Thursday, June 25, 2015

Grief Therapy

Spending time at Almond Acres Charter Academy is a favorite spot for us.  No doubt about it.  We love our kids.

And stories happen.

A little friend of ours had a very rough year. A tragedy in his family.  One of his younger siblings died in an accident.  sigh   When our little friend returned back to school,  whenever Chester and I were on campus, we would make a point to give extra hugs and wags and time.

The principal at Almond Acres is such a dear man. Full of love and  kindness and strength and wisdom, and believing the best in his students and inspiring them towards greatness. Mr. B, as he is known to all, had an open door policy with our little friend.  Whenever the days got too long or too hard or too anything, this little boy could have time with Mr. B for whatever was needed.

I was on my way home. Signing-out in the office,  I noticed our friend sitting and waiting to see Mr. B. His eyes stared at the floor, shoulders slumped, and well, I just could not imagine the pain in his little heart.

I knelt down, and Chester snuggled in. And the boy snuggled back.

"Would you like to help me with something?" I asked.

Silence. A shrug.

"You know, being at school can be hard work for Chester...and sometimes, before we head home, Chester really likes to take a short walk with a good friend in a quiet place. I think he'd really like you to take him. What do you think?"  I asked.

He looked up and nodded yes.

Mr. B's assistant smiled.  I handed one leash to our friend, and held the other in my hand. And out the door we went. We strolled on the grass under the shade of the trees for about 10 minutes or so. At first we were quiet, and then he began to tell me about his dog at home. How he thought Chester and his dog would be good friends. And we talked back and forth about other things that I really can't remember.

What I do remember is how his eyes began to brighten, how his steps became perkier, how his shoulders unslumped,  how a smile even came to his face, and how his heavy load seemed a little lighter.

"Well it's time for me to take Chester home. Shall we walk back to Mr's B's?" I asked.

"Can I just walk Chester back to my class?" he asked.

Giving him a hug, I said, " I think Chester would like that a lot."

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