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MEET: Katie

Volunteer Facilitator since 2020

Two years ago, my brother passed away suddenly in his sleep. It was a terrible, heart-wrenching time for me and my family. As I experienced grief – real grief, for probably the first time in my life – and tried to figure out how to cope, I was introduced to Erin’s House.

I learned about their mission to give children a safe environment to process grief and how dedicated volunteer facilitators go above and beyond to support them through one of the most difficult times of life. I was inspired by their work and reached out to learn more.

I joined the volunteer program and, at the same time, found a community I didn’t know I needed. No one wants to be part of the “grief club,” but those of us who know loss show up to support one another every day.

As a facilitator for the teen group, I’ve been able to connect with people on a deeper level and learn so much about my own grief journey. I’ve successfully navigated what could be challenging transitions – moving to a new city and starting a new career – thanks to the people who have rallied around me.

2020 was a rough year for everyone because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but especially for those who no longer had access to in-person grief support. But Erin’s House reacted quickly establishing virtual grief groups to make sure everyone remains connected and cared for. We even hosted a Facebook Live dance-off to help kids and families stay active and raised

much-needed funds via social media fundraisers. Though challenging, 2020 was a blessing in many ways.

Grief is hard. Trying to find a “new normal” without your loved one is hard. But, at a time when I was trying to heal and wanted to be involved in my community, I found Erin’s House and my life has been better for it.

  • My favorite picture of my brother and me is from my wedding night in 2017.

  • My brother and I shared a love for breeding and showing sheep at different fairs.

  • Our last picture together was Christmas 2018.


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