It is no secret that the holidays are a time when feelings of loss are intensified for those who are grieving. When speaking of grief, our thoughts often go toward grieving adults. But have you ever considered (or witnessed) that children grieve too?

How do we care for a child experiencing loss? We can approach them with gentle care, spending more time with them. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say, but it is important to know that words are not always necessary. Your very presence with them will give them comfort. Then, when time and opportunity present, it is good to have open and honest conversation about death and loss. It is good to let the young person know that they are not grieving alone and allow them time to share their feelings with you.

There is also a time when a more professional level of enhanced bereavement counseling is recommended. There are some local counseling centers available to help, if needed.

At VNA of Venango County, we have a special heart toward our grieving children and offer some opportunities for them to share their grief journey with other kids to help them cope with their new reality of life without their friend or family member.

Supported by the Venango VNA Foundation, we offer annual events to support our youth. They are:

Camp Good Grief
In June of each year, we hold a day-long camp experience at Seneca Hills Bible Conference where young people can enjoy crafts, swimming, rock wall climbing, zip lining and sharing with others who understand. Young people, ages 6 through 17 are invited.

Hope for the Holidays
Each November, we offer a Saturday morning time of activity and sharing with a holiday theme, to help young people cope with their loss through a time when grief can feel intensified. The day ends by sharing a catered holiday meal together. This day is also open to ages 6 through 17.

We are currently in discussion about new opportunities to help our youth. Stay tuned.

We support grieving adults through our Bereavement Support Group and Annual Memorial Service. Feel free to call our office at 814-432-6555 for more information on these or any of our other services.

And finally, grieving parents and kids can find support through their community of faith. There are churches throughout Venango County that care for all ages of grieving people through this heavy-hearted phase of life.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

May this holiday season be one of joy for you and your family and may you too find hope for the holidays.

Pastor Randy