Treasured Memories at Ryan House.
It’s impossible to really understand the depth of pain, sadness and emotion surrounding the loss of a loved one, especially when it’s your own child. Families who experience end of life at Ryan House go through a range of emotions from sadness, to anger to regret and everything in between.
“As you can imagine, it can be difficult for families to come to Ryan House for end of life care,” said Ryan House Child Life Specialist, Ashley Bogert. “We’re always looking for new ways to offer support to the families we serve.”
“It is our goal to ensure that each family has tangible memories that they can take home with them and hold close to their hearts. Our Treasured Memories program is just one way that we hope to accomplish this, by offering support to families both during and after a loss.”
The program includes a uniquely designed bereavement box filled with beautiful memories of each child. Most importantly, it is something that families can take with them when they leave after experiencing such a traumatic loss.
The box is filled with variety of memorabilia from the child with items including a mold of the child’s hand, a ribbon-tied lock of hair and grief support literature for parents and siblings for coping with the loss of a child. Also included is a card from the staff, a butterfly pillow and a memory tile order card for families to choose the tile they’d like displayed in Ryan House’s memorial garden (bird, butterfly or dragonfly).
“These boxes offer special keepsakes that help families remember their child in a positive way and keep their child’s memory alive forever,” Bogert said.
Without the support of community organizations, we wouldn’t be able to provide our families these special boxes. The generous donations we received also support projects for our memorial garden and child-life specialist therapy.
Renee Parsons, co-founder of The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation who matched a grant from Three Desert Winds Foundation said, “The Treasured Memories Project is an incredible opportunity to give grieving families something to hold… something to hold on to. Through supporting this project, we are able to, in a very small way, help families find sanctuary in the memories of their child.”
And Jeanne Hertz, founder of Three Desert Winds Foundation and Ryan House volunteer who was instrumental in teaching the staff how to create the hand molds, said, “Each child at Ryan House is very special person. The memory boxes provides the children with an opportunity to pass along to their family wonderful memories of their time together and for the family to celebrate the child’s special, strong and lasting relationship with family and friends.”
If you would like to support Ryan House by making some of the items in these boxes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.