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Children grieve differently than adults


When Stephen’s Nana passed away, the 7-yearold boy was confused and distraught. His Nana always brought him to her house every day after school but, one day, his Dad picked him up instead.

A few weeks later, Stephen was at hospice for United Way-funded grief counselling to help him understand what happened to Nana.

As soon as he arrived at hospice, Stephen noticed the grass outside. “Like Africa!” he exclaimed. He grabbed some wild animal toys and, with his Child & Youth Counsellor, went outside—on safari in the plains of Africa.

Next, Stephen used the outdoor art board to play school. He and his counsellor had a “lesson” about all the difficult questions around Nana’s death.

When Dad arrived, Stephen asked him to be part of his audience as he performed a concert on the African drum.

While Stephen was still grieving Nana, his Dad received a terminal diagnosis. The young boy now needed, more than ever, a safe outlet for the full range of inexplicable emotions he was experiencing.

During his counselling sessions, Stephen used many different tools to express his grief—sand trays, modelling clay and art therapy.

Every year, more children like Stephen as well as youth and teens use United Way–funded hospice counselling to understand their grief and to heal from a loss.

These programs cannot survive without your donations to United Way. Your help is needed now to ensure that kids like Stephen can benefit from free hospice counselling when they need it.