Volunteer Facilitator & Erin's House Participant
Esmeralda & Jasmin
What joy have you found within your own grief journey that you hope the kids in your group will find in theirs?
Esmeralda: I hope the kids in my group can take away from Erin’s House and learn throughout their grief journey is that they are not alone. Grief is not discussed in our society. Erin’s House helps us express and experience our grief and allows us to be heard. If we can all learn to express and discuss grief, it makes the journey a little bit easier.
What tool or skill do you feel is especially important for kids who are learning to navigate their grief journey?
Esmeralda: Listening—Remembering the small details is important in building rapport with the kids we work with. Allowing them to express themselves and share how the grief has affected them is very important. Some kids fear discussing grief with family members, but Erin’s House helps them have those open, honest conversations with kids their age. When you feel heard, it makes your feelings valid.
Can you reflect on a time when you have witnessed joy at Erin’s House?
Esmeralda: One time in the Quiet Room, the group wanted to use the question sticks. Everyone was talking about their loved ones asking each other questions and making sure they were all okay answering. We left the room, but they kept asking questions and you could see them realizing that they weren’t alone in their grief. They were laughing, connecting, and openly discussing everything. You don’t expect to feel joy while exploring grief, but it’s small things that make a huge impact and bring us joy.
What has been something that has brought you joy during your grief journey?
Jasmin: Erin’s House has helped me feel joy during my journey because I’m able to open up about my feelings and I’ve made new friends.
How has Erin’s House helped you discover joy while grieving? Or helped you be happy when you might have been feeling sad?
Jasmin: Erin’s House helped me feel happy by being able to do all these different activities and sometimes take out my energy.
Is there a special memory of your person or activity you do in memory of your person that brings you joy?
Jasmin: One memory of my uncle I have is when he would take care of me and a memory of my aunt is when she would FaceTime me just to say “Happy Birthday”.