We are nearing the end of a difficult summer season. This year, many of us lived through record breaking heat, dangerous storms and floods, and fires out west that destroyed communities and blanketed the whole country in smoke. And of course, there is still our microscopic nemesis and it’s offspring, Covid-19 and its variants, who stay with us like unwanted marauders.
Much continues to be written about living with the sustained fear and tension of such challenges. So many have lost so much that dreams seem out of reach. As we move from one season to the next, let us remember both the loss and hope that we carry with us. I can think of no other way to make it through these times than to hold on to our gratitude for the gifts in our lives and use them to keep us upright during times of despair.
At COPE, we are staying upright. We still have all our groups meeting and we have a wonderful new clinical director. Our board continues to work to keep us strong, and COPE family members are volunteering their time to work on our committees. While our Camp Erin NYC summer weekend program for children and their caregivers did not include our usual overnight experience, we still ran an amazingly successful one day program with nearly 70 campers, caregivers, staff and volunteers working together to offer children, ages 7-17, a grief healing experience.
On October 3, 2021, we will again have our Annual COPE Walk at the Long Beach boardwalk. This fundraiser was started by our COPE families to support each other and assure the sustainability of our programs. Our walkers have always formed family and friend teams and this year, our supporters can create virtual teams to raise the funds to support all that we do. Visit us at www.copefoundation.org to see how to join us. We may still need to wear masks, but we can do it.
For all the families living with the loss of child who come to COPE, and all of us who live with sorrow, I hope that we find ways to hold on to laughter and love and connect to others. Our journey should not be a solo one.
Wishing you well,
Sandy Wolkoff, PhD, LCSW-R