PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – People grieve in different ways. Adults can learn to cope, but most kids aren’t wired like that. That’s why a local group is geared at helping children and families when they experience loss.
“It is so hard,” said Rosalis Ramos. “To this day I struggle with it.”
The struggle for the Ramos family happened in a blink of an eye. “All I remember was that the truck was going around and it just felt like it was a dream,” said Ramos.
It was 2016, three days after Thanksgiving. The family was out shopping when they were involved in a crash in Newport News. Their SUV ended up pinned to a tree.
“All of the sudden everyone was screaming,” Ramos said. “I remember my husband trying to get my children out of the truck.”
20-year-old Chucky Rodriguez died at the scene. There was nothing his parents or siblings could do.
“I remember thinking I can fix this,” Ramos added.
In the days after the loss, the Ramos’s heard about a group called KIDZ’NGRIEF to help their children deal with what happened.
“I don’t think we would be where we are,” Ramos said. “I think we would be filled with frustration not knowing what to say to each other.”
Bon Secours started the program 20 years ago.
“Everybody is unique in the way they grieve,” said program founder Beth Pile.
Pile said the children have monthly one-on-one and group sessions, during which they learn to talk about the pain.
“When they get in a group you can see the light bulb go off over their head,” Pile added.
Pile believes it makes a difference when kids realize that other kids are suffering from the same thing.
The Ramos kids continue to have sessions. They do art projects and horseback rides to channel their grief.
“It shows you that you are not alone,” said Foxy Ramos. “It also shows that you have people who are always going to be there for you.”
The Ramos’s know Thanksgiving will never be the same, though it is getting easier.
“Going through the program we learned that it is okay,” Rosalis said. “We can get through this together.”
Learn more about the KIDZ’NGRIEF program at this link.
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