Camp Erin is a GRIEF camp where bereaved children not only have a fun camp experience but are also provided a safe place to express their feelings and start the healing process.
As our time together was coming to a close, we asked the campers one-by-one to share what they have learned at camp. The responses were incredible:
“I learned at Camp Erin that:
It is okay to express your feelings.
It is okay to cry.
It’s good to talk about your loved one.
I am not alone in my grief.
Everyone grieves differently.”
As leaders, we were thrilled the campers got the message about grief we had been trying to share at camp.
One camper then blew us away with his response. He shared that at Camp Erin he learned that “it is okay to NOT be okay”. WOW! Out of the mouths of babes…this camper summed up the grief process…accepting the fact that for awhile it is OKAY to NOT BE OKAY!
Before our loved one died we were in control, had a bright future, found happiness and joy in many things. Then our loved one died and we feel vulnerable and sad and it is hard to find happiness or joy in anything. This young camper is telling us … that’s okay. While we grieve we will NOT be okay and we will not be ourselves but there is HOPE. We hold out hope for a future that will allow us to smile and to eventually live a full life. We hope for a time when we will be okay. But for right now while we do our grief work…it’s okay to NOT be okay.
Thank you camper for those comforting words!