This article is sponsored by Wichita Children’s Home Kidzcope.
Grief. It’s an emotion that is all too familiar for many parents. But for children, the loss of a loved one may be their first encounter with grief. The confusing and overwhelming emotion that is hard to understand and even-more-so, hard to explain – especially while experiencing grief yourself.
Sometimes we need the people around us to remind us that we’re not walking this long road-of-life, alone. I’m proud to put my life at the service of doing just that – walking the road with others – at Kidzcope.
What is Kidzcope?
Kidzcope helps children by offering them a safe place to talk about their experiences, assist them in processing their emotions – like anger, sadness, fear and confusion – honor their loss, and provide support to family members and caregivers. Families with children (ages 3-18) find healing through a variety of therapeutic activities such as expressive arts, peer-group counseling and more. We provide these services to families at no cost!
Each child is in a group with other children their age. The immediate and visible relief that washes over a child when they discover another child going through something similar – is powerful. They begin to feel understood and are able to not only feel support but can give support. As humans, we are wired to feel needed – like we have something to contribute. When sharing our story is the gift we can give to someone else, our pain is transformed into something meaningful.
Adults are in a group of their own where they meet and talk to other grieving adults. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends all connecting and doing their best to guide their families through a hard time while surviving the daily grind themselves.
Walking Through Grief Together
When thinking about explaining what we do, I thought the best way would be to have a mother who has been through the program, tell you herself. Adriana and her son Armani went through our March session – right as COVID-19 hit Wichita. Here is her story:
“Kidzcope was such a great experience for both my son and I. After the death of his father, (which) was so unexpected, we were both struggling to deal with our emotions and feelings. Death was so new to us. Before his father’s death he was such a happy kid who loved school; suddenly he turned into a kid who would shut everyone out. I was getting daily phone calls about his behavior at school and I felt like I had no one to talk to or nowhere to turn – like I hit a brick wall. When his father passed at the hospital there was a kind woman who handed us a folder with information about grieving, I called and set up an appointment with Kidzcope to start group.
We started up just as COVID-19 hit so we had to do zoom meetings. In parent group we were all so different but all had our own story to tell. We had all lost a loved one. Everyone in group was so nice and gave great advice on how to handle our feelings and grieve. They were awesome listeners as well! I felt comfortable sharing each week. I noticed since group my son’s behavior had changed and he was looking forward to group each week with a positive attitude. He was also enjoying the projects he got to do.
Currently he is doing great in school. I feel that Kidzcope had a lot to do with helping us grieve; although we are not completely healed, it’s easier to talk about our loved one and all the great memories we had! We are coming up on his father’s one-year death anniversary in a couple months I’m planning on getting in touch with Kidzcope again for tips to help us get through the day. To anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one please do not hesitate to reach out to them.”
– Adriana and Armani
All Are Welcome
Kidzcope is a source of hope and strength for the whole family. Our groups currently meet on-line due to COVID-19 – but we are still here and still helping families.
November 19, 2020 is Children’s Grief Awareness Day and we need your help. Our hope is that every family in Wichita will know about the healing services provided by Kidzcope. You can make a difference in a child’s life by simply spreading the word.
We want to expand our program to reach children in foster care, parents of special needs children, and much more. Grief is defined as “deep sorrow” – there are many more people to help and much more work to be done. But we need your support. Please, call us, we’re here.
Email: [email protected]
Wichita Children’s Home provides vulnerable children in the community with a place of safety and opportunities to thrive. Founded in 1888, WCH has grown over the past 132 years to make up 18 different programs serving children who may have been abused, neglected, exploited, abandoned, or may be homeless or grieving the loss of a loved one. In 2018, WCH took on Kidzcope to serve children and families in our community at no cost.