| America was changed forever on Sept. 11, 2001. All of us were affected in some way. Perhaps the silent victims of this day were the children of the victims of this event. On this day, nearly 3,000 children lost a parent. Most of these young people were an average age of 9 years old. |
9/11 changed the national perspective on grief. At Rick’s Place, we remember Rick Thorpe and his family. Rick died in the south tower of the World Trade Center. Children and teens that had loved ones to die in this event, including Rick’s daughter shed a light on the grief that we were all experiencing as a country, and also created a space for recognizing that every day in our country young people have loved ones to die in many other ways. The nation learned many lessons about grief in the months following 9/11, and the ways we heal. However, 10 years later, we still grapple with the task of supporting our children and neighbors through grief and loss. Research shows that an estimated one in nine Americans will experience the death of a parent before age 20.
The death of a parent remains one of our society’s most poorly understood issues. We believe 9/11 represents a unique opportunity to focus on this poorly understood issue. At Rick’s Place we interact with grieving families – kids and parents alike – every day. Opening day at Rick’s Place is next month on Oct. 4. At the start of our fifth year we are proud to say that we have worked with close to 500 young children (ages 5 to 18) and their families who have experienced the death of a close family member. Space is still available for any new family that is grieving.
As we all remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11, please help someone you know learn about the comfort and support we give at Rick’s Place.
Shelly Bathe Lenn
Rick’s Place Inc.,Wilbraham
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