Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tomorrow is Children’s Grief Awareness Day – wear something BLUE to show your support.
From the Caring Place Webpage
Children's Grief Awareness Day
About the DayChildren's Grief Awareness Day
Children's Grief Awareness Day is observed every year on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. This time of year is a particularly appropriate time to support grieving children because the holiday season is often an especially difficult time after a death. Children’s Grief Awareness Day seeks to bring attention to the fact that often support can make all the difference in the life of a grieving child.
This year Children's Grief Awareness Day is November 18.
Children's Grief Awareness Day provides an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of the painful impact that the death of a loved one has in the life of a child, an opportunity for all of us to recognize and support the millions of grieving children across the nation—the thousands of grieving children right in our own communities—and the grieving children we know and see in our daily lives, an opportunity to make sure that these children receive the support they need.
Children and Grief
Before they graduate from high school, one child out of every 20 will have a parent die—and that number doesn't include those who experience the death of a brother or sister, a close grandparent, aunt or uncle, or friend.
Children who have had someone die—especially a close family member — can feel the loss forever. They eventually go back to school. They might pick some activities back up. They certainly look "normal." And yet there's still that hole inside.
It often gets worse during the holiday season when the already hard feelings of longing and pain become intensified and when memories of past holidays contrast sharply with the loss of the present holiday.
This is a time of year when the grieving child can feel even more set apart, different from their peers, more alone than ever.
Every school and every community has children who have experienced some type of loss. Even if they keep their loss and experience to themselves, there are many children who are grieving among us.
These children can be helped to not feel so alone. Children and adults together can show their support for grieving children and show their awareness of what grieving children might be going through by participating in Children's Grief Awareness Day.
A Special Day to Remember—How It Began
Children's Grief Awareness Day began in Pennsylvania, growing out of the partnership of the Highmark Caring Place with hundreds of schools across the state — the Caring Team for Children—and the desire of the students to do more to bring attention to what their classmates were dealing with for the most part in silence.
After touring the Caring Place and learning about how alone and misunderstood their peers often felt after a death, Caring Place staff and Caring Team students worked together to inaugurate the first Children's Grief Awareness Day in 2008. Since 2009, businesses and corporations have also become involved.
In just two years, hundreds of schools from across Pennsylvania, reaching nearly 150,000 students, have worked in many ways to raise awareness of grieving children from having all the students wear blue on that day to holding assemblies and bake sales, sponsoring Silly Hat Days, and having students make presentations to all the Social Studies classes in the high school.
The most basic way to participate is having as many as possible—children and adults—wear blue that day. Publicity about the reason for wearing blue—to show awareness of grieving children—allows the entire community to know what Children's Grief Awareness Day is about.
Another easy way to show support to grieving children is to visit the Children’s Grief Awareness Day Facebook page and, if you like what you see, you can officially "Like" the page. As grieving children see more and more people supporting this page, they can have a greater sense that they are not so alone in their grief—that others do care about what they are facing day after day.
Of course, many schools, companies, and organizations go beyond wearing blue and liking the Facebook page in planning activities for Children's Grief Awareness Day. See how others have taken things to the next step in observing Children’s Grief Awareness Day.
No matter the level of support, being involved shows people's awareness of what grieving children might be going through and demonstrates solidarity with the children. With so many taking part, "Children's Grief Awareness Day" is like a huge shout saying "We care!" to those who have felt so alone in their grief.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Someone asked me what my thoughts were and honestly…I just don’t know quite yet. There are things I so desperately want to believe, but I’m attempting to be logical and differentiate between wanting to believe and desperately seeking a conclusion.
I truly hope there is something out there other then mankind, because I would like to think there is more than just us, but if that’s the case I have many, many questions. Some of those questions actually make me quite angry and then I question everything all over again.
I am fully aware that I am not the first person to suffer such a close loss and go through something like this, but I think for those who have…to experience it first hand, your thoughts would / might be a little different in all frankness.
Some of the folks at the Caring Place have talked about it open and honestly. Some are….were very religious, but since their loved one was taken away, they feel very different and angry about God and what’s next. Going through this experience changes you…it makes you look at things in a way and manner that other people don’t get and most likely never will.
I am doing my best to remain neutral on the subject matter of God and religion. My oldest daughter really enjoys going to church with some close friends on Sunday mornings. I do not discourage her to attend nor do I encourage her…it’s her decision…her choice. She has asked me why I don’t go, or want to go to church and I tell her that we will have that discussion someday when she’s older. She looks at me in such a manner that I think she knows why and just smiles and says okay.
I’m still formulating my opinion…I’m still on this journey we call “life” and don’t know how to answer yet. I appreciate the views and perspectives…I do…as for now I’m just going to keep my most inner thoughts to myself…for now that is where they belong.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
What do you think happens when you die?
I have read multiple books on the subject.
I have my own thoughts...my own theories but want to hear what others think...
Do you simply turn to dust...
Do you go to heaven...or hell...
Do you linger somewhere in between...paradise... purgatory...or hell
Are you reincarnated...
Is your purpose here to teach or pass along a lesson...
Are we supposed to teach / help others...
What is the purpose...the meaning...
Where do we go...
Yes, I am being very nondescript and vague because I don't want to influence what
others might think or have to say...I'm curious to hear what people think...
I need some input here...
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Lawrence is the author of the book “The Light in Darkness” which is all about Springsteen’s ‘Darkness” album and tour. Lawrence wrote to me to tell me about a loss in his family and that he enjoyed reading my blog and the words that I wrote regarding “Darkness”. It was nice and it really made me feel good. Then he sent me a signed copy of the book (see below).
So I just thought this was the coolest thing…here is a link to the book for any Springsteen fans who follows my Blog.
A New Bruce Springsteen Book by Lawrence Kirsch
It’s a good book filled with some awesome pictures and first hand views and perspective on what this album (Darkness) meant to them personally. It also contains a recap of the "Darkness on the Edge of Town" tour that took place over May 1978 and January 1979. It contains first person summaries from various everyday people who attended the shows on that tour. It's candid and raw - I can very much appreciate the views and perspectives on the Darkness album and tour. I would not classify this as a nice to have book...I put this in the 'must have' category for any Springsteen fan.
It was just really cool to have someone stumble upon the Blog…tell me that they enjoyed reading what I wrote and it helped them and then in return have it help me as well. It’s weird how things work sometimes. I write an entry about my favorite album of all time and it turns out in me meeting (via email) a very cool individual who made me feel good…thank you Lawrence…thank you I sincerely appreciate it!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We had Caring Place tonight and in all honesty, I was really dreading it. I knew it was going to be a tough night...this was the first time that the memory quilts would be hanging on the wall. For those of you that don't know - the Caring Place asks each family to make a square that will be sewn together into a big memory quilt. It's a great idea and there are many quilts hanging on the wall throughout the Caring Place facility.
Tonight was the first night that our quilt would be hanging and I have very conflicted feelings about it. Please don't misinterpret what I'm trying to say here. It's a great honor and the quilt came out great (see the image below)
But it's just makes me feel a little strange to walk around the Caring Place and see all the reminders of the people that have passed. It's a great way to honor someone, but at the same time it makes me very sad for all the families as well...it's just hard to capture in words.
The group session was also a little hard to digest. For those who have been following the blog, remember that I wasn't totally bought into the CP the first time around. The first few sessions anyway, but then something just clicked and it turned into a very good overall experience for ALL of us. It just doesn't seem to be having the same impact this time around. I go because the girls like to go and if it makes them happy, I will suck it up and go. But, and this will sound a little harsh and I don't intend for it to come across that way, I am attempting to go on with my life and every time I go to the CP now it seems to drag me back to a place where I am trying to move away from.
The first time around at CP, it did wonders for me. It felt good to go and talk to others who were experiencing the pain, frustration, anger, the void that I felt. We would talk about it; I would leave there and genuinely feel better. Many of the people in this session are still very sad and have NOT gotten on with their lives, again, I'm not trying to sound harsh or mean, but some of the comments made make me...well somewhat angry. I want to say something like, what would your husband or wife think about what you're doing or not doing. I know that Jen would be totally pissed at me if I were sitting around feeling sorry for myself and not attempting to move on.
Grieving sucks...it does...it's so uncontrollable and unpredictable. If I have taken away anything from this "experience", it's this. Life is short people...to short. Don't sit around waiting for things to happen...if you want something then it's up to YOU to make it happen. Me...I am determined to go on...for my girls sake...for MY sake...I am determined to live a productive life...to live a fulfilling life...to live a happy life. I owe that my girls...to Jen...and to myself.
Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)
In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.
I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what happened...in order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.
This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...