Tuesday, May 17, 2011

{Camp Erin -- Giving Her Time to Grieve}

Camp Erin-7

Many people know that we are apart of Peter's Place -- a Center for Grieving Children and Families.  Along with providing our family with amazing support over the past 18 months it has also given us access to so many resources for Madison, one of which is Camp Erin.  This past weekend Madison attended her very first sleepover camp for three days and spent time simply being a kid, having fun and also some precious time remembering Gavin.  

Camp Erin-2

This was such a difficult thing for myself to send her.  At first I figured I'd be ok -- after all I'm about as relaxed at they come, but that second night really got me.  I knew that on that second night they would hold a luminary ceremony.  The ceremony included the kids lighting candles, placing them on the river and watching them float away -- a beautiful display of all the loved ones lost.  The idea of my little girl grieving without me hit me hard.  I guess camp hit me hard on many different levels.  This was the perfect year for Madison to go to camp.  It's a fact that she is growing up -- and her loss is growing more distant.  We will never let Madi forget Gavin, but we as her parents need to allow her to move on.

Camp Erin-5

As a mother who lost her child, the memories of the very moment Gavin took his last breath will forever be ingrained into my soul -- but Madison is forgetting.  She no longer remembers some of the very intense details of Gavin's suffering, and at first that sounds really positive -- and it is.  But for me as her mommie I have to daily fight back my desire for her to never forget every last details of his life.  Although Madison frequently talks about Gavin and his life on earth, I can't even describe the feeling that comes over me when she shows me a family drawing that does not include Gavin.  Ugh -- it hurts so bad.

But it's ok.  She is moving on.  She is healing.

I'm so grateful for the Moyer Foundation and the staff at Camp Erin.  This was part of her closure -- not forgetting Gavin but closure to the trauma our little girl has endured.  


Phyllis said...

It must be so bittersweet watching Madison lose those memories of Gavin's life and death.

Good for you once again for letting go a little bit so that your children can grow. Those nights while Madi was away must have been so hard. I know there was some praying going on in your house!!

Team Carter Jay said...

Oh my gosh, I can relate to this so SO much. I don't want my kids to forget Carter, but sometimes they say things that just plain sting my heart. I am like you and don't want their whole world to revolve around Carter, but I don't want them to forget either. It's a delicate balance. I need to check into seeing if there are similar camps around here. That place sounds amazing!

Heidi said...

So glad the camp made a difference for M. I love these pics, she is looking so grown up. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it is to see a family drawing that doesnt include her little brother (((hugs))) but youre right, she is healing, its such a difficult process any way you look at it. Hugs and always prayers for M and your family-
Heidi & Jack.