Judi's House is a non-profit that provides programs for grief support for children and young adults ages 3 to 25. On March 2nd, the good people in the Denver band SPELLS released "Bustin' Out" as a single on their Bandcamp page on a pay-what-you-like basis with all proceeds to benefit the charity. Judi's House is very close to home with the band, as the group's singer's wife, Crystal Allen, still volunteers with the organization, and the outfit's bassist's significant other Amy Burkhardt volunteered with the non-profit as well for several years.
"These children’s lives don’t stop when a special person dies," says Burkhardt. "These grieving children are resilient beings. They go to school, play sports, and have responsibilities at home. Judi’s House addresses these layers of a child as well. In addition to allowing a child to grieve in a supportive community, Judi’s House also allows the child to thrive. A lot of times, as they play, they are working through painful thoughts and memories that they may otherwise not express."
"The support groups are made up of kids in the same age ranges, who have similar death losses," elaborates Allen. "It's meant to create an environment where children and teens can relate to one another, support each other, and learn about processing grief together. And while the kids are in peer support groups, their caregivers are also in support groups with other caregivers. So they support each other through their grief, and at the same time, learning how to support their children."
"I used to feel like I always had to have the right thing to say when someone had a death loss close to them," adds Allen. "And I know now, that it's not about saying the perfect thing. It's not about having to have a relatable story, or the best advice. It's just about listening, and being there. And it's about creating a safe place for someone to feel whatever they feel."
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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.