Shekinah Eliassen George Mark CEO National Grief Awareness Day

This August 30, George Mark Children’s House is proud to mark National Grief Awareness Day to share its important mission that provides public awareness for grief and to support the creation of space to mourn a loss.

I’m Shekinah Eliassen, CEO of George Mark Children’s House.  I’m also a bereaved parent. Our first son, Lars, died here at George Mark 11 years ago. He lived for three very short weeks due to a rare brain disease. My husband Peter and I spent his last nine days and nights at this haven that is George Mark.

Here at George Mark, the first pediatric palliative care center in the U.S., we are honored to provide life-affirming care for children and their families. We provide 24/7 respite care, end of life care and bereavement support for children and their families.

My husband and I benefited hugely from the bereavement support here at George Mark. We needed the time and space to process the death of our son.

Now as CEO, I’m even more passionate to stand in solidarity with National Grief Awareness Day. Grief is raw, debilitating and a long journey. We must do everything we can to raise awareness that many of our friends and colleagues are going through grief, and to support each other.

To that end, our partners at Option B are leading a movement to help organizations and employees raise awareness of the importance of space and time for grieving. This is a topic we don’t talk about much in most workplaces, but I would encourage us all to take the time to consider ways to better support the importance of recognizing our friends and colleagues who are suffering and advocating for tangible support for bereaved parents and families.

Please click here to learn more how you can be a part of this important movement.