Page 9 - LRCC FOCUS June 2020
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        A Healing Center for Grieving Children & Teens


        IT’S 4:48 AM.                                          true for all of us as we come out of   If we do that, we can become a better, more
                                                               this fog.                         compassionate community on the other side.
        My heart and mind are racing                                                             And maybe that is what we gain from the loss.
        as  I  wonder  what  will  happen                      Becoming a widow at 45 and leading
        today.                                                 Ele’s Place, a healing center for   Throughout the COVID 19 pandemic, Ele’s Place
                                                               grieving children and teens, has   continues to serve grieving children, teens,  young
        Life is not the same anymore.                          given me a unique perspective on   adults and their families across the state of Michigan,
                                                               life, death, and the grief process.   at no cost to them. Please visit
        Our world has abruptly stopped.                                                          to learn more about these services and how you can
                                                               Many of us are finding the positives   help. Additionally, Ele’s Place invites you to share
        We have not been through                               of the quarantine. Family dinners,   your joys and challenges of this journey through
        anything like this in our                              long walks, time to clean and     this pandemic
        lifetime, and yet this stress                          organize and take stock of our lives.   elesplacecr. n
        and  uncertainty  feels  all  too                      It’s okay to find silver linings in a
        familiar to me.                                        challenging situation.

        I have been here before.                               We also are sad, angry,
                                                     and frustrated with the lack of control.
        December 5, 2014 was a typical night for my   And that is okay, too.
        family. My husband, Scott and I divided parental
        responsibilities for the weekend. He chose to go   Our emotions can change like the
        to our oldest son’s hockey game an hour, and a   ocean. The water may be like a wave
        half away and I was with another of our three boys   that tickles our toes or knocks us
        returning pop cans for the 8th grade fundraiser to   hard at the knees, or it may be like a
        Washington D.C.                              tsunami.

        I received a phone call from my oldest son, who   Right now, anxiety and uncertainty
        was delayed by a car accident. Two hours later, a   are intense emotions many of us are
        police officer was at my door with a message no   experiencing.  We are worried about
        one ever wants to receive: I regret to inform you   ourselves, our families, and our
        that your husband was killed by a drunk driver   children; Will I have a job? Will my
        this evening.                                elderly parents be okay? How do I
                                                     make my child feel better when they
        I couldn’t breathe. My body started to shake   are so sad about all that they have
        uncontrollably.                              lost?

        My world had abruptly stopped.              An ice cream cone, a Happy Meal or
                                                     even a hug cannot take away the pain.
        First,  there  was  shock.  This  isn’t  happening.
        Complete disbelief. Is it really happening? Anger.   We are a society that is used to fixing
        Why is this happening to my family?          problems fast. However, grief is messy
                                                     and grief is not linear. It is okay to
        Feelings I — and I suspect others — are      not have answers right now. It is ok     Small start-ups
        experiencing right now.                      to just sit with someone and feel sad.
                                                     Somedays, the best we can all do is
        We are collectively grieving.                take things one day, one hour or one     to big business
                                                     breath at a time. All feelings are okay,
        We are grieving the loss of life, certainly given   which is one of our guiding principles
        the deadliness of this virus, but also the loss of   at Ele’s Place.
        our way of life. Jobs, social interactions, routines,
        funerals, celebrations,  and  milestone  moments   As the world reboots, in a very
        – weddings, graduations, birthdays, senior trips,   different reality than we lived just
        sports team rituals – have all been wiped out.   two months ago, we must continue to   Yep We Cover
                                                     embrace the grief process and support
        I often talk about my life before Scott died and   our kids, teens, and families as they
        after Scott died. My gut tells me this will hold   journey through it.

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