Heart Connections: Kids Giving Back

by Roque Hesson

Overcoming losing my mother when I was five, my brother when I was ten, and my stepmother when I was twenty-two has shown me so much. The grief process will never be the same for everyone; the grief process will never be delicate; the grief process will never become routine. There is this taboo in our society regarding silencing our grief, but we ALL go through it at some point. By sharing your grief experience through verbal communication, meditation, art, and any other form that helps you express it is the best way to begin to heal yourself and your community.

I was the Wine Buyer and a Manager at neighboring café near The Christi Center a few years back, and I was quickly surrounded by people who attended meetings at the Center. I was in awe of their honesty about their grief journey. Growing up, I had always felt so alone in my grief, and here I was meeting so many who were honest and open about their losses. When I decided it was time to start giving back to the community, The Christi Center was the first place that popped into my mind. We all experience grief, but so few feel supported in their journey. There is a severe lack of resources in our country for ongoing grief support, and we are extremely lucky to have The Christi Center continually here for us.

roque-and-momI am a volunteer for The Kids Who Kare group at the Center. The kids who attend the group are always surprising me with their maturity, eloquence, bravery, and honesty. I am continually blown away by how much the kids support and nurture one another. They listen to each other’s concerns, and are able to feel empowered in their own grief by supporting each other. Every time I volunteer, I walk away in awe of what these children have to offer. They don’t understand capacity of their strength yet, but when they do, the world better watch out! These are truly children that possess the tools to change their communities.

This is a picture of my stepmom and myself showing off our dance moves in the backyard. Some of the best memories that I have of her are when she would bust out dancing in the middle of the kitchen. Love and miss her so 🙂


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