Perspectives on Grieving
“How can I prepare my children?” a friend asked when he found out they had to euthanize their beloved dog Starbuck who was dying.
Jackie Kennedy and Corretta Scott King were our nation’s role models for mourning in the 1960’s and in the decades since. They were praised for their strength and stoicism, their courage and grace, and rightly so. They were great role models for our nation, but I would say they were not the role models we needed when it came to grieving our individual losses.
In 2008, when a mother of two in a local New Jersey community was stricken with lung cancer and taken from her family too soon, Kerry Glass was emotionally affected not only by the devastation that this family must have felt, but even more so by the notion that there were two young children who would never “know their mother.” As a mother of two young children, Kerry felt if this mother had the opportunity to create a movie celebrating her life, her hopes and dreams for her kids, perhaps her children would find some solace and more of a sense of who their mother was. It was that hope that drove her to create a not for profit organization called Memories Live (www.memorieslive.org).
Observed every year on the third Thursday of November, Children’s Grief Awareness Day strives to remind grieving children they are not alone. This time of year is particularly appropriate as the holiday season can be difficult after a death. Children’s Grief Awareness Day seeks to bring attention to the importance of being sensitive to the needs of grieving children and their families and that caring support can make all the difference in their lives.
It is with great sadness that Imagine said good-bye to Dr. Gerald Glasser, our friend and benefactor. Here is a link to Dr. Glasser's obituary and to an article in the Alterntive Press and the Westfield Patch. As Rabbi Kroloff said, we shall not soon again see the likes of Gerry. His kindness, generosity, intelligence and humble nature are unmatched. We will miss you Gerry and will never forget you.
Deana Powell and her 10 year-old daughter have been attending Imagine since it opened in May 2012. As a result of the support they receive at Imagine, Deana decided to nominate Imagine for a Touched by an Agency grant offered through Merck Pharmaceutical’s Partnershp for Giving Program. Imagine received a $1000 grant thanks to Deonna and her mom. “Considering the severity of our loss, especially for Deonna, and as a mother watching her daughter grieve – if it weren’t for our Imagine family, I do not know how we both could continue to cope, grow and heal,” said Mrs. Powell. Until we found the Imagine program, we were a mother and daughter, weighted down by grief, hurt and sorrow. Now, we are growing into a new family… filled with such hope, love and joy.”
1 out of 20 American children under age 15 have lost one or both parents to death. Annually in New Jersey over 20,000 children age 0-18 will have a parent die. Annually in Union County approximately 700 children will lose a parent to death. That’s every year. On average one out of three youth in every classroom is experiencing a loss of some kind. This includes loss due to death, divorce, parental incarceration, separation or abandonment.