20 Stories: Chevon Patrick
May 8, 2023
As we celebrated our 20th anniversary and 20 successful years of serving grieving children and families, we shared the impact of Judi’s House through the eyes of 20 people. A former client of Judi’s House, Chevon Patrick and her family participated in the 10-session Pathfinders program, as well the five-session Connections program for ongoing support. Inspired by her experience, Chevon recently launched Yaya’s Halo in Georgia to provide grief counseling and other support services to Black and Brown communities.
Why did you decide to seek support at Judi’s House?
I decided to seek support at Judi’s House because of the devastating loss of my daughter, Yevaeh. I also wanted to make sure that my other children got the support they needed to get through the grief process.
Can you describe the experience of going through the Pathfinders program? Did other family members also receive support?
Going through the Pathfinders program was not only necessary but very comforting. It felt good to bring my children into a space where we could express our grief and be understood by other families experiencing the same losses, pain, and emotions. The experience was raw and real, which taught us to deal with it head-on in a healthy manner using Pathfinder’s coping skills.
How did attending a program at Judi’s House benefit you and your other family members? What kind of differences did you see after receiving support?
Attending Judi’s House gave my family and me a sense of relief and was the best possible start to a lifetime journey of coping with the loss of our special loved one. It taught us different ways to channel and release the pain moving forward. I immediately noticed differences between those (members of my family) who received counseling and those who did not. I believe it made for a smoother transition for those of us that learned to deal with the raw emotions of our loss rather than suppress them or choose unhealthy alternatives.
Tell me about YaYa’s Halo. Are you currently providing services?
Yaya’s Halo is my version of Judi’s House for Black and Brown families. According to the Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model, these groups are much more likely to experience the death of a parent or sibling by adulthood yet are the least likely to seek therapy due to stigmas, resources, and access to healthcare. Yaya’s Halo is not currently providing services, but we hope to be very soon.
Would you recommend Judi’s House to other grieving families?
I would definitely recommend Judi’s House to other grieving families. I think that it’s a great program for anyone who has lost a close loved one. We all deserve the opportunity to grieve in a safe place while gaining the knowledge and skills to cope with a lifelong void.