Helping siblings of a deceased child

Kathy Eldon, Parent with a Purpose, shares advice from personal experience of how to help and support your other children after the loss of a child
How To Help Siblings Of A Deceased Child
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Helping siblings of a deceased child

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My advice to any parent who has to cope with siblings after a loss of a child is to really again to celebrate that person who is no longer with us. You don’t stop talking about whoever it was who’s no longer there. You don’t tiptoe around it. You embrace that being. What I did actually… we were so sad and Amy was 19 when my son was killed and she was devastated. She dropped out of college and it took a really long time. And two years after Dan was no longer around, she and I were still incredibly sad. And one day she called me and said, “I can’t go on. I really can’t go on.” And I was in my bedroom and I had a dream catcher over my bed. And I looked at it and I said, “Oh my gosh, why don’t you make an angel catcher?” And she said, “What’s an angel catcher?” And I said, “An angel catcher – it’s a book where you capture the essence of Dan’s memories. It’s… you could write down poems that he liked or put in photographs. Whatever it is that’s going to remind you of Dan. Just create the book.” She came home from her holiday at Christmas time with this big, fat book, which was her angel catcher. It was such an amazing collection of memories that we decided to create something for other people. And so we created angel book catcher. And you can buy it. And we created angel catcher of kids. You don’t have to buy it. You can create your own. But get the kids involved in this celebration of this being. Don’t hide away, as hard as it is, just bring that up that being to life so that they will have a lifelong memory of the interaction and the joy that they had of knowing this person. Just don’t hide them away.

Kathy Eldon, Parent with a Purpose, shares advice from personal experience of how to help and support your other children after the loss of a child

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Kathy Eldon

Parent with a Purpose and Founder & CEO, Creative Visions Foundation

Kathy Eldon was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Wellesley College and has since worked as an art teacher, television presenter, magazine editor, journalist, media consultant and a television and film producer in Kenya, England and the United States. She has written seventeen books on a variety of subjects including Angel Catcher, a Journal of Loss and Remembrance; Soul Catcher: a Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are; and Love Catcher, a Journal to Invite more Love in Your Life, all published by Chronicle Books. The journals were co-authored with her daughter Amy, who is her partner in Creative Visions, a television and film production company.

Kathy was the Executive Producer of the 1999 Emmy nominated Turner Broadcasting two-hour documentary, Dying to tell the Story, about journalists who risk their lives to do their jobs, which was conceived of and presented by Amy Eldon. In l999 Kathy exec-produced a one-hour CNN documentary, Soldiers of Peace: A Children's Crusade, about the Colombian children's peace movement, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Both films were distributed internationally to over 220 countries. Kathy's company also produced Lost in Africa, a family feature film distributed by Columbia Pictures internationally.

Kathy is currently producing a feature film about her son, artist and Reuters photographer Dan Eldon, who was stoned to death at the age of 22 in Somalia. In May, 2011, Kathy and Amy exec-produced, together with Julia Roberts, "Extraordinary Moms," a tribute to the power of mothers to change the world around them. Hosted by Julia Roberts, the special featured Hillary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell and Christiane Amanpour.

Kathy edited The Journey is the Destination, a collection of Dan's journal pages which was published by Chronicle Books. Kathy and Amy are co-founders of Creative Visions Foundation, which supports "creative activists" who use media and the arts to create positive change. Over the past 10 years the foundation has incubated more than 80 projects and productions on five continents, touching the lives of more than 10 million people.

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