Time to Continue: Our Community of Healing Approach

Time to Continue:  Our Community of Healing Approach

For the last few times I have written, I have promised my readers to continue with some sort of frequency. Perhaps I have been unrealistic in my ability to write on a schedule, but at the same time, I may need to write on a schedule. A couple of times a week is likely not going to happen but a few times a month probably can. So, thank you for those who have stuck with me, shared my posts, and continued to look for new ones!!

So, a little update is needed I guess. You all know from my last post that we lost one of our Prince Street dogs last month. We have been handling it okay at school and have been using a Community of Healing approach. The picture I am sharing today is how Kannon has been spending a lot of her time in Kathy Kiley’s class. Kannon is very good to “stay mat” so you can open her crate, pull out her blanket, and she will hang out there and not wander around. You see the students who are and have been acting as her “Compassion Buddies” on the floor doing their lessons.

KaBoom died on a Thursday and Kannon and I went back to school on Friday and she seemed not too bad- and this is a good picture of how we handled the Friday- but then I got her home and she cried ALL weekend!! So, starting on the Monday, this is how we handled her. Kathy and I also feel this has dramatically helped the students.

Now, KaBoom’s class is empty and quiet and they have been handling it a little differently, talking and writing amongst themselves, and it does seem to be helping them.

The students have all responded a little differently as you will hear from the link I have included from CBC’s Island Morning. I have to constantly be ready for them to respond as they are still working through it (as am I). Some have asked to see the urn. Others have asked to see inside the urn. Many have asked about cremation in general.

Others have asked if my dogs have noticed. I explain that, initially, I think so, but it is hard to know. I do know my pack has reformed back to how they were before KaBoom came. Kombat stopped playing with Kannon all the time when the baby came and Kombat aligned herself with the “older” dogs. Now Kombat is back to opting to hang with Kannon most of the time.

Some have asked if I will get another dog (and that answer is, of course, yes, but I am not sure when). Just last Friday, a student asked if she could see the last picture I took of KaBoom (when I handed her off to Karen at the vet for her operation- she has a little cone on her head). I didn’t have my phone right there but told her I would show her this week.

So, my new resolve is to write a few times a month. I do have lots of ideas so I will keep on. Really not sure I would. Mourning is such strange thing. I have now lost three dogs; one took it out of our hands, one let us ease him out, and a third was a punch in the gut. Each had it own individual challenges. Sometimes I still don’t sleep. Sometimes I am despondent. Sometimes I am okay. Having the Community of Healing has certainly helped me so I can only hope it has helped all of our students learn to deal with grief in a healthy way.

Blog at you again soon!


About ehhigginbotham

I am a special education/resource teacher in PEI's English Language School Board. I play flyball with Fast n FURious Flyball. I am a member of the PEI Ground Search and Rescue Team. I have a wide range of interests and like to keep busy- can you tell????
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One Response to Time to Continue: Our Community of Healing Approach

  1. Aletha Coady says:

    An amazing process has been happening at Prince Street School. The challenge for Eileen is to grieve and still help the students through this. A terrible life lesson but nonetheless Eileen and the crew are helping students work through their emotions pretty regularly. Hats off to Eileen!

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