At All Are Worthy we have a lot of fun, we play a lot of games and we try to involve ourselves in the community as much as possible. We also talk a lot about all the good things life brings us and what we should be thankful for, especially this time of year. However, we wanted to take a Wednesday night to talk about one of the hardest things we all have to go through, grief. It is not an easy topic nor is there an easy solution. What we did was designed stations with different topics about grief and let the kids do them individually. We thought it would be more beneficial for the kids to work through the different stations on their own and speak to our leaders if they needed it.

STATION 1: WHAT TO DO OR SAY WHEN OTHERS ARE GRIEVING – How to love people who are hurting.

Station one was designed for those who are unfamiliar with grief. It helped define what it is and how to help those they know who may be grieving. We provided a helpful handout with a list of “what to say and what to NOT say” to those who are grieving and we provided cards for them to use to write out an encouraging card to a loved one.

STATION 2: DIFFERENT TYPES OF GRIEF – Understanding the different ways you may be grieving.

This station was designed for understanding the different types of grief and how they may be affected in different ways. Many times grief is only associated with the loss of a loved one, but we wanted the students to realize that any type of major change in life can cause grieving. We provided a list of different things that could be experiencing and they created a symbol of their grief to add to the cross.

STATION 3: MEMORY BRACELET – Making a bracelet in honor and loving memory of someone you’ve lost.

This station was designed to honor those that we have lost. Our students love making bracelets and we loved that they were able to create something meaningful to remember someone they love. We gave them guidance on how to pick out each bead with intention and prayer.

STATION 4: JOURNALING – Quiet time writing out responses to a journaling prompt of your choice.

Station four was designed for specific journaling in order to let them express their feelings without having to say the words out loud. We try to give the students quiet time to journal on a regular basis, but this was more specific to grief. This station was not only good for the kids, but for our leaders as well!

STATION 5: LETTER TO YOUR GRIEF – Taking time to address your grief & feelings through a letter.

This station allowed our students to speak directly to their grief by writing out a letter. The point of this station was to acknowledge that the grief existed, express how they feel about it and welcome the grieving process into their lives. This is a very powerful and freeing exercise!

STATION 6: MAKE A GRIEF PLAYLIST– Create a music playlist that can help you make time for grief.

Station six was designed to help kids deal with grief through music. Has there ever been a song that you hear and automatically skip because of the feelings it brings up for you? Those were the songs we encouraged them to put on a playlist. This station was intended to help students make time for grief in their day-to-day lives and the point is to just sit and listen to the chosen songs, feel all the feelings, then go on with your week. Creating spaces to grieve is so important and many of our students enjoyed expressing themselves through music.

STATION 7: MAKE A SELF CARE PLAN– Becoming proactive in taking care of yourself.

Station seven was about being intentional in taking care of ourselves. The station is designed to be useful for the kids outside of time together. It is very beneficial to not only take care of yourself, but to also have a plan for how you are going to it. We encouraged them to think of things and people that bring them joy, then include them in their plan!

STATION 8: JOURNALING – UNDERSTANDING MY GRIEF– understanding the ways you deal with grief

The purpose of this station is for the kids to not only name the grief, but unpack all of the feelings behind the grief. They need to know what can trigger it, what ways does it affect them, and who can be harmed by their grief. These things are all included in this journaling station.

STATION 9: ART THERAPY- HANDPRINT ART – Creative way to symbolize grief

Station nine was a very fun and creative way to symbolize the grief we go through in life. We wanted to provide ways for our creative students to express themselves as well so we had several art project stations available. They had to trace both hands and one hand was designated for things they want to “hold on to” and the other hand was designated for things they want to “let go of.” They could show these things through words, pictures, colors, symbols, etc.

STATION 10: HEALING HEART ACTIVITY– Healing the heart through prayer and kind words

Station ten was another art therapy station. This station instructed students to cut out a large heart and write things on the heart that make them sad, hurt, anxious, and frustrated. Then they ripped up the heart to represent how these different things may make us feel. After this, they reassembled their heart using bandaids with things written on them that bring them joy, peace and hope. This is a creative and symbolic project that allows students to process their grief.

We finished with giving the kids an option to have some guided prayer to debrief. This gave them the opportunity to honor the ones they have grieved over through lighting a candle in their honor. Afterwards, we prayed and let them take some time to think about the things in the stations they went over.

Overall, this was one of the best Wednesday nights that we have planned and we believed it to be very beneficial to the kids. This is a Wednesday that the kids will never forget and one that we will do again in the next school year. Use these stations if you ever feel the need to deal with your own grief. Do not be afraid to feel those emotions because they do not go anywhere! Even though they stay with you, God does too!