A Community Where Every Day of Life Matters
“You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.”
Dame Cicely Saunders
Founder of Hospice in London, England
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Lamar Area Hospice ® 108 W Olive St. PO Box 843 Lamar, CO 81052
Love and grief go hand in hand; one does not exist without the other. Processing grief is not easy and it weighs heavy on even the most logical and capable adult. It is with that knowledge that the need for healthy grief support among children dealing with any traumatic experience comes to the forefront and is what prompted Lamar Area Hospice to contract with Child Life Specialist, Roni Vallejos in the creation of the GOOD GRIEF AND CHILD LIFE SUPPORT SERVICES. Eighteen months have passed since its debut and we are pleased and optimistic with the evolvement of the program.
We believe wholeheartedly that if we can help the children through these difficult situations in a safe space then the entire community will be better for it. The communities that we serve have always been the backbone of this organization and to give back in this way is an honor and a privilege.
In November of 2013 my 6-year-old son Isaac was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away 5 months later. As you can imagine, it was very difficult for our family. I could not talk to anyone about my grief and just held it in. One year after Isaac’s death we moved to Lamar so my wife could go through the RN program and I studied for a barber’s license. A friend of ours recommended that we meet with Roni. While we agreed, I was still very reluctant to discuss what I was dealing with. Something about Roni made me want to give it a chance. The first meeting we attended, I was still holding back, but then I met other parents with similar stories and I listened to them and to Roni as she told me to take my time and open up when I was ready. When I finally felt like I could talk about Isaac’s death it was a huge relief that changed that part of my life. While I was finding ways to express my grief and anger, my daughter Piper was attending the Children’s Good Grief meetings. She too learned ways to talk about what our family had been through along with other kids that had gone through similar experiences. I pray my brief story will help others who are going through difficult times to reach out to people like Roni and this amazing program. It helped my family move forward and changed our lives for the better. Thank you Roni and the Good Grief Program for changing lives. To me that’s why we are put on this Earth, to help each other.
Robert Ramirez - May 2017