Honoring Rebecca – my grief journey

Categories: Bereavement

When my 18-year-old daughter died suddenly of complications from mono, I desperately wanted to do something to honor her. She was studying to be a child-life specialist and wanted to work with dying children. (She had lost a couple of friends along the way). But I was so heartbroken and constantly on the verge of tears for many years, I could barely imagine ever being of service to anyone.

About nine years after losing Rebecca, a friend who was a school counselor told me about the group from [Transitions LifeCare] who comes to her school to do a puppet show on loss for children in 3rd grade. It is called Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope. As a former kindergarten teacher and mother of four children, this had great appeal. I contacted Transitions LifeCare and after some training, I was in. And I loved it. I was doing something to help those who might be grieving, yet it was such a joy for me to be able to do it.

Peggy with Aarvy

But that was only the beginning. From the puppet facilitators, I found out about the other work they do with children’s bereavement. There are so many programs available for children who have lost a loved one. There are monthly workshops run by the counselors as well as a summer camp. As the kids learn tools to work with their feelings, preserve memories, and honor their loved ones, they are also able to meet other kids like themselves who have found their families disrupted by loss. As a volunteer in the children’s program, I set up, supervise, and listen to the kids as they do art projects and play “grief games.”

Once, we were discussing a project we wanted to do with the kids that required more supplies than we had on hand. The counselor said she wasn’t sure if that would be in the budget. I knew it would be within MY budget and suggested that our family make the donation. After that we became regular donors. I still ask that our donations go to the children’s bereavement program.

Peggy’s Mural

When the Trinity Road building opened, I was asked to paint murals on the walls of several rooms. These murals satisfied part of my need to honor my daughter. Her name is on the plaques on each mural, to be seen and remembered by many.

I am a volunteer and a donor. It took me a long time to find ways to honor my daughter. I am grateful to all the wonderful people I have met through Transitions who have helped bring me peace.

-by Peggy Clover

adult grief, bereavement, children's grief, family grief, grief, grief and loss, grief resources, grief support, grieving
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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Thank-you for this powerful story, Peggy. I can’t imagine the level of grief that you experienced, losing a child. And yet you turned this straw into so much gold. You are a model of post-traumatic growth!!

  • Every time I hear your story, my heart fills- you have truly honored your daughter- miss working with you, Peggy 💗

  • This is both a moving and enrolling journey. I feel blessed to have been one of the participants in the puppet shows and that I was able to connect and work with you many years ago. Thank you for sharing your memories with us and making us apart of your life. Peace and Love to you alway.💜

  • Bless you for giving and serving.

  • Meredith Jones
    December 20, 2021 3:40 pm

    Peggy, your dedication to our programs is so deeply appreciated. You have truly made a positive impact while honoring your beautiful daughter. With gratitude now and always.

  • Kathleen McHenry DeRubio
    December 21, 2021 12:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing the amazing thing that come from your incredible experience of grief and sadness. You are keeping your daughter alive in your heart and that’s so beautiful.


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