Just Like Us
Posted by Lola Ladimir, Bereavement Counselor
His wife died. He is now a single parent to two young children. His daughter comforts him. She hugs him tight: “It’s okay, daddy.”
Other families in the room acknowledge, they are just like us.
Just like us, this family lost someone very dear and special to them. Just like us, they grieve. Just like us, they journey forward.
Each family’s experience is different and unique. Yet, together, families find a sense of connectedness, a sense of understanding that they do not exist in a vacuum. There are others. Others just like us. They are not alone.
Families name grief and begin to tell their story of what happened. Families name courage, resilience, and hope. They listen to stories of others, each open to opportunities to provide support. Grief, no longer contained and isolated, begins to shift its focus to life rather than loss. This isn’t easy.
Overwhelmed by grief, families may look past the benefit of relating with one another. JourneyCare’s BraveHeart is a support group that encourages families with children to meet other families also exploring and adjusting to a life without their loved one. They share their experience through therapeutic interventions facilitated by grief counselors and volunteers. Together, families remember and celebrate the lives of those who died, connecting as a community. Children engage in activities to express grief through creative projects. Adults engage in discussions about how to support themselves and, with that, better support their children. Families come together to build on their progress, to integrate the legacy of their loved ones into their lives while moving forward.
There is an opportunity to connect at JourneyCare - I am privileged to walk alongside these families for a part of their journey. There is healing in the empathy shown to you and in the empathy you share with others. Connectedness is a tool that can transform a solitary experience into a load to bear together.
Her mom died. She is now the daughter of a single father. Her dad comforts her. They are a part of a community of compassion and understanding.
Among others ̶ just like us.
To learn more about BraveHeart and other bereavement support, please visit journeycare.org/grief-support or call (227) 770-2273.