Willow Center for Grieving Children provides support after the loss of a loved one

LEWISTON, ID - Losing a loved one is harder than most can even fathom but as KLEW News learns those in the Valley and surrounding regions have a place to turn when times seem the darkest.

Three years ago this December, the Thompson family of Lewiston lost a loving mother and wife to cancer. Visiting her grave this past weekend wasn't easy.

"It's been three years and we've only been back there just this year," said Doug Thompson.

But with help from the Willow Center for Grieving Children, the Thompson's have found a way to cope.

"What interested me the most was that it was a way for the kids to not just deal with their grief but to also be able to remember the happy times not just all the bad stuff that happened," said Thompson.

"Going to the Willow Center really helps," said participant Addie. "Because being able to talk to people, being able to express your feelings. Because that really helped me."

The Willow Center is a non-profit organization that supports families at no cost.

"In the whole state of Idaho we are the only freestanding, year-round children's bereavement program in the whole state of Idaho," said Willow Center Executive Director Judy Rooney.

"Once I got to the Willow Center it gave me a chance to talk to other people and talk to people about the situation and just everything in general," said Trystan Thompson.

And every summer, they take kids all across the Northwest to Camp Erin for a weekend of healing. 11-year-old Davin said he's already counting down until next summer.

"Camp Erin is for children who've lost a family member," said Davin Thompson. "And it was fun."

Healing from loss is a difficult. But thanks to the Willow Center, the road to repair is a little less daunting.

If you'd like to get involved with the Willow Center, now is your chance! Starting in January they're training new bereavement volunteers. for more information head to our Facebook.