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On February 15th, 2017, our lives as we knew shifted. Every stage of grief was touched, but acceptance was the true tough pill to swallow. After 2 long months in ICU, watching the fear in my moms eyes, my stepfather was gone. The family trips, laughs, tears, and countless meals shared were all now just memories, memories I pray never fade. Although my 8 year old brother didn't shed a tear at the time, my heart screamed loudest for him. I lost a irreplaceable bonus dad, but he lost a best friend.
A year later, my brother began to act out in school, and this was certainly out of character for him. It seemed as if counseling wasn't as effective as we hoped, so I began to challenge him in other ways. I gave him different creative expressive task to help him explore his thoughts and feelings. Ultimately we came to the conclusion, grief was the elephant in the room and the only feeling that mattered was, "I miss Dad". Kids grieve differently, of course I knew this, but now i knew, we needed more!
My brother and I were driving home from church one day, and I thought, why don't you just ask him what makes him feel comforted, and we could start by doing just that.
Me: If you could do anything in the world to make you feel better, what would it be?
Him: (without hesitation) " I would just want to help people, give back, help people that can't really help themselves you know"
And that moment was confirmation. I knew this little 9yr old had more wisdom in his mind than many, and our father left us something special.
The conversation went on and I was literally in awe. In our search to find a program for him that supports children who have experienced such loss, we learned how few there were, so we create one.
Losing a parent at such an early age has the ability to impact you negatively on so many levels, as I've observed first hand, but I believe finding ways to express that energy and redirect it into something amazing is so much more impactful. It was with this in mind TRP was created.
The Recharge Project is a nonprofit organization formed to provide longterm therapeutic support to children who have experienced the loss a parent or primary caregiver. The point of the organization is not to fix loss, but rather to bring school aged children together who might be isolating themselves or their feelings, shine positive light on their healing journey and build meaningful relationships! I believe kids who grieve the loss of a parent deserve a special kind of love, and we are here for it. It is my biggest hope that my brother never feels alone his journey, and neither should others.
Certified Grief Educator
Founder | Program Director
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