While Hilmar school colors are green and yellow, students wore blue on Thursday for a good cause.
Students at four Hilmar schools — and communities nationwide — donned blue attire in recognition of national Children’s Grief Awareness Day this week and were visited by Jessica’s House, the Turlock-based nonprofit that provides grief support to children, teens, young adults and their families.
Hilmar siblings Claudia Trujillo (age 8), Mareli Trujillo (age 11) and Gilda Gaytan (age 16) were among those participating in the special event. The three participate in Jessica’s House school-based grief support groups offered in the Hilmar schools after losing their mother to lung cancer just over two years ago.
“In the Jessica’s House group, when we start the meeting there is a question of the day,” Gilda said. “One question was, ‘What is your favorite memory together?’ and I shared that it was my 15th birthday party, the last birthday we celebrated together.” Claudia shared in group that her mom’s favorite food was enchiladas, and Mareli recalls an art project where they traced their hands to recall happy times with their mom.
According to Jessica’s House school and community outreach coordinator Melissa Ahlem, one in five children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18.
“One in five children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18,” said Melissa Ahlem, school and community outreach coordinator for Jessica’s House. Ahlem leads school-based grief support within the Hilmar school district and coordinated Thursday’s event.