angel in every card sent. Subtle and, yet, wonderful. Kara writes that she is "inspired and comforted" by the ideas. Hopefully you will be, too. Visit her blog for more info and other great reads. See a previous post on other strategies.