The Center for Grieving Children, a program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley, is a safe place for children, teens and their families to find compassionate peer support, engage in commemorative activities, gain information about the grieving process, and express feelings and experiences in an accepting environment.
Because of people like you, grieving children and their families, like this one, find they are not alone and rediscover hope for their futures.
It was 2008 and Libby, then age 30, was living a charmed life. She and her husband, Chad, had successful careers, had just purchased a new house and were thrilled to be preparing to welcome a new baby daughter to join their young son. “We were very lucky,” Libby recounted. “We were on track to have anything and everything we ever wanted in life.”
That was her life before cancer.
Chad died in 2013, five years after his diagnosis. Libby’s journey with Chad through his cancer treatments and through his death was exhausting and overwhelming. She felt alone and unsure of how to move forward with her life. Most importantly, she wondered, how could she be a good mom to her two children, Griffen and Niah, in the midst of so much pain? A friend told her about the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley’s Center for Grieving Children.
At the Center, alongside other children grieving the death of loved one, Libby’s two children, Niah and Griffen, began their long healing process by learning how to talk about their feelings and share memories of their Dad. They each began to understand that death is a part of life and although their relationship with their Dad had changed, it would continue “in memory” for the rest of their lives. Now, after years in the Center, Libby observes: “I absolutely love when I see my son welcoming a new family and talking to a new child. He asks if he can show them around and help them… It’s an amazing feeling for a mom to see their child so kind and gentle and using their grief to help others.”
The program at the Center helped Libby find hope as well. “We joined the Center to help my kids,” Libby recalled. “Never did I expect it to be just as helpful and meaningful to me…. We share our stories, we express our frustrations, we laugh, we cry, we get angry and sometimes we just sit in silence.”
“No one chooses to go through the pain of losing someone in their lives,” Libby stated, “but the Center is there if you find yourself in need… The family at the Center helped me through it all.”