Kaleidoscope of Caring, Inc.
Arkansas's Center for Grief and Loss

  
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Kaleidoscope of Caring, Inc. is a nonprofit,
501(c) 3 charitable organization helping  hospice patients and their families as needed.  We also help provide grief programs for their loved ones.

Grief Programs in Greater Little Rock Area
Free programs for children that have lost a loved one

1: Good Mourning Grief Support Groups for Children and Parents
Arkansas Children’s Hospital East Campus
1621 W. 10th St. Little Rock, AR 72202
www.goodmourningcenter.org
Contact:  Greg Adams, 501-364-7000,email: goodmourning@archildrens.org
Good Mourning Grief Support Groups
The next series of Good Mourning grief support groups will run October 4, 2011 through November 22, 2011 with a Parent Orientation on September 27, 2011. All meetings are 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in the East Campus Building at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Grief Support Groups for Children, Teens, and Parents
Download PDF version of this page.
Good Mourning Grief Support Groups are for children and teens who have experienced the death of a family member or friend. The goal of the Grief Support Groups is to assist children and teens with the grieving process by providing support and education about death, grief, and coping. There is no charge for group members as the program is provided at no charge due to the generous support of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Auxiliary, statewide Circle of Friends, and the Harvey and Bernice Jones Foundation.  Grief Support Groups run for eight weekly sessions. Each session is about 90 minutes in length. Children and teens meet in small groups with others of similar age, and all group members have had the experience of the death of a family member or friend. Each group is led by a team of leaders who work at Arkansas Children's Hospital. The group leaders come from different backgrounds including Child Life, Nursing, Pastoral Care, Psychology, and Social Work. All group leaders have received special training in order to work in the Good Mourning program.  Parents and adult caregivers of children in the Grief Support Groups are invited to participate in an optional adult group. The adult group meets at the same time and building as the groups for children and teens.
Prior to the start of the program, parents and adult caregivers meet for a parent orientation. During the orientation, parents have an opportunity to learn more about the program and how they can support their children in their grief and mourning. Parents and caregivers also meet with the group leaders for their child's group in order to learn more about what their child will do and learn in the program. The parent orientation helps the group leaders better prepare for the unique needs of the children and teens with whom they will be working.  The children and teen groups will follow the same basic outline. Because group sharing and bonding will be very important, no new group members may enter the program after the second session. Activities are specially planned for each age group in order to meet the developmental needs of the children and teens. Older groups will have more discussion and younger groups will have more activities. A summary of the outline for the eight sessions is as follows:

Session 1: The group will begin with activities to "break the ice" and help the group members get to know each other. Group members will be asked to share about the death of the family member or friend who died. The concept of the life cycle may be discussed.
Session 2: This session will focus on feelings--what they are and how they are expressed. Both pleasant and unpleasant feelings will be discussed.
Session 3: Groups members will be helped to share a description or story of the person who died. This sharing will include what the group member liked and disliked about the person.
Session 4: The major topic for this session will be how the death has affected the family. Memory objects will be brought to the session and discussed. The group will begin to prepare for Session 5, which includes discussion about what happens at funerals and memorial services.
Session 5: The funeral of the person who died and what happens at funerals will be discussed this session. A photo album of a funeral home and a funeral director will be available as resources for the group discussion. One goal of the session is to decrease the fear and mystery about what happens when a person dies (imaginations are much scarier than reality)
Session 6: Special times of the year such as birthdays and holidays will be the focus for activities and discussion. The whole family will be invited to come together to create and share a "family banner" of their own design
Session 7: For this session, adults and children meet together to create a Family  Banner  to represent their family. Adults in the family are invited to participate even if they have not been in an adult support group.
Session 8: "Looking back and facing forward" will be the theme for this final session. It will also be a time to see the progress everyone has made. Parents and children will meet together for a joint closing ceremony with a reception following.

A Reunion meeting is offered approximately 3 months following the end of the eight-week series. This meeting allows for additional support to help with positive changes begun during the eight-week sessions. More details about the Reunion meeting are given to group members at the last session.

Death Of A Loved One 

1. As soon as possible after the death, set aside time to gently, yet truthfully, tell the  child about it.  Choosing a familiar room or outdoor setting to talk may help the child feel more comfortable.

2. Be truthful. Do not make up stories that will have to be changed later. If no one will         answer a child’s questions, he or she may imagine the loved one’s death to be far more terrifying than it was.  Even the knowledge one has died as a result of a homicide, suicide or violent accident is usually best shared with the child.

3.    Do not burden the child with information for which he or she is not ready. Children need a
       logical explanation of why a person died, but they may not want all the details for days or
      weeks afterwards. Be sensitive to what information the child is asking for.

4.     Encourage the child to express feelings. Share your own feelings. Don’t be afraid to cry in
         their presence. Cry together, hold each other.

5. Take the children to the funeral.  Let them observe others mourning. Older children my feel useful by comforting an adult with a hug or holding a hand, helping with visitors, serving dinners and being included in some decisions about the funeral.

6.     If the loved one is to be buried, it will be helpful for the children to be present so they will
         know where the body is and where they may return to visit.

7. Let the children tell others that their loved one has died if they wish.  The subject should be as open and comfortable as possible, rather than something that is hidden.

8. In the weeks and months following the death, talk about the missing loved one. Casually mention things the loved one said or did. Recall funny stores, happy and unhappy incidents together. Encourage the child to talk about the things he or she remembers, too.

9. Let the child know you are available to answer any questions. Show that you believe anger, sorrow, loneliness and fear are all right to feel. And that you will be glad to talk about each concern as it arises.

10. When we share difficult feelings, people try to be helpful by saying, “You shouldn’t feel that   way.” What we need is to have our emotions accepted. Examples of accepting the child’s feelings are: “You are really feeling angry that Susie has a (parent, sibling, relative, friend, etc.) and you don’t” or “It seems like you are scared that your (parent, etc) might die, too.”

11.    Don’t force the child to express feelings. For example, children may feel guilty if they feel
          pressured to cry and yet no tears come.  It may be days or weeks before a person cries.

12. Most of all, just be yourself. Accept and talk about what you are feeling and your children will be encouraged by your example to do the same.  Through sharing grief, your family’s closeness may increase to a depth never imagined. Often through crisis comes growth..

2: Kaleidoscope Grief Center Children’s Grief Programs.
(A Methodist Family Health Program)
1600 Aldersgate Road Suite 100B Little Rock, AR 72205  Phone: 501-661-0720 Ext 7170 toll-free: 877-357-5437
www.methodistfamily.org  email: jbreen@methodistfamily.org

For ages 5-18 and their families.
Peer Support Bereavement Groups
Held twice-monthly, our ongoing grief groups provide age-appropriate peer support for children aged 5 - 18 and their adult caregivers. Facilitated by our staff and trained volunteers, Peer Support Bereavement Groups provide a safe place to nurture the expression of feelings to promote the healing process after the death of a loved one. The healing power of the process is found within the group of peers. Grown-ups are helping grown-ups and kids are helping kids find a voice for their grief and share it.
Camp Healing Hearts
Arkansas’s first-ever grief camp utilizes therapeutic and recreational activities to give families the opportunity to freely reflect, reconnect, and rediscover hope for the future while developing and strengthening coping skills for managing the often overwhelming emotions accompanying grief. The healing work of play promotes a new sense of normalcy encouraging children and families struggling with grief’s isolation to find their own inner strength among a supportive coalition of experts in the grief field. Held yearly in mid May.
Kids Club
These quarterly social events are chaperoned by Kaleidoscope staff and trained volunteers and provide experiences for fun when sadness seems to prevail. Kids Club events are open to any child or teen who is or has been enrolled in any of our programs.

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THANK YOU!

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Kaleidoscope of Caring, Inc
PO Box 21517, Little Rock, AR. 72221-1517
Phone: (501) 350-2767
To email us click here