Monday, April 24, 2006
Breaking my heart
Today I started prebereavement counseling for a 6 year old boy. His mother is dying of brain cancer. I met with his 14 year old brother on Friday and today was little "Manny's" turn. We talked about school and other fun things and then I had to take the conversation in a more serious direction. "What do you think about what's happening with your mom?" Softly he replied, "it makes me sad." My heart broke in two. It seems so unbearably wrong that a child should go through this experience. We talked about what he does when he feels sad (he talks to his teacher, his dad, or his aunts) and he showed me a special box with a remembrance stone his mother gave him. She told him that whenever he is sad he should look at the stone and she will be with him. And when the stone or talking to his family doesn't work, I hopefully gave him a new tool that will help. Manny loves to draw. I asked him to tell me about the best day of his life. With tears running down his face, he talked about a special day he had with his mom. We talked about how sometimes it is hard to remember the happy times when we're feeling sad. I asked him to draw a happy memory and whenever he feels sad, he should look at the drawing or draw a new happy memory. Art therapy is an amazing tool for kids and Manny responded really well. After we had talked for awhile, I just gave him a hug and let him cry. And that seemed to be enough.