Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gracie's Grace

Brien and I just ended our eight-week bereavement support group through UCD Hospice program. We learned so much and met a very small group of amazing people who had also lost young children. One night of the group was devoted to discussion and ideas on how to memorialize our children. For us, one of our recent accomplishments was completing her grave site memorial.

We recently found out that one of our friends had also decided to memorialize Grace in her own special way. Our friend, Sarah gave us an amazing gift the other day, it was a notebook with several hand written letters to us from her son's sixth grade class members. Brien and I cried as we read the heartfelt letters written by such tender and innocent children. Sarah later shared with me that she started a behavior incentive program for her son's entire class. She calls it Grace's Act of Kindness Program. Three days a week she goes into the classroom and rewards the children with pink (Grace's favorite color!) raffle tickets whenever she sees acts of kindness or great behavior. She tells the children that she ignores bad behavior and rewards only good behavior. She then has a raffle at the end of the week for prizes and she also gives out two other awards, MVP= Most Valuable Pupil and MIP=Most Improved Pupil. Sarah also calls the students' parents to congratulate them on their accomplishments for that week.

I guess the students eventually became curious and started asking who this "Grace" baby was and what had happened to her. So, Sarah gave them an assignment to read one of our blog entries and then to write us a letter. She asked them, "What would you say to comfort these parents?" Everyone who participated got one of those prized pink raffle tickets. I must say we truly enjoyed reading all of the letters and I was amazed that children at that age could have such compassion and to be able to convey that compassion through writing was a wonderful thing to see and experience. Even more wonderful to us was just knowing that Sarah and the students are memorializing Grace in such a special way, and that touches us very deeply. So thank you Sarah, Austin, Rachel, as well as all of the talented and special students of the Sixth grade class at Pacific Technology School. Your thoughtfulness and kind words have meant the world to us. Grace is very proud of all of you!

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to see Grace's influence being carried on through these children. Thank you so much for sharing Grace with us. I've learned so much from her.
    Linda Matheis