Twins Damien and Ty were five years old when their dad died in 2009. The sudden loss of their father left the boys confused and worried. Their mom, Eva, knew the boys needed support. She found Camp Erin®- King County.
“I had no idea how incredible camp would end up being and what it would do for my boys,” said Eva.
Damien and Ty went to camp shortly after their dad died. At that time, the hurt was new and very confusing. They were then able to return to camp again at age 11. Attending camp as older kids allowed them to process the grief in new ways and added a new dimension to their grief journeys. Damien and Ty were able to connect with other kids at camp and share the burden of their loss.
“Not having my dad around is hard,” said Damien. “At first, you don’t understand that your dad died. Then you realize that he really did die, and you’re not going to see him again. You want to know him and do stuff with him, but you can’t because he is gone.”
“Camp Erin helped me a lot,” he added. “I learned that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only one who had lost someone.”
“I feel the same way,” said Ty. “It was nice to know there are other people who’ve gone through the same thing I have.”
Camp is a place where children can participate in grief activities together in a safe environment. Each person there is processing grief, but the kids also have some fun that allows them to get back to just being kids.
“There’s a community garden at camp, and we got to eat edible flowers,” recalled Damien. “We also got to pick out stones that reminded us of our loved ones, and we got to eat pizza!”
“Camp has been really important. I wouldn’t understand the loss of my dad as well if I hadn’t had the chance to know other kids who’ve lost someone,” he said.
Thanks to your generosity, we can support more kids like Damien and Ty as they continue on their grief journeys.