A Caring Place for grieving children and their families

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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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.

caring-place-logo“Grief is a complicated mixture of many feelings, including shock, panic, anger, fear, guilt, sadness, and more. Since the death of a loved one is the first chapter in a lifetime of living without that person, grief is a lifelong process of coming to terms with this major loss. The journey of grief is a process of discovering what is lost, what is left, and what is possible.” Highmark Caring Place website

Terese Vorcheck, the Director of the Highmark Caring Place, says that children will find the support they need for no cost at the Caring Place.  She says children will leave with more hope because the 10-week sessions encourage children to talk about what they’re going through and develop friendships.  

Jerod was reluctant to go at first because he was afraid of talking about it, but after a couple of weeks, Abby says that he became himself again.  The peer-based support group structure creates a comfortable setting for children like Jerod to open up about their own experiences with grief and loss.  And, it’s a place where they are encouraged to cherish the memories of their loved one.  Scroll down to watch the video


Dr. Alan Wolfelt says, "Anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve."  Therefore, children from infancy up to high school graduation who have had a family member pass away can attend when accompanied by an adult family member who is also grieving. 

The Caring Place has four facilities in Pittsburgh, Erie, Lemoyne and Warrendale, Pa. For more information, call 1-866-212-HOPE (4673).

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.”  Now in its fourth year, the Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families, founded this observance day to focus attention on the impact death has on children and what people can do to help a grieving child.

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