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Ask the St. Elizabeth Expert: What is "Equine Grief Camp?"

Ask the St. Elizabeth Expert: What is "Equine Grief Camp?" (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local team of hospice providers is making a big difference this summer for kids who have suffered loss.

The team at St. Elizabeth Healthcare has an amazing hospice team that not only cares for those who need it at the end of life, but also the families who need support when they lose a loved one.

This summer, part of that was helping to fund a special day camp that just finished a two week run.

There's a saying that sometimes if you fall off the horse, you just have to get back on again, but for Sydney Parker, the fall was pretty painful.

Sydney's dad passed unexpectedly in April.

“I was scared,” said Sydney.

Perhaps nobody knows that scary feeling better than those who run this equine grief camp.

“Basically we want to help come alongside them to help them understand what they are going through,” said

The camp is a partnership between Beth Long’s New Day at Meadowview Farm in Mount Zion and the St. Elizabeth Hospice Team.

The goal is to help kids manage grief in a healthy way.

“Because one of the things we know is that grief is a process that turns into anger and we don't want to have angry kids around,” said Gail Rizzo of St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

As part of the camp, teens such as Sydney are encouraged to build a healthy relationship with a horse

“They learn how to unconditionally connect with something they feel is not judging them,” said Gail.

The kids get to come out ride horses and they get to meet other kids who have experienced and know what they are going through as well.

That encourages them to look forward to the future. To learn specific skills to take a chance to step out of their comfort zone and they are always able to do that when they have a bond with a horse.

“It was a good chance for her to connect with her who had also lost someone close to them and talk about grief in a nontraditional way,” said Sydney’s mom.

For Sydney the horse does something she's really good at too.

“I don't really talk that much, I just listen to what other people are saying,” said Sydney.

A lesson we all could learn when after love and loss it's tough to get back in the saddle again.

If you'd like more information on the program, that is partially funded through donations, you can follow this link.

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