Watch Bella’s video here.
Bella had a hard time dealing with the powerful feelings of loss she experienced when her brother, Paul, passed away. “I was in shock for the first six months and didn’t accept my grief. I tried to push my feelings to the side but that wasn’t healthy at all.”
Childhood grief is more prevalent that most people realize. 1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone significant in their life before they reach age 18. Grieving children are at higher than normal risk for problems in school, substance abuse, depression and anxiety. But with support, they can rediscover hope and imagine a life full of possibilities.
Bella joined the Teen Support Group from The Elizabeth Hospice, one of the free grief support services available to children and teens in our community. In this safe, kid-friendly space, teens share their stories and thoughts, honor and memorialize their special person and learn healthy coping skills. In Group, Bella is surrounded by kids who understand her feelings because they also have experienced the death of a loved one.
“What’s changed is the confidence I now have. I’m not just the girl who lost her brother. I’m my own person. This is the path I was supposed to be on. My brother would be proud of me,” continued Bella.
The Children’s Bereavement Program at Elizabeth Hospice is the only one of its kind in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. There’s no cost to attend and everyone is welcome, including families who do not have a patient affiliation with The Elizabeth Hospice.