ashfriendslogoGrief can be lonely, confusing and scary. Especially for children.

Through our support program, children ages 5-18 years, and the adults who care for them, have a safe place to grieve and grow. Our goal is to provide a safe, supportive and comforting environment for children, youth and families who have experienced the death of a loved one and are dealing with grief and loss.

Children are often struggling by themselves. They’re too young to have the needed support from peers. They don’t know how to express their grief. It’s difficult for parents to help their children when they’re grieving themselves.

We make sure no child grieves alone. Through weekly support groups, we help to promote a sense of belonging, to provide a place for expression and a place for healing.

Many families who enter our program have chosen to stay on indefinitely.

Grief can take on different shapes as time goes by, therefore, each child is encouraged to stay as long as he or she wants.

ASHLEY’S Friends has been helping children and their families since October 2002 through a collaboration by The Doug Blanchard Memorial Foundation and Emmaeus Ministries. All the activities are held at The Kennedy Center in Howell and are facilitated by trained volunteers.


There’s an Elephant in the Room

By Terri Kettering


There’s an elephant in the room.
It’s large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it.
Yet we squeeze by it with, “how are you” and “I’m fine…”
We talk about everything—
Except the elephant in the room.

There’s an elephant in the room.
It is constantly on our minds.
For you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all…

Oh please, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
For if we talk about death,
Perhaps we can talk about life?…
For if I cannot, then you are leaving me alone…
In a room…
With an elephant…


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