The Butterfly Express - a workshop for Children and Coping with a Loss, was hosted and sponsored by Hospice of Morrow County on August 2, 2014.
Held at the Hospice Center in Mount Gilead, the workshop was created for children experiencing a loss such as the death of a loved one, a family separation, a major loss of family, divorce or loss of a pet. It was an exciting time with the conduction of constructive activities, including stories, grief talks, painting, games, planting and crafts that were grief related and which benefit the children.
Supervising the activities were the Hospice staff and volunteers. There was a butterfly release and lunch served to the children and their parents. This service is provided to them at no cost.
Coordinator of the Butterfly Express Shop was hospice Social Worker Ruth Reeve, LISWS-S, who said, “When children come together, it helps with the healing process of their grief because they are not alone.”
She led the team of staff and volunteers who included Debra Bachelder, artist/facilitator on grief related crafts, Max Lencil and Audia Fraley, counselors from the Helpline Agency. Other volunteers were Brandi Courts, a social worker and school teacher from the community, Rhonda Conrad, a nurse and Dave Matos, chaplain with Hospice of Morrow County
Chaplain Matos said, “Children are often referred to as the ‘forgotten mourners.’ Why? Because we, as a society, often do not encourage young people to mourn. Our program lets them grieve in healthy and safe, very creative ways in order to promote healing hearts and happy memories.”
Matos continued, ‘When we help children with the grieving process, it helps with their behavior problems related to the experience of loss which can be avoided and changed by children trained staff and volunteers.”
This is the second workshop hosted by Hospice this year with a total of 18 children at these events. There has been positive feedback from the parents and grandparents as they have told the staff how it had benefited their children or grandchildren.
The next program will be in November or December. These programs are free and open to any child who needs grief support.
“We are thankful for the volunteers and donations from the community that allow us to help with these events, “ said Matos.
Check the Hospice web site at www.hospicemorrowcounty.org of the Facebook page for updates on events and/or recent photos.