Emma Leach is one local youth who has gone through Langley Hospice programs for grieving children.

Langley Hospice helps grieving children

An event tonight (Nov. 16) showcases programs that help kids who have lost loved ones.

Loss can strike people of any age.

That’s why the Langley Hospice Society runs programs for children who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Emma Leach is one of the young people the program has helped.

Now in Grade 9, Emma lost her grandfather when she was in Grade 3.

“I didn’t think my parents really understood what I was going through,” Emma said.

She took part in a group at school for children who had lost someone, including parents. They were allowed to talk openly.

“It was nice for her to be around her peers,” said Emma’s mom, Mandy Leach.

Emma also went to a special summer camp, at the Elks campground in Aldergrove, sponsored by the same program.

This year, Emma will be going back as a junior counsellor for the first time.

The society will throw open its doors Nov. 16 to talk about its programs for young people, as part of Children’s Grief Awareness Day.

Child and Youth Bereavement staff will be on site at the supportive program centre at 20660 48th Ave. from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tours of the facility to are being offered, including the “Narnia room” and the Horizon Children’s Memorial Garden.

Staff and volunteers will be able to talk about what programs are available locally.

Videos and digital storytelling created by local youths will be on display.

Books, games, and other resources available will be on display.

Created in 2014, the Narnia room was an unfinished closet with a small, wardrobe-like door off the kitchen at the supportive program centre.

After kids started dubbing it the entrance to Narnia, the magical land from the C.S. Lewis novels, staff put together a project to have its interior painted with murals. Two Kwantlen Polytechnic University fine arts students, Alyx Essers and Tess Nickel, designed the paintings on the walls and ceiling.

The idea was to create a safe space for children.

For more information on programs, visit www.langleyhospice.com, or call 604-530-1115.

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