Categorized | Health

Families find support at Ohana Bereavement Camp

(Photo courtesy of Hospice of Hilo)

(Photo courtesy of Hospice of Hilo)


More than 30 people attended Hospice of Hilo’s Ohana Bereavement Camp July 20-21 at United Hawaii College in Hilo.

The two-day event enabled families to learn ways to cope with their grief and support each other through their unique journeys.

Activities included art therapy (clay work, drawings), puppet therapy (creating hand puppets and a storyline to showcase to others during the camp), and group therapy sessions.

“The loss of a loved one impacts every member of the family, adult and child,” said Fujio Sato, Hospice of Hilo children’s bereavement counselor.

Throughout the camp, participants were encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings by drawing on a “wall of grief”. On the last day, participants destroyed the wall with water balloons to symbolize their release of the weight of these painful challenges.

“We are so grateful to Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Hawaii Island United Way and counselors from the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center who enabled our team to help families learn ways to communicate and help each other through this difficult time,” Sato said.

“Too many times we are not able to come together to remember what is truly important, but this camp enabled us to do just that, to learn how to support one another,” said Joseph Lau, a grandfather of a family that participated in the camp. “Thank you Hospice of Hilo and the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center for helping us to focus on our ohana.”

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