Camp helps kids deal with grief - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Camp helps kids deal with grief

June 9, 2005

Albany- Going to a summer camp usually means fun and games, but campers at this camp are tackling some pretty serious issues.

"Before I came to this camp if I just mentioned her name a lot we would just start crying and stuff you know, but I think if I go home today and start talking about her I wouldn't cry as much," said eleven year old Taylor Nichols who lost her mother four years ago.

Camp Good Grief, hosted by the Albany Community Hospice, is helping eleven year old Taylor deal with the loss of her mother, through fun activities and talking about her mother's death.

"If you don't talk about it, it kind of makes you cry more I guess. Every time I talk about it it makes me feel more and more and more better," said Taylor.

Counselors help kids express their feelings through memory gardens and poetry in Taylor's case, since she and her mother use to write poems together.

"I was excited the days my mother was alive. I was grateful my mother was alive. I was loving to her, the day my mother was alive," read Taylor as she read the poem she wrote. Kids deal with grief in different ways.

Ten year old Caleb made a memory box for his grandfather.

"This is a box of what my grandfather was like, he loved the beaches," said 10 year old Caleb Waters who lost his grandfather.

Counselors say it's good to remember the fun times.

"The day before his surgery he took me to play a game of golf just me and him and we saw a big gray rat snake," said Caleb. And to cherish those memories.

"When I get home I'll probably put the golf ball that he gave me at the game in here," said Caleb.

Counselors say, it's the lessons that they will take with them that may help them and their families to better deal with grief in the future.

Camp Good Grief is held every June for children between the ages of six and sixteen who may have a hard time dealing with the loss of a loved one.

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