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Transforming Grief to Hope

Milo lost his father in December 2017 to a sudden heart attack, just before Christmas. He was only 13, and the grief left him feeling sad and isolated from those around him.

“People wanted to help, but they didn’t really know what to say or do. I
felt like an outcast from my peers,” Milo recalls.

That changed when Milo attended the Bluegrass Care Navigators Camp Hope, a free bereavement camp for children in our service area who have lost a loved one. The camp offers a safe environment for kids and teens to express their grief, learn how to cope with difficult feelings and to support each other.

“At Camp Hope, I felt like I had a home, a refuge. I’m still in contact with some friends that I made there,” Milo says.

Milo’s mother, Yanya, joined a support group for adults and says she felt the same sense of belonging.

“Our loss was so sudden. I felt lost and hopeless. The group is like a big, wonderful family. It’s a place you feel welcome no matter how you lost your loved one,” Yanya says. “And Milo and I would share our experiences with each other, which helped us deal with the grief together.”

The Bluegrass Grief Care program is available to anyone in the community who has experienced the loss of a loved one, and offers various programs, including camps, support groups and individual grief counseling. The Grief Care program and Camp Hope are possible due to the kindness and generosity of donors who support the program.

“From the very first activity, the Camp Hope experience changed my perspective,” Milo says. “I realized that we can all be leaders and contribute in a positive way. I
wanted to help others in need.”

And he is doing just that. For the past two years, Milo has organized a toy drive and donated the gifts to Bluegrass Care Navigators for kids who are grieving loss of their loved one.

Yanya agrees and also makes an annual gift. “We truly appreciate the Bluegrass Grief Care program,” she says. “We will continue to give to Bluegrass Care Navigators so we can continue to give hope, together.”