a very special weekend, camp erin 2013

“if you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? 
or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”
–jodi picoult, “my sister’s keeper”

“at the temple there is a poem called ‘loss’ carved into the stone.
it has three words but the poet has scratched them out.
you cannot read loss, only feel it.”
–arthur golden, “memoirs of a geisha”

“tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness.
they are a sign of a pure heart.”
–jose n. harris
for the past two years, 
i have spent this very weekend in august
volunteering at camp erin through 
providence hospice and the moyer foundation.
unfortunately, with my recent job change and return to school,
i am unable to participate at camp;
i was able to help out with a variety of preparations,
such as changing the batteries in 
every walky-talky and flashlight,
and i will also assist with driving campers home at the end of the weekend.
as helpful as this is,
it isn’t quite the same in actually participating in the full camp weekend.
the experience is life changing.
for the volunteers at least –
and ideally, for the campers, too.
i very much wish i was at camp right now:
roasting marshmallows,
swimming in the lake,
learning about grief and loss,
and hearing the incredible story of every teen at camp. 
alas, i am not there,
but wanted to direct this special post to every camp erin participant.
i hope this weekend is as helpful as possible,
and teaches you how to grieve, and more importantly,
that grieving is acceptable.

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