One of my favorite days this summer was when Heather, who was in second grade when I started working at Westwood-Bales, came to see me after her first year of college. This little girl always had a special place in my heart because when she was in third grade, she wrote me a note asking to see me, just because.
She didn't have a problem to discuss, or some unresolved feelings to process;
she just wanted to spend some time with me.
We had such a nice visit that day (and a couple times after that!); it was refreshing to talk with someone who didn't really have any pressing issues to work out. Not that year, anyway. The following spring break, she lost her mom in a boating accident. I kept track of her over the years and always wondered what it was like to walk in her shoes and recover from such a devastating loss. I've admired her resilience from afar and it warmed my heart to see the beautiful young lady she's become as we chatted over lunch.
I've been thinking about Heather all day since I watched this
Children and Grief Professor Child product,
the perfect complement for my small group counseling classes!
I am just jazzed about these films
and their free downloadable workbook companions.
What a valuable resource.
But you don't have to take my word for it; check out this You Tube trailer
and listen for yourselves to these amazing survivors:
There is absolutely nothing that can replace first-hand experience; that's why I see so much connection potential with these real children sharing their real stories. Each DVD includes about ten chapters, perfect for a semester-long small group, or for showing a chapter at a time as your students are ready. Follow-up with the engaging enrichment ideas in the workbook. There are reflection writing activities, role-plays, and drawing exercises. The one that caught my eye in the Grief workbook was a Dear-Abby-type writing exercise that puts the child in the role of the expert, writing the answers for his/her advice column. What a clever way to get kids to express themselves and share the wisdom from their journey.
So often when someone dies, it becomes the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. These films, which also include one for Children of Divorce, for Children of Military families, and for Siblings And Autism, can change all of that. They will give students a voice and feelings an outlet. They will validate and normalize behaviors. And they will undoubtedly help countless children heal.
Now I can't wait for my small groups to start!