NPR highlights parenting grieving children

The Healing Center is proud to share The Dougy Center on National Public Radio and in the New York Times.  The Healing Center’s children and parents’ programs is modeled after The Dougy Center and our Founder and Program Director have participated in training at The Dougy Center.  We whole heartily support The Dougy Center’s Executive Director, Donna Schuurman, belief  that

“a lot of kids, one of the biggest needs they have is to know that they’re not alone, they’re not the only one this has happened to, it’s, as Melissa said, again, it’s OK to feel sad and it’s OK to feel happy. So kids like to look at photo albums, to do things like oh let’s go have a root beer float – remember, your dad loved root beer floats.

Let’s do positive things as well in his memory so that we can honor him. And I don’t find – you know, I think that most people are not dwelling in a negative way. I mean, I know when I die I want people to be sad, and I want them to remember me. I think most of us do. But we’re in a society that’s urging us to put it behind us, and I think that that actually is what complicates things for children and often makes it more difficult for them to grieve and mourn in healthy ways.”

The entire program is linked below as well as the transcript.  If you would like to celebrate your loved one with us, please join us for our Dia de los Muertos, Friday, November 2 (for more details click here.)

The Dougy Center’s Executive Director Donna Schuurman, and former Dougy Center participant Melissa Loveless-Boynton, were recently featured on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” which aired live nation-wide.

In case you missed it, click here to hear the broadcast here to read the show’s transcript.

The program focused on “How to Help Kids Handle Death and Grieving.” Donna discussed how parents can talk to their children about death, and the importance of being honest. She also emphasized the need for grieving children and adults to feel that they are not alone and that they are being heard. Melissa discussed her experiences along with her daughter Chloe’s after her husband (and Chloe’s father) was killed in Iraq. The show also included several callers from around the country.

Recent national media attention of The Dougy Center (see the recent New York Times article) underscores the importance of peer support groups for grieving children, teens, young adults and their parents. The Dougy Center is honored to be at the forefront of these discussions, and we look forward to expanding our services to grieving children and families.