School Shootings: Advice for Parents

Recently our own Jen McCormick, Clinical Supervisor at The Healing Center, was asked by King 5 News to go on air and provide parents with advice about how to help their children cope with tragedies such as the recent Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting. Here is some advice she shares.

1. Be open and honest

2. Let them share their version of the story as many times as they need to

3. Be authentic (especially with your teens) and show your true concern

4. Keep the door open to conversation for as long as it takes- new events might trigger grief in children unexpectedly

Click below to see the full video:

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Ceremony of Remembrance

DSCN2905Our annual Ceremony of Remembrance is September 21st from 1-3pm at The Valley School in Seattle. All members of our adult groups are encourages to attend.

The Ceremony of Remembrance offers The Healing Center community a unique opportunity to gather and share photos and mementos of their loved one.

You can view a past program  here. Please join us for an afternoon of music, poetry and memories.

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A Spectacular Night of Celebration and Giving

As we wrap up auction season, we’d like to share with you some of the lovely pictures taken at the 2014 Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Auction and Gala. The Ripple of Giving was truly felt as hundreds gave to benefit the programs of Inspire Youth Project and The Healing Center. Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, or donated items. Your generosity inspires us and the work we do!

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Day Camp and Summer Children's Groups

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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

 

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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!

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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:

 

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"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

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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?”


"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”.