Sunshine Thru The Rain is dedicated to helping children that have lost one or both of their parents, by providing a safe environment for them to express and share their experiences and make new memories.We are an organization that provides the platform that most people need and look for when going through the grief process. They look for others that have suffered a similar situation, they look for others that will understand the capacity of pain they feel, they look for friends that won’t see them as damaged, and they look for someone that can just simply relate to the fact that someone they cared for so much is no longer here. When looking in their immediate circle, most won’t find what they’re looking for, that’s where we step in and provide the environment for the process to naturally take place. With us they will know that no matter how bad the rain gets, the sun will eventually shine through!
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January 13, 2021
A Families Story
The hardest day in my life came June of last year. My ex-husband lost his battle with mental illness and committed suicide to end the pain. I was faced with the task of telling my 5-year-old daughter that her daddy was gone. She was old enough to fully understand and asked for all the details I knew at the time. I will never forget her heart-rending wail when she was finally sure I was telling her the truth and not some horrible joke.
Her dad had watched TV constantly as an escape mechanism from his anxiety and depression. I didn't want her to vegetate in front of an electronic device even more than before and feel detached and alone, so in addition to the ballet she was doing, I signed her up for karate and Girl Scouts. As you can imagine, the little girl has had a busy calendar. Sure, she was socializing, but there was still one component missing. She didn't know any other kids like herself who had lost a parent. None of her peers could really empathize or understand. In that way, she was still very much different--set apart--alone in her pain. Her daddy wasn't there for her first day of Kindergarten or when she had the father-daughter dance at ballet or Donuts with Dad at school or when she earned two belts in karate. My second husband does a fantastic job of being stepdad but even he knows that he can never replace her daddy.
The grief counselor told me that grieving is different for adults than it is for children--my daughter will grieve and process anew this loss at each developmental stage ahead of her. So as I was looking into bereavement/grief camps for her this summer, I came across Sunshine thru the Rain and emailed Joanne. It's not counseling or talk therapy--just kids having fun with other kids but kids LIKE THEM. My daughter and I joined them at last month's outing for the first time and I thought it was great. This was the missing piece for which I had been looking. She's not alone. Other kids have lost parents as well, and it's okay to laugh (or cry) and carry the memory of your loved one with you in your heart as you carry on.
This June marks the one-year anniversary of her dad's death. Since then she has started Kindergarten, been displaced due to Hurricane Harvey, lost an aunt, and the list goes on. A lot of changes and adjustments; however, I want to thank Sunshine thru the Rain for being available to children like my own. They meet a special need. Our first meeting with the group was a gentle introduction--nothing earth-shaking. But she made a few acquaintances with some girls and knows they are in the same boat as her and I'm looking forward to joining even more events in the future. I think in cases of early bereavement, it's especially true, "It takes a village to raise a child." I want my daughter to have a happy and healthy life, despite whatever the stupid statistics may say.