WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For 25 years, the Hospice of Wichita Falls has been an anchor for grieving children, teens and their families through their Building Bridges program. As they continue to provide emotional support, officials hope to raise money which will support programs such as Building Bridges.
“Being able to go this program really help me to let my emotions out there because it was safe,” Samantha Reed said.
As Samantha Reed, 12, lost her dad and her best friend Madison Dodge lost her grandfather when she was 11-years-old.
Both Reed and Dodge took part in the Hospice of Wichita Falls’ eight week program, Building Bridges, which they both said helped them tremendously to cope with the loss.
“I got hear other people’s stories and that I wasn’t alone,” Dodge said. “At 11-years-old, the feelings I felt that I thought were crazy or abnormal—they really weren’t, so that was a really nice feeling.”
“The program helped me a lot with relating to other kids in there,” Reed said. “I was like ‘why is this happening to me?’ I am the only one having to go through this when really there are other kids having to go through the same things but having a different story.”
Reed said her biggest struggle was understanding and expressing her emotions throughout the process and Dodge said accepting her grandfather is gone was the hardest. However, the four principles of Building Bridges— acceptance, validation, guidance and creation—helped them both overcome their fears and battle through those emotions in a healthy way.
“Because I was really lost and confused so being able to take that out with them was really helpful,” Reed said.
“I love how the hospice children’s programs aren’t just for kids who have lost someone on the hospice services it can be for everyone,” Dodge said.
Both Reed and Dodge are facilitators in the Building Bridges program hoping to be a support system for those who need it most.
Building Bridges also offer support for the families, not just the kids.
There is still time to register for the program, so for more information, follow this link.