Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hope for Grieving Parents and Children: KinderMourn

by Danetta Kellar

My daughter chattered happily as we walked through dappled sunlight that danced along the brick walkway. 

She didn’t mention the inscriptions today, but I still noticed them. I always do. My Cuddly Buddy. In Loving Memory. Will Forever Flutter in Our Hearts. World Trade Center, 9/11/01. Hope. Each brick marked a painful step someone had taken through the gates of grief, to the door of the house we now approached, a safe place of refuge to mourn and heal called KinderMourn.

Today the quiet house was surrounded by the noisy clamor of construction. Buildings are going up in every direction. Hammers pound, saws buzz, and cranes lift heavy loads to the sky. All the while the little brick refuge that houses KinderMourn in Charlotte, North Carolina sits quiet, hidden, anchored on its sturdy hillside while life around it insists on carrying on noisily no matter what. 

This contrast between clamor and silence is a fitting picture of grief. 

The world around the broken-hearted makes its incessant noise, filling the air with its pounding and building, its determined construction of the future. 

Meanwhile the one who has experienced loss sits immobile, silenced. Life has interminably paused, while he or she wonders if there ever can be a future without the loved one who has died. In all the rubble, the relentless construction of life, perhaps she can find the materials to rebuild. Perhaps.

KinderMourn helps children and adults do just that. Established in 1978, KinderMourn provides hope for bereaved parents, grieving children and teens by offering support and counseling programs, creating awareness of bereavement issues and empowering the community to effectively assist those who have suffered an unthinkable loss (http://www.kindermourn.org/mission). To read their incredible story, click here. KinderMourn helps people find a way to face the future again after loss.

Because of the kindness of my daughter’s therapist at Kindermourn and the safe place they provide for children and adults to express their sorrow, we are no longer sitting in the midst of the clamor immobilized, wondering how to face the future without Granddaddy. We have tools in our own hands now, and we are taking the materials he left us in his great life to build a future that is honorable and worthy of him. Alongside the noisy construction workers can be heard the sound of our own hammers now. Thank you, KinderMourn.

If you have experienced the loss of a child or are walking through grief with your children or teens, the kind and compassionate staff at KinderMourn can help you find your way through unspeakable sorrow. 

There is no charge for the initial visit and additional visits are adjusted according to a sliding scale so that all who need help can get it. Click here for more information.

The little girl who leaves KinderMourn with me today is smiling. Her eyes have changed since Grandaddy left us. They are older and wiser, deepened with the uninvited insight that comes through loss. But she is happier now and has begun to enjoy life again. I wasn’t able to do that for her on my own.

How have you found help to walk through grief? Let’s encourage each other by sharing.

TWEETABLES




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