The bright writings on the dark walls at Good Shepherd Hospice, leave an incredibly cool effect, but it’s not until you get closer and read the tiny messages on the walls that you fully understand what the “Grief Cave” is.
At the Good Shepherd’s Betheny Center, Ameson Avenue in Auburndale, Florida, the cave is all black. People who are grieving the loss of a loved one can come and write down their thoughts on the dark walls as a form of therapy. The messages are written in ‘magic marker’ like pens and under black light the writings glow.
Anyone of any age can write on the “Grief Cave” walls. “For anyone who thinks hospice is just for the dying, think again. Grief counselling is a big part of what we do,” said Rica Walker, the grief services coordinator at Good Shepherd Hospice.
Alex Whatley a 6 year old made use of the “Grief Cave” to help him mourn the loss of his baby brother, Franklin “Jace” Carson who suffered a tragic crib death.
Alex and Baby Jace were very close and Alex was scarred after the death of his baby brother. “Jace was a great brother to me, I really miss him,” said Alex.
“Alex had trouble at school, he wasn’t listening and his grades were slipping,” said Brittany Carson, Alex’s mother. Brittany heard about the grief counselling at Good Shepherd Hospice from her mother and enrolled her family almost immediately.
Alex’s parents claim the change in his behaviour has been outstanding. He is back to his energetic, joyous self and gives credit to Good Shepherd.
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