Hospice hosts ‘happy time’ for grieving keiki

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Hospice of Hilo recently hosted a holiday party for the children of its Keiki Bereavement Program. The celebration gave the participants an opportunity to find some joy during a period of time that can be very difficult for those who have recently lost a loved one.

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Hospice of Hilo recently hosted a holiday party for the children of its Keiki Bereavement Program. The celebration gave the participants an opportunity to find some joy during a period of time that can be very difficult for those who have recently lost a loved one.

Activities included creating gingerbread people, craft time and breaking open a piñata. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus made an appearance and handed out presents.

Each child received a gift made possible by a Hospice of Hilo team member.

“It’s such a pleasure for the Hospice of Hilo staff to be doing this,” said hospice bereavement counselor Fujio Sato. “Some children believe they should not have ‘happy time’ because their family members are not with them. I believe all children should be and can be happy during the holiday season.”

“One family that participated said that they were so grateful to Hospice of Hilo for walking on their ‘journey’ with them — from the time their loved one became terminally ill, to now, their first Christmas without him,” said bereavement counselor Anjali Kala.

Hospice of Hilo CEO Brenda S. Ho said staff members purchased the gifts for Santa to deliver and dedicated hours of time to create a beautiful experience for the children.

“I’m really proud to work beside these incredible individuals,” Ho said.

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The hospice also thanks all the community donors, companies and organizations for supporting its Keiki Bereavement Program.

Hospice of Hilo offers its grief and bereavement support services to the community free of charge. For more information, call 969-1733.