This is our latest article on the lessons we learned from the children who participated in our upcoming film, “Children and Grief”.
By Rory Kidder
What does grief mean to you?
Alexander, a 14-year-old boy, answered that question, “Grief means… every emotion, I think.” Alexander’s definition of grief is honest, and heart felt. His personal story is shared in Children and Grief, the latest film production by Bend business, Professor Child.
In Children and Grief, ten brave children come together to share their stories of losing a loved one. They share their grief and loss, and how they are coping and healing. Their advice for other children who have lost a loved one is genuine, truthful and compassionate. “Talk to your parents about it or any relative, (even) your siblings can help you feel better. If kids don’t talk to anybody I feel like they’ll be just left alone and keep on being sad.” – Aurora, 9 “Advice I would give is to think about good times you have had with them. Also to tell people how you feel and stuff because that usually helps to tell people your fears or what you’re sad about and that it’s OK to cry and to feel sad.” – Julia, 9 The film participants have experienced a life-changing event many of us cannot even fathom; yet they manage to share their stories with a sense of strength and resiliency. “As you watch the film, their personal stories will take you on a journey leaving you with a sense of hope and an understanding that you are not alone in experiencing death”, shares Sharon Richards, co-founder of Professor Child.
This latest film is especially relevant to the founders of Professor Child. After a discouraging search to find a hopeful and healing product for a child experiencing grief, Jenni O’Keefe, co-founder of Professor Child, was inspired to create a new type of educational tool. “I was dismayed at the lack of resources available for children dealing with grief. I knew there had to be a way to instill a sense of hope and healing to children going through a difficult time. I knew there was an opportunity to create something special,” said Jenni. After partnering with co-founders Sharon Richards, a mental health counselor, and Rory Kidder, an elementary school teacher, Professor Child was launched with a focus on children teaching children by sharing their own personal stories. “This truly was a collaboration of working moms with diverse backgrounds in therapy, education, and personal experience. Once we started discussing the problem we wanted to solve, the solution of ‘children teaching children’ was a shared vision,” said O’Keefe. All of Professor Child’s educational products focus on providing messages that are relatable, non-clinical, and purely child focused. They are used by parents, teachers, and therapists to foster a healing dialogue with children. Professor Child is currently in production on two additional films focusing on children who have a sibling with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and children from military families.