The murder of Fiqre Crockwell, whose life was claimed in a predawn shooting on Monday, has left another child fatherless.
Gina Spence, whose Champions Programme deals directly with the children left behind, said her group had discreetly contacted Mr Crockwell’s family with its offer of support.
The latest killing has brought to 58 the number of children who are cared for in various ways by Ms Spence’s initiative.
“It is very, very sad for us as a community,” Ms Spence told The Royal Gazette.
“Those are the children most immediately affected, but you can add three or four more children affected on to every single family. Those numbers are a shadow of all the children impacted.”
She pointed out that Mr Crockwell, a cricketer, had young relatives and worked with junior players.
The group’s work with all families is strictly confidential — but even as the numbers grow, so too has the capacity to help.
Counselling is a major part of its delicate work, which also helps families, where needed, to deal with funeral costs, school expenses and after-school activities. The island is small and presents unique challenges in dealing with trauma and grief — and the lack of counselling specific to bereavement is one gap that Gina Spence Productions hopes to fill soon. Later this year, the group is sending its first Bermudian family overseas to Comfort Zone, a United States non-profit group that provides camps to help children confronting bereavement.
“In 2017, we are hoping to bring their point person here for an assessment,” Ms Spence said.
“What bereavement looks like in Bermuda can be different from another community.”
The aim is to develop a bereavement service here on the island to help children through losses of various circumstances. The connection with Comfort Zone has been gradually built over the past three years, she said.
The experience is a familiar one for Ms Spence, whose newlywed son-in-law, James Lawes, was shot dead in 2010.
“I watched my child go through the process; she lost her husband,” she said. “The solace for me is that there is real support and help.”
Ms Spence added: “I don’t know what it’s like to lose a dad. My father is still here and part of my life.”
However, as families and the wider community come to terms with such losses, Ms Spence pointed to providing further solace through the programme.
“When you look at them and see them re-engage, you see that children are amazingly resilient,” she said.
“Parents do not want their children to be called victims. They are really champions.”
Full article courtesy of Royal Gazette.