Why Didn’t We Think of This Sooner?
Recently, Lisa’s Legacy was applying for a grant from an organization that has a focus on young children. My sister said, ”why don’t you make a grief bag for young children?” That was an epiphany! Since the inception of Lisa’s Legacy, we have used items for the bag that were geared towards an adult---adult coloring pages, journal, notecards, tea etc.
But quite often, when a death occurs, the adults may be consumed with the busyness of the funeral and taking care of the affairs of the person who has passed away. The items in the bag can help a child in different ways, freeing the adult up a little more. We will include a soft, cuddly teddy bear for comfort. T he book in the bag will help the child identify and cope with some of the emotions that they are experiencing. Often, young children don’t have the vocabulary to articulate what they are feeling. Simplified coloring pages help to relax the child while giving them something to do. And the red heart squeeze toy helps to relieve stress and anxiety.
So far, we are planning to make three different bags; one bag for children 5 years and younger, a bag for 6 – 10 year olds and a bag for pre-teens. Each age group will have different items in their bags, with the exception of the heart squeeze toy for all age groups. The bags will then be distributed among the eight distribution sites that we have for Lisa’s Legacy. Anyone in the distribution site area can go there to obtain a bag for a child or pre-teen. We will also include literature from Erin’s House for Grieving Children if the parents want to follow up with grief counseling. I estimate that it will take at least 1 - 2 months to have the bags in place. But it will be a fun task to work on!
What do you think? Are there other items that you can think of for the bags? The bags are slightly more expensive than the adult bags because of the hard-bound book. The cost for a child/teen bag is approximately $35. Would you like to sponsor a bag? Do you know a child/pre-teen who needs one right now?