With many mātātahi (young people) struggling in the aftermath of a loss, two young tāne who have lost their siblings, Conor Burling and Luka Wolfgram, are championing a #DearGrief campaign to start the conversation about grief.
It starts with 2 simple words, Dear Grief...
#DearGrief is about sharing what you would like to say to grief and the different ways we deal with grief. Twelve years after the loss of his three year old sister, Kenzie, Conor is sharing his #DearGrief story through his memorial tattoo he had done in her honour.
“I always think of Kenzie and I wanted something to show how she is part of me and I carry her with me everyday. Living with grief is tough and it changes you, but we can help each other by sharing messages so people know they’re not alone. That’s what #DearGrief is about,” says Conor.
Bereavement in childhood is surprisingly common, with 1 in 20 young people facing the loss of a loved one before they are 18. Grief brings with it difficult and challenging emotions, including sadness, anger, loneliness, confusion, and guilt.
13-year-old Luka Wolfgram lost his younger brother, Kosta to childhood cancer and he has coped by creating short films about his journey with grief. Luka says, “I feel so hurt and so furious that Kosta died…all the nevers are heartbreaking, but Kosta inspires me to do good in this world, that’s why I share our story to hopefully help others.”
Kenzie's Gifts core focus is to improve the emotional well-being and mental health of tamariki, mātātahi and their families affected by serious illness or a bereavement in the family. That's what #DearGrief and Kenzie's Gift is here to do.
Resources and support, as well as ways you can help keep these vital services going, can be found here at Kenzie’s Gift.