COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Thursday is Children’s Grief Awareness Day. With the tragedy that unfolded two days ago, it’s important to remember that every child grieves differently and at different times.
No child, teen or adult is prepared to deal with the wave of emotions that comes with grieving. Seeds of Caring, with the help of OhioHealth at Home, aims to help children and adults express their feelings.
“We work with them to help them commemorate and remember those folks who have lost their lives,” said Lauri Yersavich, a social worker with OhioHealth at Home, which, while it has its own grief support team, did not offer support to Tusky Valley families. “A lot of times they’re not talking about it at home, or maybe they feel like they have to keep it all in and be strong for someone else in their family.”
Grief is defined as our internal response to a loss. While it’s impossible to imagine how the students at Tusky Valley are feeling, it’s important they get the support they need.
“They’re probably right now, not feeling a lot, to be honest. It might just kind of be that numbness, that shock, that disbelief going through the motions,” said Yersavich.
The superintendent of Tusky Valley made the difficult decision to resume classes on Wednesday. Which Yersavich said, was an important decision.
“I can see the value in them being together and grieving together,” she added.
This past Sunday, OhioHealth at Home along with Seeds of Caring got together to teach children about grief, while preparing care kits.
“These kids pack just a little gesture of kindness. Each kit contained a handwritten card from a child, a stress ball, a stuffed toy, and a picture frame that could be decorated by those that are receiving the kit,” said Director of Operations and Programming for Seeds of Caring, Blair Everett.
These gift baskets will be sent to the teens of Tusky Valley. While these kits may not take the pain away, Everett hopes they’ll help even just a little bit.
“I really hope that the teens receiving these care kits will feel supported by the community, and I hope that they know from the handwritten cards that kids have designed that someone is thinking about them. Someone is out there sharing compassion and wishing them well during these really difficult times,” said Everett.
OhioHealth wants the Tusky Valley community to know that their hearts go out to them and that they are thinking of them during this unimaginable time. OhioHealth has a team in central Ohio. They can be reached through OhioHealth Hospice, if those experiencing grief would want to reach out.