The Hughes Family’s life changed on 6 February 2018. Stu died as a result of a head injury when he fell from a roof he was repairing. Their children Harrison and Sienna were just seven and five at the time.
The family engaged in counselling and play therapy for the kids. During the early days of their grief journey, a friend told them about seeing Feel the Magic on TV.
“I watched countless videos and testimonials about Camp and I remember thinking to myself, if it was half as good as everyone had said, then it would be ok. Harrison and Sienna attended Camp in August 2019. In the lead up to Camp, Harrison was adamant that he wasn’t going. That it was pointless and it wouldn’t fix anything. Sienna was a little more welcoming, but still had reservations. I was determined that they had to go. Call it a mother’s intuition, call it exhaustion, call it stubbornness – they were going! There may have been some bribery thrown in too. It turns out that Camp Magic is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a grieving child.”
“Harrison has made connections and bonds that have changed his outlook and his life. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but honestly it’s true. When Harrison returned home, he was able to see positives and was finally open about sharing them with Sienna and myself. It was such a massive step forward.”
“ When I asked him what was the best thing about Camp? Harrison said: “knowing that other kids have lost their Dad too and we’re not the only ones.”
“Sienna enjoyed her time at camp too, but because of her age when Stu died, she found things a little challenging. She was still engaged and learnt a lot, like breathing techniques that she still uses nearly every day. She also learnt about her “emergency meter” and when to ask for adult support if she can’t regulate her emotions, she learnt about self care and the different “seasons” of grief. She especially loved the memorial bonfire where she was able to write a letter to her Dad and send the message to heaven.”
We thank the Hughes family for their courage to share their personal story of grief and loss.
The Smith Family’s grief journey started very suddenly on 24 February 2018 when they received a call at 2.00am in the morning.
Clayton was 34 years old when he passed away in a single vehicle car accident in a rural town called Merriwa, in the upper Hunter Valley of NSW. From that instant so many lives changed, but most of all, that of his two children.
After the family heard about Feel the Magic during an interview on Sunrise, Indianna attended Camp.
“The day I dropped Indianna off, she was a heartbroken, angry and confused little girl, but on the day I picked her up, although that grief was still there, it wasn’t so all consuming anymore.
Indianna was more at peace and more accepting of her grief. She was able to put words together to describe her feelings and was able to use strategies she had learnt at Camp to deal with her often unpredictable and overwhelming emotions. But most of all, she found that she was not alone and that there were other girls just like her, who had experienced overwhelming loss too.
Feel the Magic is a great charity not just for kids, but also for their parents. Being a parent of two grieving children is totally overwhelming and emotionally draining, and the parents groups and the online support you receive from Feel the Magic is invaluable.”
“If we have learnt anything from our grief journey and Feel the Magic, it is that everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief also does not have a timeline but stays with you always – in some ways you just learn to live with the grief better.”
We thank and acknowledge the Smith family for their courage for sharing their personal story of grief and loss.
In December 2017, Cody Tickell who at the time was aged 11, tragically lost his older brother Blake in a horrific boating accident.
Feeling isolated and alone, Cody’s parents Darren and Simone decided to give ‘Camp Magic‘ a try to help support Cody and themselves to come to terms with their new normal. In October 2018, Cody attended his first Camp Magic program and was finally surrounded by others who get it.
Here is what Cody, Darren and Simone had to say about their experience with Feel the Magic.
This beautiful video has been put together by Feel the Magic Ambassador Dimity Clancey from Nine Entertainment. and was showcased at our most recent Night of Magic VII gala event.
This footage truly captures the mindset of a bereaved child and how they are deeply affected by such loss.
We would like to thank and acknowledge the Tickell family, for their bravery and courage for sharing their personal story of grief and loss.