National Children's Grief Awareness Day
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Support a child at Jessica's House for Children's Grief Awareness Day
Children's Grief Awareness Day
is designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others.

Please show your support and wear blue!
When Michael met Truth in his college humanities class he instantly recognized her as a woman he wanted to know.
One day during one of the breaks they started talking.

"She wanted to travel. She wanted to know things. She was full of energy and had great values," Michael said. "She loved her family and animals and would do anything for them. She was in pre-med and I was an art major. We had a lot in common."

After a year they got married and spent the next seven years enjoying life together.

We spent a lot of time just her and me traveling and having fun," Michael said. "Then one day we were like 'okay, we're ready to bring new life into this world and to share it.'"

Soon Jack and Lucca came along and they joined their life traveling across the world to Michael's home in Austria, hiking in Yosemite, going to the beach and exploring the outdoors.

On their 12th anniversary, Michael and Truth went to Monterey to celebrate when suddenly Truth died of unexplained natural causes.

It was at Jack's preschool that Michael learned about Jessica's House. "There was a packet about Jessica's House in Jack's cubby at school," Michael said. "When I read about the support, I knew we had to go."

"Coming to Jessica's House has made every day possible. There was a time when I didn't feel like going anywhere, but coming to groups helped me gain my footing again," Michael said. "It gives us a safe place to open up and share what we're going through. When something like this happens, you feel alone. No matter what people say or who wants to help, you feel alone."
At Jessica's House Michael meets with other parents and caregivers who have experienced the death of their spouse during the time their children are in groups. He says the adult group has provided tools for him on how to help Jack and Lucca as well as resources from Jessica's House staff on where to find additional support.

"Hearing different stories and telling stories you may never told anyone outside of group turns on a light. You're like, 'wait a minute – other people are going through this, too.'" Michael said. "And then hearing what has helped others and even what hasn't helped is a huge support. We're learning not just how to grieve, but how to continue as a single parent."

Michael says that Jessica's House has helped Jack find the tools he needs to work through his grief and helps him to express what he's going through.

"Now when Jack wants to express his grief he will draw something or asks to look at pictures. Yes, he gets sad," Michael said. "But he now knows how to say to me, 'I miss mom. Let's talk about her and let's do something fun.'"
When asked if Michael would recommend Jessica's House to others he says, "You may not think you need Jessica's House, but you need it. And it will help you."

Helping. Healing. Offering free ongoing support for as long as you need it.
Since all services are offered at no fee, Jessica's House relies on the generosity of individuals, groups and businesses in our community to continue this meaningful work. Currently, it cost $1,500 for a child to participate in the program for one year.

Will you help? Your gift of any amount will make a lasting difference in the life of a grieving family.
Please click the donate button to donate online or call Jessica's House at (209) 250-5395