PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Stanwix Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, people pause to share written expressions of love on a large white board called “The Memory Wall.”
The wall, at the Highmark Caring Place, commemorates “National Grief Awareness Day” on Thursday.
Those who sign the wall are making very public declarations that say, “I am no longer afraid to talk about the one I love.”
Caring Place Director Terese Vorsheck gives comfort to Amy and Abby Wertz, who lost a husband and father in a traffic accident three years ago.
For Abby, playtime opens a doorway to memories that might have been suppressed.
“The purpose of the activities,” Vorsheck says, “is to help them express themselves, express their feelings, as well as share their feelings about the person who died.”
The Caring Place gives 7-year-old Abby permission to remember.
“Now I can talk to my friends about it. And my family,” she says. “It was hard before.”
Amy Wertz is grateful for her daughter’s progress.
“When we came here, she was able to be around kids that were just like her,” she said. “She felt normal, and she was able to express her feelings and not be afraid to talk about death and her grief.”
Though the sadness can never completely be erased, Abby says, “Now, I’m not afraid to talk about my dad anymore.”