I learned *A LOT* from my year as a volunteer at Healing House in Lafayette, Louisiana. Healing House for Grieving Children is a bereavement center providing resources, support, and small group time for kids who have lost an immediate family member.
For a center dealing with bereavement and death, it taught me more about life and healthy coping skills than just about anything else I’ve encountered.
One of my favorite things I learned was: The Two Rules of Healing House.
You see, the kids could use their small group time to do or say or be whatever they wanted in order to express their grief and personalities.
It was really REALLY cool to see.
You want to color in the art room?
You want to color on the walls of the art room?
You want to mash all the play-doh colors together?
You want to wet the play-doh and throw it at the wall?
(pro-tip: wetting the play-doh ball slightly makes it stick to the wall better)
Go for it.
You want to read silently and not talk to anyone?
You want to speak in a British accent the entire night and tell everyone you’re from London?
(Note: all of those happened in my group at various times. And I have so many more wonderful examples if you’re curious!)
There were just two rules:
All thoughts and feelings are ok
You cannot hurt yourself or others