Free day camp for grieving families in Davidson County

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Dealing with death is never easy, especially for children. To help, Hospice of Davidson County is hosting the Bridges of Hope Grief Camp this Saturday for any child, and the adults in their lives, dealing with loss.

"I felt like I wasn't alone," said Erica Wilson, an eighth-grader from Lexington who lost her mom - unexpectedly - last year. "It's kind of hard realizing that you don't have your mom anymore, thinking that she's still here but she's not."

Wilson says the free day camp helped her deal with the grief and find strength from other children dealing with loss.

"Everybody is different in how they grieve and certainly children grieve in different ways," said Rhonda Davis, a grief counselor who leads the camp. Davis says dealing with loss is something the whole family needs to do. "I really encourage families to be very open about the dying process, to include children in the funeral or any kind of memorial service planned and to be very intentionally open about storytelling."

Through memory crafts, a balloon release, music, animal therapy and much more councilors work with children to tell the story of the one they love.

"Teenagers are meeting other teenagers and children are meeting other children so they know that they are not alone in this experience and the same is true for the adults in their lives."

Wilson says her most treasured item from last years grief camp is a picture frame she made with her mom.

"I keep that picture in my room," she said. "It reminds me of her and how she loved me a lot."

The camp is Saturday, June 10, from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. It's free to any child and the adults in their lives dealing with loss no matter where you live. Your family does not have to be served by hospice to attend. Register by Friday at hospiceofdavidson.org.