A Child's View: Summer Coping Skills

BY: Andy Getz, LISW-S

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss
PUBLICATION: About Grief

The weather is warming up in Cleveland and hopefully we will not see snow for a long time. When you have lost someone however, you may not feel much summer in your heart. You feel that so much has been lost, and for a while that is all you can think of. There is good news: we are able to hold memories in our hearts. As you allow yourself to recall and keep memories close, you may slowly sense the power of healing. You may even be able to find happiness again. Memories can inspire, guide and help to make the world better.

I would like to share a real-life story that illustrates the power of memory. Recently the coach of the Bishop McGuinness High School basketball team in North Carolina was preparing his team for a game against their arch rivals. The coach asked the players to sign a basketball with the names of those to whom they dedicated their game. One team member, Spencer, signed the name of his good friend Josh who had recently died of cancer. Fast forward to the final two seconds of the game.

With his team behind by one point, Spencer had one last shot in the closing seconds. Believe it or not, Spencer took a shot from beyond half court and it went in. His team won the game. Spencer shared with his teammates how the memory of his beloved friend had inspired him. Memories can inspire us to try harder, be kinder, be more aware of the feelings of others and make the world a better place.

Some of you may be inspired to work harder in school or reach out to a friend who is struggling. Others may want to raise money for a special cause, train harder in a sport or donate to those in need. You may want to plant a tree in memory of your loved one to add beauty to the world. Each of you will have a different way to transform the sadness you feel. You cannot change what happened, but you can move forward in your life in ways that honor your loved one. May those efforts help you allow the warmth of summer into your heart.

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