Dusk to Dawn Bereavement

Childhood grief and play therapy


Dusk to Dawn Bereavement will host a thought-provoking presentation by Marisa Williard, MA, LMHC, on the topic of childhood grief from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 9 at Christ Lutheran Church, 300 W. South Blvd.

This informative session aims to shed light on the unique differences in grief experiences across various developmental stages in children and its profound impacts on both the young ones and their families. Williard, a licensed mental health counselor with a master’s degree in psychology, has a wealth of experience in this field.

The primary focus of the presentation will be the understanding of childhood grief across different developmental stages. Williard will delve into the way children experience and express grief and how it varies depending on their age and emotional maturity. This knowledge can significantly benefit parents, caregivers, and educators as they learn to identify signs of grief and provide appropriate support to children at different stages of their development.

Moreover, the presentation will explore the far-reaching impacts of grief on children and their families. Grief can have profound effects on a child’s emotional well-being, behavior and social interactions. It can also put considerable strain on families, affecting communication patterns and overall dynamics. Recognizing and addressing these effects is crucial in fostering healthy coping mechanisms and resilience in children and their families.

Attendees also will gain valuable insights into effective ways to support children and families as they navigate the grieving process. Williard will discuss various therapeutic approaches, including the utilization of play, art and other expressive means, which have been found to be especially beneficial in helping children process their emotions. Verbal communication strategies will also be emphasized, as open and compassionate conversations play a crucial role in helping children express their feelings and thoughts.

All members of the community, regardless of their profession or background, are encouraged to attend. For those who may not be able to attend in person, a virtual option will be available. Together, we can create a more compassionate and understanding community for our children and their families.

Our learning series events take place on the second Wednesday of each month. These community presentations promote awareness and a better understanding on a wide variety of bereavement topics. We are also available to speak at meetings and events. Our full calendar is available online. For more information or to register, visit dusk-to-dawn.org or call 765-267-1760.


Monica Naegle is a board member with Dusk-to-Dawn Bereavement Service, a local nonprofit organization providing grief counseling and support services for individuals struggling through loss. To learn more, donate or make an appointment, contact us at 765-267-1760; by email at contact@dusk-to-dawn.org; or online at www.dusk-to-dawn.org. You can also find us on Facebook and LinkedIn.