The Halifax Health-Hospice BeginAgain Children’s Grief Center provides free grief counseling in group and one-on-one settings, free of charge for Volusia and Flagler County residents. They also hold a weekend camp twice a year called Camp BeginAgain.
I’ve volunteered as a group facilitator with the center since 2013, and with a similar center in Virginia since 2007. It might sound like a gigantic bummer but kids’ groups are the most fun and rewarding parts of my weeks. We talk about our favorite memories, ways to honor our loved ones, how to deal with feelings like guilt and anger, make crafts, play games and most importantly, talk about things other kids might find weird or morbid.
My dad died when I was 15, then my grandma when I was 19 and my grandpa at 20. At one point in my life, I had been to more funerals than weddings. But I never really talked about my grief, out loud, with peers and I so wish I had. The kids who go through group come out clear headed, with tools to tackle their current grief and whatever is to come in their lives. They make lifelong friends and learn emotional skills that adults would be envious of.
The staff at BeginAgain are some of the most dedicated, caring and overworked people I’ve ever met. They stretch dollars and hours every day. I’m so excited to be able to raise some much needed money for the center.
I hope no child ever needs the center, or others like it around the world, but if and when they do, I hope you can send them our way!