Grief camp helps kids and teens cope with loss

June 01, 2016

Ali Bigliardi was just 16 years old and starting her junior year of high school when her dad, Aiden, died from pancreatic cancer. Her dad’s death hit her hard. She was angry and felt all alone.

But Providence Hospice of Seattle’s Camp Erin - King County was there to help.

“Camp changed my life!” says Ali. “It changed how I looked at everything I went through. My mindset on grief and loneliness was transformed.”

More than your typical camp

Camp Erin - King County is an annual camp for kids and teens who have lost someone they love. It’s offered free of charge and funded entirely by philanthropy to support community needs.

“Everything became OK,” recalls Ali. “After my dad died, I felt both relief and anger, but I wasn’t comfortable with those emotions. At camp, I learned that they were OK to feel. I also learned that I wasn’t alone. That was really powerful.”

“Camp changed the way I continue to deal with my grief, how I look back on my dad’s death, how I look at the future and how I communicate with people who’ve experienced a loss.”

Campers give back as volunteers

“I’m returning to Camp Erin this year as a volunteer, and I’m so excited! Because of what Providence Hospice gave to me and my family, I want to give back,” said Ali.