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I’m Here With You: A Community Forum on Understanding Children and Grief May 7th

Written by witf.org | Apr 12, 2012 5:54 PM

“I would never take my child to the funeral.  She doesn’t understand anyway.”
“I figure I'll just take the pictures down of Nana for a while.  Being reminded of her will only upset my son more.”
“My teenager doesn’t talk about his dad anymore.  I’m so glad he is over that.”
“I’m afraid I’m gonna say something wrong so I won’t say anything at all."

Can you relate to some of these comments about the way that children grieve?  You’re not alone.

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Understanding how young children grieve is the focus of

I’m Here With You: A Forum on Children and Grief 
on May 7, 2012 from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
at the Jewish Community Center in York.  

Please click here to reserve your seat for this FREE community event.

The witf and Facing Cancer Together sponsored community forum is designed for adults who care for young children—families, teachers, principals, child care professionals.  

In this special community forum, child grief experts Leslie Delp, M.A. (founder and bereavement specialist at Olivia’s House in York, PA) along with Emilio Parga, M.A. (founder and director at The Solace Tree in Reno, Nevada), will help us sort through myths, fears, and questions related to children’s grief.  Many of us just want to figure out what to say.

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“You will never scar a child for life by talking about death,” says Leslie Delp, the founder and bereavement specialist at Olivia’s House in York.  Olivia’s House is a grief and loss center that offers no cost services for children and young adults whose family member, close friend, or even pet has died.   As adults, death can be a confusing and overwhelming topic for us. What must that all seem like to a young child?  Sometimes in our efforts to protect a child from something that scares us, are we really just creating more confusion?

“I often ask parents what they would say if their child asked them about rocket science, “ says Delp, “It is a great opportunity to say this is what I know, and this is what I don’t understand.  Let’s find out together!”  Delp reassures us that it is not about having all the answers, it is about providing the opportunity for children’s questions.

sad-girl-grief-forumLike Olivia’s House, The Solace Tree provides support to kids experiencing grief.  

In 2002, Emilio Parga discovered that he had cancer. At the time, he was also assisting students who had lost parents to suicide, accidental death and cancer. In his attempt to provide these children with emotional support, he realized that many kids and teenagers in Northern Nevada had lost a parent, sibling or caregiver throughout the year, and that there were no grief support programs for them. That’s when Emilio created the Solace Tree in 2004.

The mission of the Solace Tree is that all children, teens and their family members have the freedom to express their feelings associated with death in a safe and loving environment. The peer support programs and educational opportunities at the Solace Tree help children, teens and their family members to freely express their feelings associated with death in a safe and loving environment. The programs also help them learn to cope and adjust to the changes in their lives.

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It’s places like The Solace Tree and Olivia’s House that provide the support when we don’t have all of the answers.  There is a network of places like these across the country providing hope to kids and their families.  

At this community event, we’ll have the opportunity to hear what Leslie and Emilio have learned from their experiences.  They’ll provide a wealth of knowledge and practical tools to help navigate the bereavement process… through the eyes of a child.  And there will be an opportunity to ask questions of an expert panel including Leslie and Emilio. 

Let’s learn together, because we’re in this together.

Please click here to reserve your seat for this FREE community event.

Please call 717.910.2806 with any questions you may have.

Or, you can email facingcancertogether@witf.org.  We'll get back to you right away.

We'll see you there! 

If you are a childcare professional and would like to earn a Certificate of Attendance documenting your hours at this forum, please register at www.pakeys.org.

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