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My grandfather died when I was 2 years old. I never met him. The only things I have of his are two pictures – which are actually my mother’s – 2 black and white pictures. The first is of a tall, lanky man, dressed smartly – if not oddly formal – standing in the middle of a yard with the hot Caribbean sun beating down on him; the second, a close-up portrait. That was it. All imagined interactions, hoped-for futures, dreamed of backstories, stemmed from these 2 pictures.
It’s Christmas. ‘Tis the season to be jolly’. Really? It’s a tough time of the year for many people for many reasons. But it’s a time of joy and remembrance. For my family, it’s equally tough. Our lives changed forever on November 20, 2004. Our family as we knew it was shattered after a knock at the door and the news that our nineteen-year-old son Ryan had died in an automobile accident. Life would never be the same… and it still isn’t.
Let’s imagine something different. Let’s Imagine a world where children coping with loss grow up emotionally healthy and able to lead meaningful and productive lives. Let’s imagine a world where grief, loss and trauma are transformed into resilience, empathy and compassion. So that someday the world is driven by love and compassion, and not unresolved grief.
As I popped onto facebook briefly on Tuesday, I learned about the chemical attack that took place in Syria. This was the first I had heard of an attack. Scrolling through my feed, there it was. I was confronted with the absolute carnage of it all – videos of people writhing in pain, people gasping for air, dying, many of them children. It was only a few seconds before I started crying, and shortly after that, short of breath. My asthma had been triggered so I put my phone down.
So what happens when someone dies? Do family photos become terrible reminders of the person who has died, or symbols of the love and support that the person provided? We think the latter….
By Corey Wisler, MSW. Play is children’s work. Children play A LOT at Imagine! Play is important for healthy physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Through play children learn essential life skills, such as negotiation, emotional regulation, perspective taking, equality, and problem solving (Gray, 2013).
What happens when the bereaved become the bullied? Mean comments that we believe to be true hurt, but planning responses can help.
After searching in card stores and online for sympathy cards designed for children and teens and not finding any, Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss decided to make its own. Find beautifully made cards by children for children in our online store.