In this day and age of Marvel Comics and superhero images all around, it makes me wonder what others think of when searching for help in hard times. Are we over-the-top with our understanding of how we can be helped? Are we looking for a superhero to make our hard times disappear? We’ve all been there, yet families in our SandCastles program come to us with hearts heavy, love lost, and memories of a time they truly wish they could magically get back. This life-changing event called death cannot be undone; however, a helping hand is never too far, neither light years away nor out of our reach.
We recently had the incredible opportunity with the Detroit Lions to have a number of families attend a Superhero Ball at Ford Field. Aside from having some fun, the hope was to allow our families to be treated with kindness, compassion, love, and a night out to remember during a time when “fun” may feel out of reach. The players were amazing and so supportive of all the children. The moment when a child in grief with a hurting heart can sincerely say, “I found a new friend,” that is a superhero moment!
With the holidays looming, our families have taught us Halloween begins the series of significant calendar days to spark anticipation and concern as to how are we going to get through this???? Instead of looking forward to holidays, now these days may trigger their grief, causing more unhappiness than the happiness they traditionally create.
In this especially difficult season, here is your chance to be that Superhero for a child. Many times, families will share how overwhelmed they can feel to manage the tasks of any day, so here is some superhero advice: Show up and lend a hand. Be the helping hand to that mom, dad, grandparent, or other grieving adult to relieve them of some worry and the burdensome task of making it through this unchartered space. In grief, we are often feeling “out of control” and a simple offer to be an extra loving, helping person is a choice we can control. By the way, it will help YOU too!
“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
So no need to grab your superhero cape or display any supernatural powers. With an open mind, a loving heart, and a sincere desire to help, you can magically transform a hurting heart to a healing heart in the life of a grieving child. Super cool? Absolutely! Out of this world? No way! This is the everyday hero calling to walk alongside a family in grief. Are YOU that hero?