Children express grief differently than adults. Sometimes their expressions, or seeming lack of expressions, are mistaken for signs that they are not affected by the loss. Children often express grief in play by acting out their emotions. Adults may think the child is doing well, when in fact, he or she is dealing with confusing and frightening emotions.
For this reason, Hospice of Marion County created a children’s bereavement camp called Camp Mariposa (the Spanish word for “butterfly” and the universal symbol of hospice care). The intent of the camp is to help children to avoid carrying painful emotions into their adult years.
Camp Mariposa is designed to facilitate the special needs of children by professionals offering support in a comfortable and caring environment with their peers. It is a safe place that gives children a fun and non-threatening place in which to discuss their feelings.
Mallory and Matt lost a beloved mother and wife, leaving a giant hole in their lives. Camp Mariposa and our children’s bereavement program continues to help Mallory work through her grief as she grows up.
The camp also features counseling sessions facilitated by Hospice’s professional social workers, bereavement facilitators and trained volunteers to give campers a chance to share in more detail and to ask questions about what they are feeling. Camp Mariposa is a one-day event held several times a year at no charge; the camp is open to children ages 5-12.
Contact Hospice of Marion County at 352-873-7456 for the next session. Reservations are encouraged, as space is limited.