May Walk- May 21, 2016

We have chosen a date for our 2016 May Walk- It will be May 21st, 2016 at Genesee Park again. If you would like to be a fundraising champion please contact Development Director Stephanie Murray – stephaniem@healingcenterseattle.org

Thank you for all who attended our 2015 Annual May Walk on Saturday May 30th. We had a beautiful day at Genesee Park and Playfield and were able to honor our loved ones with over 80 clients, staff, and volunteers.

From the voice of one of our treasured walkers, the Walk was “an opportunity to see familiar faces, as well as people who I hadn’t seen in a couple of months and I’m not sure when I’ll see them again… I can’t imagine being where I am now–physically, emotionally, and socially, without what the Healing Center provided and continues to provide me”.

We are leaving our  May Walk fundraising site open through June for any final donations: www.maywalk2015.kintera.org or visit next year’s site here!


Tips for Handling the Holidays

DECIDE WHAT YOU CAN HANDLE COMFORTABLY AND LET FAMILY AND FRIENDS KNOW

 Can I handlle the responsibility of the family dinner, etc. or shall I ask someone else to do it? Do I want to talk about my loved one or not? Shall I stay here for the holidays or go to a completely different environment?

MAKE SOME CHANGES IF THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE FOR YOU

Open presents Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning. Vary the timing of Channukah gift giving. Have dinner at a different time or place. Let the children take over decorating the house, the tree, baking and food preparation, etc.

RE-EXAMINE YOUR PRIORITIES: GREETING CARDS, HOLIDAY BAKING, DECORATING, PUTTING UP A TREE, FAMILY DINNER, ETC.

Do I really enjoy doing this? Is this a task that can be shared?

CONSIDER DOING SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR SOMEONE ELSE

Donate a gift in the memory of your loved one. Donate money you would have spent on your loved one as a gift to charity. Adopt a needy family for the holidays. Invite a guest (foreign student, senior citizen) to share festivities.

RECOGNIZE YOUR LOVED ONE’S PRESENCE IN THE FAMILY

 Burn a special candle to quietly include your loved one. Hang a stocking for your loved one in which people can put notes with their thoughts or feelings. Listen to music especially liked by the deceased. Look at photographs.

IF YOU DECIDE TO DO HOLIDAY SHOPPING, MAKE A LIST AHEAD OF TIME AND KEEP IT HANDY FOR A GOOD DAY, OR SHOP THROUGH A CATALOGUE

OBSERVE THE HOLIDAYS IN WAYS WHICH ARE COMFORTABLE FOR YOU

 There is no right or wrong way of handling holidays. Once you’ve decided how to observe the time, let others know.

TRY TO GET ENOUGH REST — HOLIDAYS CAN BE EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY DRAINING.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS

 Holidays often magnify feelings of loss. It is natural to feel sadness. Share concerns, apprehensions, feelings with a friend. The need for support is often greater during holidays.

KEEP IN MIND THAT THE EXPERIENCE OF MANY BEREAVED PERSONS IS THAT THEY DO COME TO ENJOY HOLIDAYS AGAIN. THERE WILL BE OTHER HOLIDAY SEASONS TO CELEBRATE.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO HAVE FUN

 Laughter and joy are not disrespectful. Give yourself and your family members permission to celebrate and take pleasure in the holidays.

Reprinted from *Bereavement & Loss Resources* a publication of Rivendell Resources Rivendell Resources grants anyone the right to reprint this information without request for compensation so long as the copy is not used for profit and so long as this paragraph is reprinted in its entirety with any copied portion.


Day Camp and Summer Children's Groups

IMG_6945

Come to The Healing Center’s 2 summer children’s groups! All ages will meet together and there will be a parent group offered concurrently. Below are the dates offered:

Weds. July 16th from 4:00 – 5:30pm

Weds. August 13th from 4:00 – 5:30pm

 

DSCN2892

We’re also holding summer day camps! They will be held on Wednesday’s from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Check ‘em out:

July 9th    Meet at The Healing Center.  Walk to Greenlake for fun in the park and a swim in the pool.

July 23rd   Explore Volunteer Park and the Asian Art Museum. Group art project followed by tour of conservatory, climbing the stairs of the water tower, and playing at the playground/wading pool.

Aug. 6th    Woodland Park Zoo

Aug. 20th   Visit the EMP (Experience Music Project) for a tour, scavenger hunt, and ice cream.

Registration required. Please contact Jeanne for more information and to register jeannel@healingcenterseattle.org  or call (206) 523-1206.

 


Top 3 Reasons We Loved The 2014 May Day Walk

On May 4th 2014, The Healing Center celebrated it’s 6th Annual May Day Walk at Gas Works Park with over 60 participants and 25 volunteers. Here are our top 3 reasons why we loved the day and are excited to keep the May Day Walk tradition going for our Healing Center community. Be sure to check out the pictures below.

1. YOU – Nothing makes us happier than seeing our Healing Center friends and families come together. We believe so much benefit comes from meeting others that have shared the experience of walking through grief. While this year it was under more drops of rain than rays of sun, we are so grateful for all who joined us and those who couldn’t make it but supported their friends and family in other ways. You are our inspiration.

2. The chance to remember – Transitional periods can be difficult – even the transition between seasons. As we move swiftly into spring, we enjoyed the opportunity to do some reflection during the art activities during the Walk. We wrote a message to our loved one on a message flag. We considered what we’d say to them in a private message. We contemplated the meaning of short-blooming cherry blossoms during origami folding. We stood with everyone and felt the words of the poem, “We Remember Them”.

3. Support for our programs – With the combined donations from The May Day Walk and GiveBIG two days later, we received $63,053 from our generous supporters. This doesn’t even include the GiveBIG “stretch funds” that will be applied to our GiveBIG donations soon. These funds mean so much to The Healing Center and our community. They keep our doors open, buy pizza for our weekly children’s groups, make healing client retreats possible, and help to train our dedicated volunteers – all contributing to our overall mission of offering a safe, loving place that honors grief, helping you to move through it and heal. We thank those who fund-raised for us, our wonderful donors, and our $5,000 sponsors, Safe Crossings Foundation, Nintendo, and University District Kiwanis. THANK YOU!

 Fotor6

Fotor0512132437


East West Bookshop Reading: Join Us April 26th

Please join us for an afternoon poetry reading from The Widow’s Handbook at East West Bookshop. The event will be Saturday, April 26th from 4:30-6 p.m., followed by our quarterly potluck at The Healing Center from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

 

As with all Healing Center potlucks, we’ll have volunteers to play with the kids so adults can have some time to themselves. It’s a two-minute walk from the East West Bookshop so stop by! Contact Cindy at cindyb@healingcenterseattle.org to RSVP to the potluck.

 

See below for details:

 

Windows' Handbook Reading

 
 
 
 


May Day Walk 2014 – Register & Donate Today!

MayDay Website Banner 4 v3

WHEN: Sunday, May 4th, 12:30 – 4PM
Sign in starts at 12:30pm
Walk starts at 1:00pm
Picnic and kids’s activities start at 2:00pm
WHERE: Gas Works Park
WHY: To raise money for The Healing Center’s grief support programs
HOW: Register here to join the 2014 May Day Walk and raise funds for The Healing Center,
click here to donate!

08_Silly Jane, Alexander & Mattie_closeupMay Day celebrates the coming of summer and new beginnings, and The Healing Center is excited to celebrate this holiday with our friends, families, and community. The May Day Walk is an event to raise funds to grow our grief support programs which serve widows, widowers, children, and young adults who have experienced the premature death of a spouse, parent, or sibling.

We hope you will join us for a fun-filled day! Please encourage your friends and family to join us as we raise funds to support our healing programs. Register or donate today to support The Healing Center!

If you need any help, or have any questions about the online registration or donation process, contact Jen Power, Development Coordinator, at jenp@healingcenterseattle.org or (206) 523-1206 x15.

Thank you to our May Day Walk Sponsors!

Amaryllis Level – $5,000

Safe Crossings_Medium
Kiwanis PNW_FB
Nintendo_medium


"Call If You Need Anything"

To DoWhen a loved one dies, it can be difficult to ask for help from friends and family when you are feeling overwhelmed.  Even when the “call if you need anything” offers pour in from generous people who want to help, we tend to suffer alone.  Our “to do” list fills up with tasks that our loved one used to complete, or chores we just don’t find the energy for anymore.

Instead of letting those tasks pile up and become a bigger problem, we encourage you to reach out to your circle of people who have offered to help. Mobilizing the “call if you need anything” offers can not only help reduce the pressure of life but can open up communication with you and your friends and family about the grief process. Take a moment to read this story of how one young widow asked her friends for help: http://bit.ly/N6GgIu


The Healing Center's Four-Legged Friends

IMG_1489

As we settle into the couches, chatting before children’s group starts, we hear the front door’s usual “beep beep beep”. But instead of the pads of little feet, in comes the rush of four legs. As the panting of doggie excitement comes closer, the children’s faces light up–it’s one of our therapy dogs!

At The Healing Center, we are lucky to have two therapy dogs who regularly attend our children’s groups. Glory, a Newfoundland, and her owner Diana Stoll attend our Healing Club 4-5 and Justina, a yellow lab, and her owner Ronit Amitai attend Healing Club 1-2-3 and Gigi’s.

Therapy dogs connect with adults and children in a way that humans cannot. Being in the presence of a therapy dog can bring back happy memories of pet ownership, can calm a person down through the act of petting the dog, and can be a non-intimidating companion to talk to.

We asked Diana to tell us a little about her experiences with Glory (pictured to the right). Whether it’s a quick hug or wanting to sit down and read a story to her, Diana feels like children are drawn to Glory and Glory helps put them at ease. “What they say to Glory might not have anything to do with grief or The Healing Center, but she helps them open up. And if we could bring that kind of joy to people, why wouldn’t we?”


Presence

Presence

“Allow nature to take its course. Grant the sufferers the dignity of their own process. Let them define meaning. Sit simply through moments of pain and uncomfortable darkness. Be practical, mundane, simple and direct”.

These words of wisdom come from a recent New York Times article, “The Art of Presence” by David Brooks.

As many of us who have experienced grief know, the impact of having someone to be present with you during tough times is immeasurable. However sometimes what grieving people receive is anything but presence: friends choosing to “give them space”, or on the other hand, friends trying to fix their sadness or make sense of it. It can be difficult to put words to what you really need. If this NY Times article speaks to you, consider sharing it with friends and family to help them understand.

 


"Nobody's Son"

This week The New Yorker featured an essay written by Mark Slouka, “Nobody’s Son”Print, a piece that looks deep into Slouka’s own grief in the wake of his father’s death.

Although we all will have a time in our lives that we grieve the death of a person dear to us, sometimes it takes a honest portrayal such as this to realize it is a commonality we all share.

One of our goals at The Healing Center is to bring adults and children together who have similar losses so we can support each other. However, as Slouka’s essay expresses, and as grievers know, “in the aftermath of loss, the ones you love will keep you whole, but the journey is yours alone. Whatever you do, whatever you feel, becomes the map.”

We hope you can keep this in mind as we transition into a new year. “Nobody’s Son” outlines one man’s grief story but we all have our own that are ever changing as we experience new things and gain new perspectives. To end with what Slouka believes his father would tell him if he could: “You don’t love me less by living more. Live! Live like you mean it.”

Click here to read “Nobody’s Son”.