Three years ago, we came across a short article about Missing You, a summer camp in Belgium where children struggling with grief can come together and bond with their peers. It struck us as an incredibly pure idea, and we wanted to know more. What does a grief camp look like? Is it a sullen, sad affair? Does it really help the children? And what do they do there?
In our research, which was funded by the Ket & Doc program for youth documentaries, we found that children who lose a parent or a sibling can feel profoundly alone in their loss. Suddenly, they’ve got no one to turn to, not even their friends. After all, who wants to talk about grief?
When we met Yaren, 10, the central figure in the short documentary above, she immediately stole our hearts. She showed us what grief really looked like — how it’s a part of her but it doesn’t define her. She told us how painful it was that some people started avoiding her after her mother died, just because they felt uncomfortable talking about it. And above all, she showed us how you can still be happy even while carrying a burden as heavy as hers.
We are honored to share Yaren’s story and those of so many other grieving children. We hope it can encourage everyone to be a little more open about grief.