New hospice drop-in program supports grieving youth

 In Community

We all know someone who has died.
So why are we so unprepared to deal with it, ourselves, never mind support friends, family, kids and acquaintances through it?
Because it’s a tough subject to tackle. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore it.
People who are grieving need us to know what to say to them to show our sympathy. And kids, especially, need to hear from parents and guardians what death is in terms they can understand.
That’s why Hospice Georgian Triangle recently hired Keri-Lyn Durant. She is there to help people, young and old, deal with grief and to provide support for those who have suffered a loss.
“Death is a universal experience,” said Durant.
Still, too often we don’t know how to deal with it. Often people want to protect children from unpleasant experiences, and therefore avoid talking about death with them. But, as Durant points out, if we are old enough to love, we are old enough to grieve.
Durant, an expert bilingual educator, applied theatre specialist and grief support worker, can help – especially with kids.
Durant holds a Certificate in Children’s Grief and Bereavement from SickKids Hospital and animates Phoebe the Sloth, a bright orange puppet, to help kids feel comfortable asking tough questions. Phoebe lets them take the lead.
Whether you are dealing with grief or know someone who is now, you can learn a lot from the drop-ins Hospice Georgian Triangle is holding with Durant.
Talk-It Tuesdays, an interactive drop-in café, for example, is for youth aged 13 to 17 from 7 until 8 p.m., and for young adults aged 18 to 25 from 8 to 9 p.m.
Younger kids ages 5 to 12 can explore dying death and loss through interactive, therapeutic play every second Wednesday.
Hospice Georgian Triangle is also holding seminars for adults supporting kids through grief.
Attend a seminar and learn how to support your friends, family and acquaintances through grief – and to deal with it yourself.
Start with this one simple lesson from Durant: If you don’t know what to say to help someone through their grief, simply say that. It’s a start.
To learn more, please visit or call 705.444.2555 ext. 7543 to speak to Keri-Lyn Durant, Community Grief Support Worker, Hospice Georgian Triangle, located in Collingwood.
Hospice Georgian Triangle provides compassionate care in the home and at Campbell House for individuals and families dealing with life-limiting illness, living in the communities of The Town of Blue Mountains, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Clearview Township. Care programs come at no cost and focus on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of both the patient and family, enhancing quality of life.

– Submitted by Kelley Cookson, community events and engagement coordinator at Hospice Georgian Triangle.

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