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Camp offers catharsis for bereaved children

Published:   |   Updated: March 25, 2013 at 01:25 PM
BROOKSVILLE -

Many West Pasco children who have lost loved ones will be among the youths to attend Gulfside Regional Hospice’s 2013 Rhythm of the Spirit Kids’ Camp March 29 and 30 at Lakewood Retreat in Brooksville.

Activities at the camp, in its sixth year, help the children cope with a death in the family.

Drum circle facilitator Jim Talbot teaches the youngsters about the rhythm we are all born with, the rhythm of the heartbeat, Sonia Quinones explained as director of bereavement and volunteers at Gulfside.

Talbot takes this concept and tells the children that everything has a rhythm and he asks them to express the rhythm of the spirit of their loved ones on the drum.

“This ritual is very powerful because it elicits an emotional response from the child expressed through music, in this case the drumming,” Quinones said in a press release. “The child creates a beat that is echoed by the other participants.”

Youngsters also read letters they wrote to their loved ones as another means to express grief.

Children sometimes cry as they share their emotions, but they are comforted by knowing they are in a safe place with others who have experienced a similar loss, Quinones added.

All bereavement services are provided free of charge to Pasco County residents. For details, call (727) 844-3946 or go online to www.grhospice.org.

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