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Grieving & Loss

In this recently-released short film called "Blue," 22-year old Jess has been building walls of denial after her father was diagnosed with cancer.  When her father helps paint her room the color she’s always wanted (blue), he is there when she realizes where there is life, there is hope . . . and true peace lies in acceptance.

K.C. Delp, the Executive Director of Olivia's House, a grief and loss center for children in York, PA, says that their goal is to help kids put meaning to their loss and cope in a positive and healthy way.

The holiday season is usually a happy time.  The hustle and bustle bring excitement to adults as well as children.  But not everyone is joyous.  In fact, for those who have lost a loved one since the last holiday or just recently, the holiday season can a period of profound sadness.

The death of someone we love is difficult in itself.  The expectations of the holiday season compound that difficulty.  A number of thoughts and plans can help us to get through this hard time.  In the midst of practical considerations, remember that grieving takes energy, so be gentle with yourself and your children.  You don't need to provide the perfect holiday — for yourself, for your children, or for others.

Dr. John Kajic is the program manager at Highmark Caring Place, a Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families.  Dr. Kajic shares his thoughts on how children grieve the loss of a loved one in this Radio Smart Talk episode.  He is joined by Nichelle McLamb who lost her mother in March.  She shares her experience with loss and how her young daughter coped with the loss of her grandmother.  the Caring Place played a key role in the healing of their family.

For Jerod Bangert and his mother Abby Shireman, the Highmark Caring Place provided hope and healing after the loss of Jerod’s dad to pancreatic cancer.

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 14, 2011) – This Thursday, Nov. 17, children, schools and communities throughout Pennsylvania, across America and worldwide will unite by wearing blue to commemorate “Children’s Grief Awareness Day.”

Olivia's House is a grief and loss center in York, PA designed to help children cope with the loss of a loved one.  Olivia's House founder and bereavement specialist, Leslie Delp, says that  when a child's family member is facing a terminal diagnosis, there can be some anticipatory grief.  But, one way to prepare and cope when the end is near, is to give what she calls "the gift of goodbye."

Dr. George Blackall, thoughtfully explores the anxiety and restlessness that came after the death of a young patient in his essay titled, "Stand and Wait."

Olivia's House is a beautiful Victorian house located in York, PA. But it's much more than a house. It's a grief and loss center where children who have lost a loved one can learn from experienced staff members and volunteer "companions" how to cope with their pain by sharing stories.  (scroll down to watch a video)

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