DUBUQUE IA- Angie Hohmann sits at her desk working on her newest project.
“I just knew in my heart that there needed to be something in this community to support kids.”
The Healing Hearts Support Group starts in just two weeks, and Angie has a vision for helping young ones deal with loss. “Instead of sitting at a table surrounded by everyone else, I wanted them to feel comfortable enough that they had their own comfy chair and their own comfy space and didn’t feel like they had to share.”
In 2014 Angie’s son Jackson passed away suddenly at the age of eight leaving behind his parent as well as three younger sisters.
While coping with their loss, Angie’s family was often given the same suggestion: therapy.
“They didn’t need a therapist. They needed to be around other kids who felt the same way, who were going through the same thing, or similar.”
The lack of options for children’s support groups is what sparked the idea for the Healing Hearts Support Group; a ten week course that works with kids aged kindergarten through sixth grade to share their experiences and feelings.
Psychology professor Dr. Lisa Grinde explained the necessity for such a group. “If they’re talking to other kids they’ll probably get some reinforcement and some encouragement that yup, that’s how I felt.”
This kind of validation is exactly what Angie looked for when her own kids needed it just four short years ago.
The group aims to do just that: validate the feelings of its members and live like Jack.
“We encourage others to do the same by leading the compassionate life that Jackson led.”