When I was younger, I lost my dad in a car accident, and although it was sudden, it was still a tragic experience for me. To help me cope, my mom enrolled in a camp called Healing Hearts founded by Hospice in Syracuse, NY. This camp was longer in duration than Camp Erin, but with the same purpose in mind: to help children with the grieving process and understand how to express their feelings and memorialize their loved ones. Since I had such a unique experience myself, I would love to give back to other children who may be going through something I can relate to. Hopefully, if time allows, I will be volunteering there this September.
If I had to mention one important thing the palliative care speaker said it would be this:
every death is different, and unless someone is asking for your experiences, do not compare the death of your loved one with theirs
This is 100% true especially coming from experience. If I am talking to someone about the loss of my father in an emotional setting, I want comfort and understanding, not someone trying to compare, overshadow or one-up my emotions. From working in an ICU, Emergency Room and at the Joan Nicole Prince Home I have learned that listening and comforting is the best response to someones emotions in a time of something like death or serious illness. I believe that more providers need to learn about proper approaches to these situations, because although medicine can be chaotic, taking time to listen and have compassion is what sets the great apart from the mediocre.