One Last Hug for Children

One in seven American children experiences the death of a loved one before age 20, and few adults know how to help deal with the grief that follows.  ONE LAST HUG: THREE DAYS AT GRIEF CAMP is a documentary set to debut on Monday, April 14th from 8:00-8:40 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on HBO or online at hbogo.com  I am hoping that once it debuts perhaps the entire documentary will be viewable on youtube.com

This grief camp, which is managed by Our House Grief Support Center, grief specialists and volunteers,  takes place at Camp Erin and is a three-day program that encourages grieving children ranging in age from 6-17 to share their feelings and memories of lost loves ones with their peers.  Camps take place in 43 locations nationwide.

“Besides the sadness that children feel when a loved one dies, there is also a sense of loneliness. ‘For how many of you guys is this the first time you’ve sat in a group of people your age and told someone?‘, asks counselor Chrissy, after a group of seven and eight year old girls share their stories.  Every girl raises her hand.”

Every aspect of the camp is geared towards sharing, support and healing.  One group ventures out on a grief hike in search of colorfully painted rocks which bear a different “feelings” word.

Happy memories are also encouraged – remembering the happy thoughts that were very good.

“On the last night of camp, director Lauren welcomes everyone to the Luminary Ceremony, which takes place by the pool, asking, ‘How many of you got to say goodbye to your person before they died? Put your hands up.’ Only a few raise hands.  Each child holds a lantern decorated with drawings and messages for the loved one who died, which illuminates the dark night as it floats over the water in a final farewell.”

ONE LAST HUG: THREE DAYS AT GRIEF CAMP is an unflinching documentary short film where grieving children of all ethnicities find comfort in one another to deal with their pain.  It illuminates the effects of death and grief on children.  Its inspiring and emotional journey is intimate, cathartic, and a testament to the healing power of friendship and support.

Here is a link to view the trailor:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTTpCmMCLLE

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