During the National Alliance for Grieving Children, Marci Servizi connects with Dr. Gloria Horsley to tell her about the death of her father. Based in Seattle, Servizi works with Safe Crossings, which raises money to give to other organizations that serve those who experienced a loss. Her father died on her 12th birthday. As the youngest of ten children, she had a lot of support in her Catholic family. Still, the entire family was grieving at the same time. There wasn’t the same kind of support then that there is now.

When she lost her father, when people said, “What does your dad do?” and she said, “He died”—and people misheard her—that was the most painful. Today, helping kids talk about their grief and getting support is so much more relevant. When she’s looking for organizations who are meeting an unmet need, she keeps an eye out for places where her contributions can make a big difference.

Helping Kids through a Loss

She recommends parents to look for a local organization that serves kids. Camps are also great options. Look for those who are willing to listen and support you. Many times, kids will keep quiet and might be talking to their friends or online support systems, and parents are unaware. This can worry adults since they believe children should be grieving in a certain way (often as adults grieve). This usually isn’t the case. Many kids grieve through play, movement, and in small bursts.

Today, Servizi is committed to helping organizations help their target demographic. She doesn’t want any child to experience the lack of communication and loneliness that she felt. We have a long way to go, but big strides are being made and anyone can join the mission.


Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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