One out of seven children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 20, according to the National Alliance of Grieving Children.
The Home Nursing Agency Healing Patch shows support of these often “forgotten mourners” on Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which is observed November 15th.
“Many times children are overlooked after a death occurs,” shares Melody Ray, volunteer coordinator/grief specialist for Home Nursing Agency’s Healing Patch. “Adults may assume that children aren’t grieving if they don’t act out or visibly struggle, but children are just like adults – they all process loss differently. It’s important to allow children to have the opportunity to express themselves and share with others, including their peers and family.”
The Thursday before Thanksgiving is set aside as Children’s Grief Awareness Day for an annual opportunity to recognize grieving children’s unique needs. You can show support on November 15th by wearing blue or a handmade blue butterfly pin. As a symbol of hope for grieving children, the blue butterflies are being offered for a suggested donation of $1 each at the UPMC Altoona Gift Shop, UPMC Bedford Gift Shop, Station Medical Center Gift Shop and local Home Nursing Agency offices.
Home Nursing Agency started the Healing Patch in 2006 as a free program to help grieving children and their families through peer support, education and more. The HNA “Butterfly Project” highlights the uniqueness of each child’s grief journey through the handmade butterfly pins, generously created by Healing Patch sewing and quilting volunteers. The project not only raises awareness of the grieving children in our own communities, but also supports materials for Healing Patch activities in Blair and Cambria counties, as well as in-school peer support groups.
Please send any photos of yourself, family members, co-workers or others wearing blue or butterfly pins on Nov. 15 to Melody Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submitted photos will be shared on the Home Nursing Agency/Healing Patch Facebook pages.