Camp Forget-Me-Not Helps Children Grieve - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Camp Forget-Me-Not Helps Children Grieve

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - At Alive Hospice's Camp Forget-Me-Not high pitched cheers fill the air as kids created lasting memories with their new friends. Each one has something special in common.

"Christmas Eve is really special to me because my mom died on Christmas Eve," 7-year-old Tyler Sexton said.

Every camper has lost someone they love.

"She had leukemia," Sexton said. "Which they couldn't get it away, so she died. She passed away."

The camp counselors are actually grief counselors helping the students work through their many emotions.

"I've learned that it's ok to be sad and cry when you're thinking about someone that died," Sexton explained. "When you're mad it's ok to like punch a pillow or something."

Coping with grief is a life-long process.

"I learned through doing this work that kids are incredibly perceptive and really understand and get this," Camp Coordinator Pam Quaintance said.

In one exercise, campers are asked to brainstorm words that help them through their sadness. Once a list was determined, they were asked to write two words on a rock that could comfort them during the tough times. Campers said opening up is a lot easier when they realize they're not alone.

"They know what it feels like so I feel like it's okay to talk with them about it," Sexton explained about sharing he feelings.

Loss is a part of life. Unfortunately, some have to experience the pain much earlier than others.

Quaintance choked up when thinking about it. "They're going to carry these people in their hearts for the rest of their lives."

True to its name, nothing at this camp is forgotten, not their feelings, not the memory of their loved one, not even the need for the kids to still have a lot of fun.

"It's really, really fun," Sexton said. "You could probably do it if you lost a loved one."

 For more information about the camp and other grief counseling services, call 615-963-4732 or visitwww.alivehospice.org.

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