Greensboro hospice program helps grieving children

GREENSBORO, NC -- Dana Reece is remembering her younger sister Ashley.

“She embodied the spirit and the love and the aura of just love,” Reece said.

It’s been 22 years since Ashley's death.

“She’s my angel now, and I miss her every single day,” she said.

On June 25, 1994, Reece was driving with her sister in the backseat.

“When I turned, they hit us and she was thrown out of the car."

Ashley died at the scene.

“I was driving,” Reece said. “The accident was my fault.”

Reece, who was 18 at the time, sank into a deep depression.

“I just couldn’t function,” she said. “I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to shower. I didn’t want to talk to people. I just crawled into my own little black hole.”

Her parents put her in counseling at Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro.

“Hospice counseling, grief counseling is the reason I’m still here today,” she said.

More than 20 years later, the non-profit still offers help to young people.

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro's program Kids Path provides home health services to children with serious illnesses and grief counseling for kids and teens for free.

“They’re having a hard time in school or they’re having a hard time sleeping,” said Kids Path counselor Laura Fuller, explaining the different behaviors that children sometimes show when grieving.

The program helps children work through their issues using play therapy and art therapy.

They even have a rough room where clients can use their bodies to express their feelings.

“That might mean punching the punching bag or throwing things at the wall,” Fuller said.
Kids Path is one of the several non-profits that gets support and financial help from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

“It’s really wonderful for us to have the Community Foundation and donors to help support programs that we do,” the counselor said.

It’s a resource Reece says that saved her life.

“Made me see that my life was worth living,” Reece said. “I could take this horrible situation and good could come out of it.”

Learn more about Kids Path here.