13-year-old “Ellie” lost her best friend “Rosie”. They both loved The Simpsons and Friends and playing The Sims on the computer and became best friends very quickly. Rosie’s illness started when she had a cold that she couldn’t get rid of and seemed a bit like the flu. When she didn’t seem to be getting better she was admitted to the hospital. After a few months she was sent home, but she suddenly had a relapse and was taken back to the hospital. Ellie never saw her again. Her granddad had died earlier but this was different. She didn’t see him very often, whereas Rosie was an empty seat beside her in class. Ellie’s grades began to slip. That is when her teacher reached out to Cornerstone to get bereavement counseling for her.

At the first session, Ellie talked about Rosie without emotion. She admitted she had not cried about her loss. She was given an assignment, to read When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens by Marilyn Grotman. This sensitive book answers questions grieving teens often have. The next time Ellie saw the counselor, she showed emotion for the first time. She needed something to verify that its ok to cry, and to feel sad, and to have fun again too. The book gave her that verification better than any grown up could, and the result is that her grades improved. UWLS funding purchased the book for E. and now she is sharing it with friends from school who also knew Rosie. Thank United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties helping our youth through the grieving process.