November played host to Children’s Grief Awareness Day and Wediko was proud to participate fully in the process of recognizing the student grieving process. However, as an organization that works every day with students and families who have experienced loss, we wanted to emphasize that one day of attention simply isn’t enough. As such, we intend to keep the process moving.
Shayna Velez is an 8th grade student in New York City who has done considerable work with Wediko’s Living with Loss grief counseling program in the past. A bright and funny girl, Shayna shares her experiences coping with immense grief.
“Hi interweb! My name is Shayna Velez. I began working with Wediko Children’s Services two years ago when I participated in the Living with Loss program with my mom. Living with Loss has provided so much for me. It has made me think about my past, my present and my future. It makes me think about all of the little things in my life. Wediko makes me feel so welcome when I have no place else to go. When my Mom and I lost a family member, we turned to Living with Loss. Wediko showed us that in order to move on, my Mom and I have to get along. We have to become one.
“After Living with Loss, I started helping younger kids. This school year, I am volunteering my time to help lead a Living with Loss group for fourth and fifth graders at my school. Helping them makes me feel good inside because it’s nice to not think about yourself and to think about others. Since little kids have a hard time handling loss, it’s nice to help them learn that they are not alone.”
Wediko is grateful to have students like Shayna and Sierra who have worked hard to effectively manage their grief. No matter what month it is, Wediko will continue to ensure students like them have the opportunity to begin coping.