The most profound thing about this project was how un-prepared I was emotionally for what was to come. As a career Child Life Specialist, bereavement specialist and expressive arts facilitator, I have witnessed my share of profound loss, sadness, trauma and tenderness. But not even the many years of working in the caring business would prepare me for what I saw...such profound loss and disfigurement that happened to these innocent children in the earthquake in Haiti. To survive is one thing...to survive forever changed physically and emotionally scarred is another.
I had to turn and weep as they entered the room. I don't think I had prepared myself that destruction could be so cruel. The children had lost limbs and had been terribly disfigured. However, in but one day, they found joy, transition, hope and even their laughter once again.
Many layers of music, drumming, popular Haitian music playing, singing, dancing, storytelling, symbols, poetry, painting, and gifting, wishing and whispering our dreams for them as they passed under the Bridge of Hope were able to bring them a sense of hope and transitioning. It was said, "even though this happened to you and you are forever changed by that event, your essence...your spirit is still there and unchanged.
I am forever changed by helping facilitate this project.
Reflections of Bridge of Hope- The Miami Children's Hospital –Children of the Haitian Earthquake Expressive Arts Project