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Heartlinks Grief Center, a not-for-profit community-based program of Family Hospice, assists grieving children, adults, families and groups move from grief to growth through individual and family counseling, support groups, and other community programs.


November 18th, National Children’s Grief Awareness Day is a special day for me.  One reason it is a special day is that it’s the day I launched my first book, We Lost HerWe Lost Her told the story of 7 children that lost their mom.  My mom, my family’s intimate story.  In it, I describe how each of her children grieved her loss and the journey we took together as we did.

Back in that day, 51 years ago, there was no counseling, little help for anyone grieving, whether child or adult. Most people did not recognize, especially for children, how difficult grief is.  You were told, “Just don’t think about it, just get over it.”  This lack of recognition just made it worse for us on that journey.

Below is a passage from page 48 of We Lost Her, on how it felt going back to our church the first time after Mom’s death:

“Our family went to church together on Sunday and everyone stared as we came in – and I felt like melting.  They were not mean stares, just “those poor children” stares.  No one talked to us after Mass, just gave us those stares, like they didn’t know what to say.”

We are blessed in our Southwestern Illinois region to have an organization, Heartlinks Grief Center, a program of Family Hospice of Belleville, that recognizes that grieving is a painful and natural part of life.  An organization whose staff and volunteers help those grieving through one on one and group counseling.

Heartlinks Grief Center holds National Children’s Grief Awareness Day as a special day, too.  Heartlinks was founded in 1997 as a children’s grief center, expanding their mission over the years to include all people grieving in our region, old and young.  Heartlinks serves all, regardless of their ability to pay.

Heartlinks earned a very special recognition this year.  On November 9th, the Governor of the State of Illinois signed an official proclamation recognizing November 18th as Children’s Grief Awareness Day in our state.  First time ever!  And, he recognized Heartlinks Grief Center for their dedication to serving grieving families and supporting more than 45,000 children and community members since it began.

Here is the official proclamation:

Congratulations to Heartlinks Grief Center, their staff, and volunteers for this well-deserved recognition.  If you have the ability to donate to assist the organization, it will be greatly treasured.  Here is a link to their website where donating, either monthly or one-time, is easy and so appreciated.  Thank you for your generosity.

Heartlinks Donate Now

So, even though I’m usually all yellow, on November 18th I make an exception and wear blue.  The color of National Children’s Grief Awareness Day.  I hope you will too.

Heartlinks Grief Center provides grief support to all ages, regardless of ability to pay.  If you are grieving or know someone who could use assistance on their grief journey, please contact Heartlinks Grief Center at 618-277-1800 or email

Proceeds from the sale of my books are donated to help support Heartlinks Grief Center, a program of Family Hospice of Belleville, IL.

Be blessed,


Ellen Krohne


Heartlinks Grief Center volunteer and Family Hospice board member

“We Grow Stronger Together”


We Lost Her, available at, Heartbroken, available on, The Secret of a Mommy’s Love available at The Secret of a Mommy’s Love.

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