Addison’s aunt was like a second mom to her. “She was a huge part of my life. My aunt was there for everything. When she passed, I felt so alone. Nobody at school knew how to talk to me. I felt like I was ‘that kid’ who had ‘that thing’ happen to them,” said Addison.

At the age of 12, Addison joined The Elizabeth Hospice’s Grief Support Group, a free service available to all children in the community, ages 3 to 17, including those who do not have a patient affiliation with The Elizabeth Hospice.

“Group gave me hope. It was this light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I met other kids who knew what I was going through and who I could take to about my feelings. Over time, I was able to turn my sadness into a celebratory memory of my aunt.”

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. Left unaddressed, grieving children are at higher than normal risk for problems in school, substance abuse, depression and anxiety.

The Elizabeth Hospice offers the most comprehensive children’s bereavement program in San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County. Our services include school-based grief support groups, after-school peer support groups and summer grief camp. There’s no cost to attend and everyone is welcome. As a local, independent nonprofit, we rely on the generosity of people like you to make these vital services available to Addison and other grieving children in our community.