Tidewell Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce the expansion of the Tidewell Hospice Blue Butterfly Family Grief Center to care for additional children and families in our region. A recent grant of $100,000 from the New York Life Foundation will help support the pilot program housed in Charlotte County. The program will open in August 2020.
Tidewell’s Blue Butterfly is the only evidence-based program in our region that helps grieving children, teens and caregivers through professional counseling, peer-support groups and therapeutic activities. Since its inception in April 2018, Blue Butterfly has served more than 200 families and is continuing its services virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After my brother died, I didn’t know what to do,” said Sarah, a 17-year-old Blue Butterfly participant. “I felt so lost. I didn’t know how to live without him. How do you lose a twin? It’s a lot, so coming to Blue Butterfly really helped me cope with that and has been a really important part of my healing process.”
Blue Butterfly peer-support groups are facilitated by grief specialists and trained volunteers who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support children and families in grief. The free grief sessions bring children together who are experiencing the various emotions that accompany grief, allowing them to process these feelings without judgment while sharing stories that facilitate comfort and connectedness with others.
“It’s really important that they know they aren’t alone and there are other kids that have to deal with all of those emotions — on top of just losing someone,” said Nicole, a Blue Butterfly parent participant. “Kids have questions and this is a great place for them to come to join together and have a better life.”