Helping Families Heal


by Jacinda Lee Garabito/ Photojournalist Darnell Hart

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-  As family and friends try to pick up the pieces in Boston and Texas, here at home over 8,000 people took part in a special grief celebration to remember their own loved ones lost.

Brandan and Jessica Lee are still learning to cope with the loss of their nine month old son Jackson, "I've heard someone say one of the bravest things you can do is keep living after you lost a child."  They found comfort at KinderMourn, a nonprofit for families seeking grief counseling.

Today KinderMourn held their 9th Annual Hope Floats Duck Race.  Each of the 20,000 rubber ducks represents a loved one.  Events like this provide hope for families that may have suffered a loss. It also brings the community together to show support."

The non-profit's grief counselor Jill Shipp says yesterday's Boston Red Sox game and today's duck race are important for healing, "To be able to come to an event like this and see other families, you know that they're not alone and also know that the sun does come up.  There are happier days and maybe I too will find that."

Also remember, coping with a loss is a lifelong process.  Each milestone a loved one would have reached -- is a fresh reminder says Shipp, "When that child should be graduating high school that's going to bring a whole new set of things for that family."

In those times when family and friends are unsure of how to help, the Lee family says even the little things can have a big impact, "What do you say? What do you do? Say something and you do something and it will make a big difference and the family will never forget it."

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