Monday, May 6, 2013

Butterflies and Flowers

Little Did We Know

Little did we know that morning that God would
call your name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone. For part of us went
with you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide. And though we cannot see you, you are
always on our side. Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

Yesterday was the closing ceremony for the grief camp that my little one attended over the weekend. We watched a video with a beautiful sad song playing in the background. I cried through the song. As the video was playing my husband got my attention and pointed to the bead strand that Breanna made at camp. They are memory beads. With the short glance, I saw that she had put a B and D bead (standing for my sister’s first and last name). Of course, this made the tears even more intense.

Her counselor came by and gave her the sticker she had chosen to put on the teardrops memory jar, a scrapbooking sticker of a butterfly. Oh my…. a butterfly. The significance of the butterfly means nothing to my daughter but to me, it brings so many memories and it has become one of the things that brings instant memories of my sister. She hated butterflies as a child! She was terrified of them. She would run in terror, screaming as if they were attacking her, if one even flew near her. I can clearly see her as a small child running through the backyard, screaming because a butterfly was “chasing” her.

One thing we did at our grief support group was to introduce ourselves and tell who we were there to honor. The kids have been doing the same thing at camp. Today however, they told their name and that they were there to celebrate the life of their father, mother, aunt, you name it. This is when they put the stickers on the memory jar. So many children were there honoring/celebrating the loss of a parent. The ages of this camp were from 6-17 and oh my, so many young children lost a parent. My heart aches for each of them.

We talked with Breanna about some of the stuff she did at camp and she told us a little more about the memory beads. She told me that she put a flower bead and a butterfly bead on hers because they are sweet and they remind her of how sweet her Aunt Beth was. My heart just swelled with emotion as she shared that. The butterfly reminds her of her Aunt just as it reminds me of her.

Our computer room used to be Tabitha’s bedroom. All over the walls are wall stickers of butterflies. I told her I’d get her some new ones and she could just leave these up here because I can look up at them whenever I’m in here and feel closer to Beth.

I have to say a special thank you to the wonderful staff, counselors, and volunteers who put this camp together every year. It takes special people to work with children at their best and even more special people to work with children when they are potentially at their worst. If you are in the Savannah area and need grief support please look up the services offered though Hospice of Savannah and Full Circle: A Center for Education and GriefSupport. They have grief support groups and you do not have to have had a loved one in their care, the support options are open. My family attended a grief support group through them and found it very beneficial and of course, Camp Aloha (the grief camp the kids just went to) is with them as well.