Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Kids have a way of dealing with grief. In my opinion they can be stronger than we give them credit for.
Each summer I volunteer with Our House Grief Center's Camp Erin. A place where kids who have lost a close family member within the last 3-years can come and enjoy summer camp with other kids who've been through the same thing.
I remember before I took on the role as a volunteer for Camp Erin, it took me 7-years. When my pops died in 2012 my world collapsed. The shock of losing someone so close was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I went to Our House. I sat in one group counseling session with other adults who'd lost a parent. It was hard. When I left that first session I felt stronger. Seeing other people struggling to come to terms with their loss helped me to realize that I wasn't in it alone. I didn't go back to Our House, but I stayed on the email list and every year they talked about this Camp Erin. The call for volunteers was put out every year. I didn't feel ready until the summer of 2018.
We interviewed, got live scanned and I was one of the lucky ones. I was chosen to be a Cabin Big Buddy to Boys 3. Now let me explain, Boys 3 was the name of the cabin I was assigned to. These boys were pre-teens between 11-13 years old and I was the only woman in the group. It was a relief for me because I didn't have to sleep in the cabin with them and it was pretty much a 12-hour day, but I could go back to the cabin and sleep with other adults.
This camp y'all. I mean, these boys and all the other 130-something kids, took their grief and placed it aside while they swam, played basketball, painted. And then there were the times they had to face the pain. Those were the times I realized how much life gives us and how much strength we draw from those around us to push through. I was beyond honored that these boys allowed me to grieve with