Feel-good news doesn’t warrant much space in social media these days. Maybe that’s why I’ve taken a step back (okay maybe fifteen steps back) as of late. But, no more. It has always been my goal to use my blog to add a voice of positivity to the noise, and with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to a few angels.
Not feather-winged, no. These angels drink coffee. They wear jeans. They have tissues in their purses and pockets. They are amazing listeners. They give the best hugs. And they are always looking for ways to deliver kinder care to families facing the last ninety days of a child’s life. Because that’s what hospice means, ninety days or less to live.
Next Tuesday, Providence Hospice of Seattle will hold their annual fundraising luncheon. The money we raise pays for 100% of our pediatric programs, including one you may have heard of, Camp Erin, a grief camp for kids.
We fill a ballroom in the Washington State Convention Center with community members. And in my eyes, every single person in that room is an angel. It’s not an easy choice to spend an hour learning about a reality that most people would rather ignore, sometimes children die. Yes, every years there are tears. But those are only outweighed by hope. Hope that families and friends are not alone in their struggles and loss.
On a visit to Camp Erin, I heard from a long-time counselor. She told us a story I will never forget. A few years prior, her family had suffered a loss. Her son lost a beloved uncle and chose to attend Camp Erin. As a counselor, she’d seen the transformation these three days had on hundreds of kids. She knew the power of Camp Erin. Year after year, she watched kids walk through grief, share their pain with other kids, create art, talk, cry and then leave Sunday evening free of the weight of their loss strapped to their hearts. But that year when she saw her son experience the same thing, she was blown away. A few months after her son attended camp, they were at the dinner table, her son, herself and her husband who had lost the brother. During the meal, her husband grew silent, blinked back tears and he rose to his feet. Her son noticed and when his father stood up to leave the room to be alone, her son told him no. He said it was the perfect time to share a moment together, to talk about his uncle and feel the loss together. The long-time counselor was doubly awed. Her son wasn’t just healed himself, he was coaching them through grief, passing on this gift to them.
I have so many more stories and in all of them people help other people. All of them, and the stories yet to be written are filled with earth-bound angels. Those angels are all around us, spending their time to be a comfort for others. So no matter what the mainstream media says, people are good. People are doing good. Right. Now.
And now, if you have the time, this TEDx talk about vulnerability may change your life!