Memory diaries to help with grief

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DEATH comes in many forms, and as hard as it is for an adult to process bereavement, children often find it more difficult.

To help parents and caregivers guide children through the grieving process, Greenlight Innovations director Leon Hartnett has organised the donation of 40 Kenzie’s Gift memories are forever diaries and parents’ kits to the Invercargill Loss and Grief Centre.

Mr Hartnett said he appreciated the help and compassion the centre provided for people who were grieving and was pleased to facilitate the connection. He was also planning to organise another 40 to be donated to a bereavement-related organisation in Otago.

The diaries were produced in Auckland in memory of Kenzie who died in 2005, to help children through the grieving and bereavement process.

“My daughter got one of these when her nana died some years ago, and we found it was a really good way to recall memories and help her come to terms with her death,” Mr Hartnett said.

Aimed at children aged 5-12 years old, the diary was in a scrapbook format and also had a parents’ guide to assist their children.

“The kit features fun things to do and encourages children to remember the person in their own way, and it also prompts them to express how they are feeling with visual cues and activities.”

Loss and Grief Centre director Caroline Loo said, “We are incredibly grateful to Greenlight Innovations for continuing to provide these for Southland youngsters.

“They are a tangible resource which can help youngsters… to help bring them back to the event and deal with it.

“The feedback we have had from children and professionals show they are feeding a gap.”

The free diaries are available from the Loss and Grief Centre, 49 Tay St, Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 1pm-5pm, or Wednesday and Thursday, 9am-1pm, or by phoning 027 443 8788.

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