13 Tips to Support Grieving Children and Teens for Children’s Grief Awareness Day

13 Tips to Support Grieving Children and Teens

Children’s Grief Awareness Day is Thursday, November 18, 2021

In Arizona, 1 in 13 children will experience the death of their parent or sibling by the time they reach adulthood (Judi’s House Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model, 2021). So today, in recognition of Children’s Grief Awareness Day, we are sharing 13 tips to consider when supporting grieving children and teens. Grief is the normal and natural response to loss or change, such as the death of a loved one or the diagnosis of a serious medical condition.

  1. Listen; give them opportunities to share how they are feeling about the loss they have experienced.
  2. Talk about the person who has died or is sick; share memories, stories, or photos as you are able. By doing these things you give children permission to share their own memories and feelings.
  3. Remember, it’s important to remember that grieving children and teens want: To understand what has happened when a significant death or diagnosis has occurred, and to be able to express their feelings.
  4. Be honest and clear; Explain the circumstances using age-appropriate language and let the child’s questions guide what else to share.
  5. Avoid using euphemisms when someone dies, such as “passed away,” “lost,” “crossed over,” or “went to sleep,” as these can confuse children.
  6. Answer their questions; sometimes you may have to answer the same question over and over to help them make sense of what is happening.
  7. Children may respond to grief in several ways, including emotional reactions, physical reactions, cognitive reactions, behavioral/social reactions, and spiritual reactions. Characteristics of grief can be similar within particular age groups, but everyone still grieves differently. Read more about these various grief reactions in the Childhood Grief brochure.
  8. Admit when you don’t have an answer; saying “I don’t know” is OK! And, find the answer for them when possible.
  9. Offer consistency in routines to create predictability.
  10. Provide physical outlets to release energy and big emotions.
  11. Be flexible in your expectations at school and home because grief takes tremendous emotional and physical energy.
  12. Instead of saying “I know how you feel,” consider saying, “I’m very sad too.” Similarly, instead of saying “You’ll be okay,” consider saying, “Your thoughts, feelings and reactions are okay just so long as you are not causing harm to yourself or others.
  13. Remember, grief is not linear. There is no timeframe; each individual person has their own unique grief journey.

These tips have been pulled from Tu Nidito’s brochure, Childhood Grief: Tips for supporting children grieving a serious medical condition or the death of a loved one. For FREE printed copies of this brochure, please contact Tu Nidito at (520) 322-9155 or [email protected].

Virtual Día de los Muertos Ofrenda

Virtual Community Ofrenda

(Ofrenda de Comunidad Virtual)

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated on November 1 or 2 in Mexico and other Latin American countries and communities. It is a day to remember and honor the dead and welcome their spirits home for a night. The emphasis of this tradition is on the joy of life rather than the sadness of death.

An important part of this celebration includes creating an Ofrenda or Memorial Table. In short, this is a beautiful culmination of photos and mementos to remember and honor loved ones who have died.

Tu Nidito invites you to join us in participating in our Virtual Community Ofrenda! With this project, Tu Nidito’s hope is that together we can honor and remember the special people in our lives who have died and celebrate the joys of life. You can participate by submitting a photo of a special loved one in your life who has died, or a picture of an object or memento that reminds you of them. We’ll include your submission in the gallery below.

If you have questions or need assistance with submitting your image, please contact Dana at [email protected] or (520) 322-9155

Día de los Muertos se celebra el 1 o 2 de noviembre en México y otros países y comunidades de América Latina. Es un día para recordar y honrar a los muertos y dar la bienvenida a sus espíritus a nuestra casa por una noche. El énfasis de esta tradición está en la alegría de vivir más que en la tristeza de la muerte.

Una parte importante de esta celebración incluye la creación de una Ofrenda o Mesa Conmemorativa. En resumen, este es un hermoso conjunto de fotos y recuerdos para recordar y honrar a los seres queridos que han fallecido.

¡Tu Nidito te invita a unirte a nosotros para participar en nuestra Ofrenda de Comunidad Virtual! Con este proyecto, la esperanza de Tu Nidito es que juntos podamos honrar y recordar a las personas especiales en nuestras vidas que han muerto y celebrar las alegrías de la vida. Puede participar enviando una foto de un ser querido especial en su vida que haya fallecido, o una foto de un objeto o recuerdo que le recuerde a el/ella. Incluiremos su envío en la galería a continuación.

Si tiene preguntas o necesita ayuda para enviar su imagen, comuníquese con Dana en [email protected] o (520) 322-9155.

Click on a photo below to read its description.

Selecciona una foto para ver la descripción. 

Giant Jenga: A Game About Grief

Giant Jenga

A Game About Grief

Throughout the summer months of 2021, we have hosted outdoor, monthly intergenerational groups here at Tu Nidito. Rather than dividing up into peer-to-peer groups, families stay together as a unit for the duration of the group to participate in a guided activity that relates to grief. August curriculum at each intergenerational bereavement group gathering included a game of Giant Jenga! 

Like the traditional game of Jenga, each player removes a block from a tall tower, then carefully places it at the top until the stack inevitably comes crashing down. However, Giant Jenga at Tu Nidito includes a special twist and each Jenga block is marked with a number, and every number corresponds to a question that the player may answer. Once the player who drew their block answers the question or passes, other participants and family members can share their response to that question, too. Of course, any player is invited to say “I pass” if they’d prefer.

You can design your very own version of Giant Jenga for your family and share it with us! Simply label a set of Jenga blocks with numbers and write out a corresponding question list. To ensure that questions are age appropriate for each player, we’ve put together separate question lists to encourage sharing for Littles (3.5 – 7 year olds), Middles (8 – 12 year olds), and Teens/Adults (13 and older). You will see the topics on these lists include fun “get-to-know-you” questions, and deeper questions including some about what your special person was like, and your personal grief experience. Here are some examples to get you started, so that you may play your own game of Giant Jenga – grief edition, at home!

1. Do you have any pets?
2. If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?
3. What makes you feel worried?
4. Did you get to say goodbye to your special person before they died?
5. Where do you think your special person is now?

1. If you were invisible, where would you go and what would you do?
2. Do you ever dream about your special person? What are these dreams like?
3. What is your favorite snack food?
4. What did your special person look like?
5. How do you feel about going back to school?

1. What is your favorite type of music or favorite song?
2. What do you wish you could have said to your special person before they died?
3. What do you wish other people understood about grief?
4. What is something that you do really well?
5. What do you miss about your special person?

What questions would you add to the list? Show us what you come up with by tagging us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tunidito) or emailing [email protected]

Durante los meses de verano de 2021, hemos organizado grupos intergeneracionales mensuales al aire libre aquí en Tu Nidito. En lugar de dividirse en grupos de diferentes edades, las familias permanecen juntas durante grupo para participar en una actividad guiada que se relaciona con el duelo.

¡El plan de estudios de agosto en cada reunión de grupo de duelo intergeneracional incluyó un juego de Giant Jenga! Como en el juego tradicional de Jenga, cada jugador quita un bloque de una torre alta, luego lo coloca con cuidado en la parte superior hasta que la pila inevitablemente se derrumba. Sin embargo, Giant Jenga en Tu Nidito incluye un toque especial y cada bloque de Jenga está marcado con un número, y cada número corresponde a una pregunta que el jugador puede responder. Una vez que el jugador que sacó su bloque responde la pregunta o pasa, otros participantes y miembros de la familia también pueden compartir su respuesta a esa pregunta. Por supuesto, cualquier jugador está invitado a decir “paso” si lo prefiere.

¡Puedes diseñar tu propia versión de Giant Jenga para tu familia y compartirla con nosotros! Simplemente etiquete un conjunto de bloques de Jenga con números y escriba la lista de preguntas correspondiente. Para asegurarnos de que las preguntas sean apropiadas para la edad de cada jugador, preparamos listas de preguntas específicas para los Littles (de 3,5 a 7 años), los Middles (de 8 a 12 años) y los adolescentes / adultos (a partir de 13 años). Verá que los temas en estas listas incluyen preguntas divertidas para “llegar a conocernos” y preguntas más profundas, incluidas algunas sobre cómo era su persona especial y su experiencia personal de duelo. Aquí hay algunos ejemplos para comenzar, para que pueda jugar su propio juego de Giant Jenga – edición de duelo, ¡en casa!

Pequeños (Littles):

  1. ¿Tienes mascotas?
  2. Si tuvieras tres deseos, ¿qué desearías?
  3. ¿Qué te preocupa?
  4. ¿Llegaste a despedirte de tu persona especial antes de que muriera?
  5. ¿Dónde crees que está tu persona especial ahora?

Medianos (Middles):

  1. Si fueras invisible, ¿a dónde irías y qué harías?
  2. ¿Sueñas alguna vez con tu persona especial? ¿Cómo son estos sueños
  3. ¿Cuál es tu botana favorita?
  4. ¿Cómo era tu persona especial
  5. ¿Cómo te sientes al volver a la escuela?


  1. ¿Cuál es tu tipo de música o canción favorita?
  2. ¿Qué te hubiera gustado haberle dicho a tu persona especial antes de que muriera?
  3. ¿Qué te gustaría que otras personas entendieran sobre el duelo?
  4. ¿Qué es algo que haces muy bien
  5. ¿Qué extrañas de tu persona especial?

¿Qué preguntas agregarías a la lista? Muéstranos lo que se te ocurrió etiquetándonos en Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tunidito) o enviando un correo electrónico a [email protected]

My Tu Nidito Story: Pam Fick

My Tu Nidito Story: Pam Fick

Celebrating 25 Years of Comfort, Hope & Support

February 2021

If there’s anything we need more of in 2021, it’s stories that connect us and bring warmth to our hearts. In celebration of Tu Nidito’s 25th anniversary, we’ll be hosting interviews here on the Tu Nidito Blog highlighting some of the amazing members of our community. To kick off this special segment, we’ll hear from Pam Fick, an alumna of our bereavement program and current volunteer group facilitator.

What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Pam Fick and I have lived here in Tucson for 33 years so this is home. I have also lived in Michigan, Kentucky, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Tell us how you first became involved with Tu Nidito!

I am a nurse and currently work as nursing faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing for our accelerated Master’s Entry Program. I am also in school to obtain my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.  I am married to my husband (22 years this March) and have a son who is 12. We have a terrier-mutt named Jack and an African tortoise named Mack.

I became involved with Tu Nidito when we participated as a family after the death of my mother-in-law.  I was so impressed with the organization and the amazing work that goes into supporting the kids I asked about volunteering after we closed.

What is your role as a volunteer?

I am an English-Speaking Adult Group Facilitator. Just as Littles, Middles and Teens have peer-to-peer support groups, caregivers and parents need a similar space to work through their grief. I have worked with a few different Adult Groups.

Currently, I facilitate a support group for adults. The families that I work with are grieving the serious diagnosis of a parent. Unfortunately, there are times when these families experience the death of that parent. I have more recently started to facilitate support groups for these newly bereaved families as well. It has been so great being a part of these groups, even through Zoom.

What makes you want to volunteer in this way?

Tu Nidito is a special place with amazing people all supporting one another through some very difficult times. Although the circumstances that bring us to Tu Nidito are very sad, there is so much joy that comes from support groups. Each family member has a space to share their story in a meaningful way.

The adult participants are often wearing many hats and doing so many things; giving them a place where they can just focus on themselves and their kids for an hour is really powerful. It’s touching to hear stories of their special people and also how they are working through their own grief process. There are many tears but there are also many smiles and laughter.  Also, seeing the participants lift one another up and support one another is awesome. It’s truly a privilege to be part of the groups.

Tell us a story about a memorable interaction or experience you had at Tu Nidito.

I once had to “close” from one of my adult groups because I had to switch which days I volunteer due to my schedule. The kindness and comments from the participants about how I impacted them during my time with the group were so touching.

 I felt honored to be a part of what they share during the group and they were telling me how much I touched them! It made me realize the impact we have as volunteers and that just being present and holding space for people can really make such a difference.

I also have many great memories of bringing my son when we attended as a family. He would always connect with the volunteers and have so much fun-all while feeling safe to share feelings. It really helped him process and navigate his grief.

Pam pictured with her son and husband

Thank you, Pam, for sharing your Tu Nidito Story! To learn more about the programs Pam participated in and now facilitates, click here.

What to Expect at a Tu Nidito Support Group

Peer-To-Peer Support

Programs for families grieving the death of a loved one or a caregiver’s serious medical diagnosis

January 14, 2021

Tu Nidito’s grief support groups are currently being offered virtually, through Zoom video conferencing. While the way we meet is different, the heart of each meeting remains the same. Below, we’ll walk through each step of a virtual evening with Tu Nidito.

Why split up families into peer groups?

At Tu Nidito, we offer two types of support groups: 

  • For families who are grieving the death of a special person
  • For families when a parent or adult caregiver has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

In both of these support groups, we provide age-appropriate emotional support that meets the developmental needs of participants. We achieve this by dividing families into four separate sub-groups: Littles (ages 3.5 to 7), Middles (ages 8 to 12) Teens (ages 13 to 18) and Adults (parents and caregivers).

Who is a Group Coordinator?

Tu Nidito groups are run by staff members called Group Coordinators. We have four Group Coordinators on staff: Brigid, Diana, Kristin, and Serena. In addition to providing emotional support and community resources to families both during and outside of group nights, Group Coordinators also handle group logistics and oversee the volunteer facilitators.

Who facilitates the groups?

Facilitators are a very important part of Tu Nidito groups. They are trained volunteers and assigned to an age group so they can work directly with the children and adults. With the support of the Group Coordinator, they lead each part of the group evening: the rules, check-in, talking circle question, activity and closing. Our facilitators are made up of undergraduate students, young professionals, and retirees. 

What are the group rules?

Group Rules are a way for our group members to feel comfortable and safe. The rules are a bit different for each age group, but here are some of our important ones:

  • The “I Pass” Rule: You can always say “I Pass” if you are called on to share and you do not want to or are not ready.
  • Confidentiality: Anything you or anyone else says in group will remain private, unless there is concern of harm to yourself or others.
  • Talking Stick Rule, or “Taking Turns” Rule: Everyone will have an opportunity to share, uninterrupted.
  • Comparing Losses Rule: Everyone’s loss and experience with grief is different, therefore participants will not compare their grief or loss with someone else’s.
  • Advice Rule: We ask that each participant refrain from giving advice to their fellow group members, unless that person explicitly asks for advice.

How does a group begin?

Each night, we start our group with a check-in once we are in our Talking Circle Room. We do this with all age groups.

For bereavement support groups, participants say:

  1. Their name

  2. The name of their special person or people who died

  3. How they died

  4. How they are feeling that night

For support groups for families impacted by a caregiver’s serious diagnosis, participants say:
  1. Their name

  2. The name of their family member with a serious diagnosis

  3. What the diagnosis is

  4. How they are feeling that night

During our groups, we utilize reflective listening, giving the person who is sharing the comfort of knowing they are been heard.

In the past, we used a Talking Stick that we would pass around the room, giving each person the opportunity to do their check-in. During Zoom groups, each person is called by name when it’s their turn to talk. 

What is a Talking Circle Question?

An example of a Talking Circle Question in our Littles group might be:

What do you wish you could say to your special person?

A Teen question might be:

Who told you when your special person died? Did someone provide comfort to you at that time? 

The questions provide a path for everyone to feel safe in exploring their feelings and finding common ground with others.

Adults also have their own Talking Circle Question and discuss what their children are being asked so that they can continue talking about the subject as a family if they wish.

What sorts of activities do you do during group?

There are many important things we can do when we are grieving or experiencing the impacts of a diagnosis. At Tu Nidito we might draw or sketch images of our feelings, write letters to the person who died, or to the serious medical condition itself. We read books and play games to have fun and feel validated. We learn coping skills to calm our bodies and minds, such as deep breathing. Every group is something different, which means there’s always something new to do!

How does a group night end?

At the end of each group night, we will take a few moments to honor and celebrate any birthdays, death anniversaries, or other special days that might be coming up. Afterwards, we typically hold hands and pass around a “love squeeze” as a way for everyone to take home all of the love, comfort, hope, and support that they received from each other that night.

Since we now meet on Zoom, everyone puts their hand up towards their camera and on the count of three, we all squeeze our hands into fists and say “I got it,” signifying that each person “got” all that love and warmth. This tides us over until the next time we get to meet again.

Volunteering with Tu Nidito

Do you have questions about our support groups?

Give us a call at (520) 322-9155 or email us at [email protected]

Que esperar en los grupos de apoyo de Tu Nidito

Programas para familias pasando por la muerte de un ser querido o el diagnostico de una enfermedad seria de un cuidador.

14 de enero 2021

Los grupos de apoyo para el duelo de Tu Nidito actualmente son ofrecidos virtualmente por medio de videoconferencias de Zoom. Mientras que la forma en la que nos juntamos es diferente, el corazón de cada reunión se mantiene igual. A continuación, repasaremos cada paso de un grupo virtual con Tu Nidito.

Porque separamos familias en grupos por edades?

En Tu Nidito, ofrecemos dos tipos de grupos de apoyo:

  • Para familias que estan pasando por duelo de la muerte de una persona especial.
  • Para familias cuando un padre o cuidador ha sido diagnosticado con una condicion medica seria.

En ambos grupos de apoyo, proporcionamos apoyo emocional de acuerdo a la edad para satisfacer las necesidades de desarrollo de cada participante.      Logramos esto dividiendo a las familias en 4 sub-grupos: Pequenos (edades 3.5 to 7), Medianos (edades 8 to 12) Adolescentes (edades 13 to 18) y Adultos (Padres y cuidadores).

Quienes son los Coordinadores de Grupo?

Los grupos son manejados por personal de Tu Nidito llamados Coordinadores de Grupo. Tenemos custro Coordinadores de Grupo son: Brigid, Diana, Kristin, and Serena. Ademas de proporcionar apoyo emocional y recursos en la comunidad para familias durante y fuera de los grupos de apoyo, los Coordinadores de Grupo también manejan la logística de cada grupo y supervisan a los facilitadores voluntarios.

Quienes facilitan los grupos?

Los facilitadores son una parte muy importante de los grupos de Tu Nidito. Son voluntarios entrenados y asignados a cada grupo para que puedan trabajar directamente con niños y adultos. Con el apoyo del Coordinador de Grupo, ellos encabezan cada parte de la noche: Las reglas de grupo, la presentación, las preguntas de la noche, actividades y clausura. La mayoría de nuestros facilitadores son estudiantes, jóvenes profesionales o jubilados.

Que son las reglas de grupo?

Las reglas de grupo son una manera de que los miembros de nuestro grupo se sientan a gusto y seguros. Las reglas son un poco diferentes para cada grupo, pero aquí están unas que son las mas importantes:

  • La regla “Yo paso”: Tu siempre puedes decir “Yo paso” si eres llamado a hablar pero tu no quieres o no te sientes listo.
  • Confidencialidad: Todo lo que dices en el grupo o lo que los demas dicen en el grupo se mantendra privado, al menos que haya una preocupacion acerca de lesiones a ti mismo o contra alguien mas.  
  • La regla “La varita para hablar” o “Tomar turnos”: Todos tendran la oportunidad de hablar sin ser interrumpidos.
  • La regla de comparar perdidas: La experiencia de cada persona con el duelo es diferente, por lo tanto, los participantes no comparan su duelo y perdidas con la de los demás
  • Regla de consejos: Le pedimos a cada participante que se abstengan de ofrecer consejos a los demas participantes del grupo al menos que la persona, abiertamente, pida consejo.
  • The “I Pass” Rule: You can always say “I Pass” if you are called on to share and you do not want to or are not ready.
  • Confidentiality: Anything you or anyone else says in group will remain private, unless there is concern of harm to yourself or others.
  • Talking Stick Rule, or “Taking Turns” Rule: Everyone will have an opportunity to share, uninterrupted.
  • Comparing Losses Rule: Everyone’s loss and experience with grief is different, therefore participants will not compare their grief or loss with someone else’s.
  • Advice Rule: We ask that each participant refrain from giving advice to their fellow group members, unless that person explicitly asks for advice.

Como empieza el grupo?

Cada noche, empezamos el grupo con una presentacion una vez que estamos en nuestros cuartos. Hacemos esto en todos los grupos con todas las edades.

Para grupos de apoyo de duelo, los participantes dicen:

  1. Su nombre
  2. Nombre de su persona especial o personas especiales que murieron
  3. Como murieron
  4. Como se sienten esa noche

Para grupos de apoyo para familias con un padre o cuidador impactado por el diagnostico de una enfermedad seria, los participantes dicen:

  1. Su nombre
  2. Nombre del miembro de su familia con la enfermedad seria
  3. Cual es el diagnostico
  4. Como se sienten esa noche

Durante nuestros grupos, utilizamos escucha reflectiva, dandole a la persona que esta compartiendo, la comodidad de saber que estan siendo escuchados.

En el pasado, utilizábamos la varita para hablar que pasábamos alrededor del grupo, dándole a cada persona la oportunidad de hacer su presentación. Durante nuestros grupos en zoom, cada persona es llamada por su nombre cuando es su turno de hablar.

Que son las preguntas del grupo?

Un ejemplo de las preguntas del grupo para los pequenos puede ser:

Que deseas que le pudieras decir a tu persona especial?

Una pregunta para los adolescentes puede ser:

Quien te dijo que tu persona especial murio? Alguien te dio confort en ese momento?

Las preguntas abren camino para que todos se sientan seguros al explorar sus emociones y crear un terreno comun con otros.

Los adultos tambien tienen sus preguntas de grupo y discuten lo que sus ninos estan hablando en grupo para que puedan continuar estas conversaciones como familia cuando gusten.

Que tipos de actividades se hacen durante el grupo?

Hay muchas cosas importantes que podemos hacer cuando estamos pasando por duelo o experimentando los impactos de un diagnostico. En Tu Nidito talvez dibujemos imagenes de nuestras emociones, talvez escribamos una carta a nuestra persona especial que murio o una carta directamente a la condicion medica. Leemos libros y jugamos juegos para divertirnos y sentirnos validados. Aprendemos habilidades de enfrentamiento para calmar nuestros cuerpos y mentes como respirar profundo. Cada grupo es algo diferente, lo que quiere decir que siempre hay algo nuevo que hacer.   

Como se termina la noche?

Al final de cada noche, tomamos un momento para honorar y celebrar cumpleaños, aniversarios de muerte, u otros días especiales que están por venir. Después, típicamente nos tomamos de las manos y nos damos un “apretón del amor” como una manera para que todos se lleven a sus casas todo el amor, esperanza, confort y apoyo que recibieron de cada uno esa noche.

Como ahora nos vemos en Zoom, todos ponemos nuestras manos en la cámara y a la cuenta de tres, apretamos nuestras manos y decirnos “lo tengo”, lo que significa que cada persona “tiene” todo el amor, y calor de sus compañeros. Esto nos une hasta que nos vemos en la próxima vez.

Volunteering with Tu Nidito

¿Tiene preguntas?

 (520) 322-9155 | [email protected]

Making Plans for The Holidays

Making Plans for The Holidays

Preparing For The Holiday Season Following the Death of a Special Person

For Adults:

It’s no surprise that this holiday season will be different than most. Plus, when you’re grieving, the holiday season can cause feelings of discomfort as you navigate life without the presence of your special person. You and your children most likely have ideas for how you’re envisioning the holidays this year. We always encourage families to openly communicate with each other about their needs and wants and holiday plans are a great opportunity for this communication. Creating plans as a family, as well as individual plans, can create a sense of ownership and pride among all who are involved.

Discussion Questions:

Have you discussed holiday ideas and plans with your children this year?

If so, have these discussions shown you’re on the same or different pages?

If not, what has stopped you from having these conversations?  

Print or download our Holiday Planning Guide to help facilitate these conversations:

For Children and Teens:

Love is an incredibly special gift that we give to our special people and that they give to us. Love is a gift that lasts forever. To express your love for your special person, make a holiday card for them, celebrating their life and the love you shared together. You can fill your card with a writing of some kind (a message, poem, story, etc.) and/or with drawings. Display it somewhere in your home or keep it somewhere special.
For more resources or information about Tu Nidito’s grief support programs, please call (520) 322-9155. Additional tips and insights regarding grief and the holidays can be found here

Haciendo planes para los dias festivos

Planeando las festividades despues de la muerte de una persona especial.

Para Adultos:

No es sorpresa que esta temporada navideña sera muy diferente a otras. Ademas, cuando se esta pasando por duelo, los dias festivos puedan hacernos sentir incomodos mientras navegamos la vida sin la presencia de nuestra persona especial. Usted y sus niños puede que tengan una idea de como quieren pasar los dias festivos este año. Siempre alentamos a familias a que platiquen abiertamente acerca de sus necesidades y las festividades es una gran oportunidad para practicar comunicacion. Crear planes con su familia, al igual que planes individuales, pueden darle un sentido de posesion y orgullo a todos los que estan envueltos.

Preguntas de discusion:


A discutido con sus hijos acerca de los planes para los dias festivos de este año?


Si lo a hecho, estas discusiones le han enseñado si estan en la misma pagina o diferentes?


Si no lo ha hecho, que le a impedido tener esta conversacion?



Imprima o descargue nuestra Guia de Planificacion de las festividades para ayudarle a facilitar estas conversaciones:

Para niños y adolescentes:

Amor, es un regalo increiblemente especial que le damos a nuestra persona especial y que ellos nos dan. El amor es un regalo que dura siempre. Para expresar tu amor por tu persona especial, haz una carta navideña para ellos, celebrando su vida y el amor que ustedes compartieron. Puedes llenar tu carta con algun escrito como un mensaje, un poema, una historia, y/o un dibujo. Pon la carta en algun lugar de u casa o guardala en un lugar especial.

Para mas recursos e información acerca de los grupos de apoyo de Tu Nidito, llame al (520) 322-9155. 

Grief + The Holidays

Grief + The Holidays

Insights and Tips for the Season

Celebrating holidays can bring about many emotions, especially for those experiencing grief. Tu Nidito has created special Holiday Handouts, full of helpful tips and suggestions for navigating grief during the holidays. Below, you will find printable, downloadable handouts designed for:

Celebrar los dias festivos puede traer muchas emociones, especialmente para aquellos que estan pasando por duelo. Para preparar a los niños, familias y jovenes adultos de Tu Nidito para todo lo que viene con la temporada de dias festivos, estaremos distribuyendo folletos llenos de ideas y consejos. Abajo, usted encontrara folletos que puede imprimir o descargar para audiencias specificas:
Si usted necesita información sobre programas de Tu Nidito, contactanos a (520) 322-9155.

Community Ofrenda: A Día de los Muertos Celebration


Virtually celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of The Dead) at Tu Nidito

This time of year holds special meaning at Tu Nidito as we observe Día de los Muertos/Day of the DeadWe have developed our own unique tradition around this day to celebrate and honor the special people in our lives who have died. Typically, our families gather for a colorful evening to share reflections about those special people. While we can’t have this celebration in-person at Tu Nidito this year, our program team has been hard at work coming up with meaningful ways to recognize this day over Zoom with Tu Nidito families.

Among their support group, each family is invited to share about their special person who has died; who they are, what they love and miss about them, and any stories and memories they’d like to share. Then they have the opportunity to share any photos or mementos of the person. The celebration also includes live guitar playing and singing from our beloved volunteer, Bruce, as well as a special candle lighting ceremony.

To bring a sense of unity during this season that we so deeply cherish, we decided to create our own community Ofrenda or Memory Table at Tu Nidito. In short, an Ofrenda is a beautiful culmination of photos and mementos to remember and honor loved ones who have died. If you’re interested in the meaning behind each component of the Ofrenda, or you’d like to put one together yourself, check out this informative “how-to” video led by our Support Specialist, Diana.

Over the past few weeks, we have built an overflowing Ofrenda by collecting names, stories, and photos of loved ones who have died. We asked our familiesvolunteersRemarkable Momsboard members, and staff to contribute as they see fit. We hope you enjoy the final result—a very special display to honor and remember some very special people.

Join us in ensuring that no child grieves alone in Southern Arizona. Make a tax-deductible donation today to support children and families grieving the death of a loved one or a serious medical diagnosis.

Meet Our Support Specialists

Tu Nidito's Support Specialists

Meet the team!

Tu Nidito’s Support Specialists/Groups Coordinators are trained professionals who carry out the mission of Tu Nidito each and every day. Their role is to support families, children and young adults who have experienced the death of a loved one or a serious medical diagnosis. Sometimes, this means that they meet with children individually to work through feelings and thoughts that surround their grief. This is done through meaningful play, activities, and exercises to build new coping skills. These professionals also coordinate monthly bereavement support groups, leading volunteers and families in an evening of peer-to-peer support with specialized curriculum and intentional play. 

Support Specialists are trained and experienced in the field of grief as it related to death loss and medical diagnoses. They walk alongside families, children and young adults providing emotional support in their time of need.

Read more about each of our Support Specialists below!

Meet The Support Specialists: Q & A

Tell us what you do!

I work one-on-one with families who have a child with a serious medical condition, and I coordinate our bereavement support groups. Also, I am the Young Adult Bereavement Support Group Coordinator*.

*Read Serena’s story about how she got her start at Tu Nidito here.

What’s your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part about working at Tu Nidito is being able to connect with the families – getting to know them, playing games, working on art projects, and doing other fun activities while simultaneously helping them talk and process through some pretty big feelings.

What inspires you to do this work?

Having a personal experience with serious illness and death loss, I feel inspired to do this work because I know how helpful it was for me when I was in need of support. I am also constantly blown away by how vulnerable and brave the kids I work with are, and that inspires me all the time.

Fun Fact:

I play the cello!

Tell us what you do!

I am the Bilingual Support Specialist and also a Group Coordinator for our bereavement support groups.

What’s your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part of working at Tu Nidito is that I get to meet a lot of people and create a safe space for them to express their emotions and get help.

What inspires you to do this work?

My inspiration to continue doing this work is seeing the incredible community and support that is created between the families and their connection with Tu Nidito. They are able to meet other families and learn that they are not alone in their grief.

Fun Fact:

I love heavy metal and I play the drums. People are usually surprised when they learn this about me!

Tell us what you do!

As the Assistant Program Director, I develop curriculum for Tu Nidito’s support groups. This consists of our talking circle questions and activities. I also coordinate the support group for Children who have a Parent with a Serious Medical Condition as well as the Thursday II Bereavement Support Group. In addition, I help supervise Tu Nidito’s One-on-One Program for families who have a child diagnosed with a serious medical condition. 

What’s your favorite part about your job?

Our model. I had never experienced anything like the Tu Nidito model until I began as a volunteer in 2008. I fell in love with it immediately and understood how powerful it was in the grief process.

What inspires you to do this work?

I truly believe in Tu Nidito’s model, mission and vision. I’ve never quite felt that way about other types of professional work I’ve done in the past. Because I deeply believe in the work that I do, and because I see the positive impacts our model has on families, volunteers, and community members every single day, I feel inspired to do this work as long as I can. 

Fun Fact:

I was lucky enough to marry my best friend from childhood. We’ve been together for almost 15 years and married for 5.

Tell us what you do!

I am a Support Specialist who works with children who have a serious medical condition and their families. I also coordinate support groups for grieving children and their families.

What’s your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part of working at Tu Nidito is “playing” with children and seeing how they find hope and healing through fun and interactive activities. In the 10 years I have been working at Tu Nidito, it has been less of a “job” and more of a passion to connect with and support so many wonderful families in our community. 

What inspires you to do this work?

What inspires me is seeing the wonder and resilience of the children I am honored to support as they go through really difficult times in their lives.

Fun Fact:

I have a 32 year old son and an 11 year old adopted daughter. She keeps me young and makes life so fun!

Interested in one of our programs?

Please fill out this contact form or give us a call at (520) 322-9155.

A Tu Nidito Family’s Story of Grief and Love

A Tu Nidito Family's story of Grief and love

Guest Writers: The Rubio Family

Like many holidays and milestones, Father’s Day can be tricky. For some, it brings a day of celebration and togetherness; for others, a poignant reminder of loss and grief. However you are heading into this weekend, we would like to invite you to express your feelings in a way that may be new to you. As a family, or individually, tell your story. Your story may be marked by beauty, pain, hope, sadness… It can be a glimpse of a moment, a feeling, or a whole lifetime. Whatever you write is worth expressing. Storytelling can happen through writing, drawing, or other art forms. You can choose to keep it to yourself, or share it with others. 

As an inspiring example to begin our storytelling this Father’s Day,  a Tu Nidito family is sharing about their personal grief journey. For the first time, Anita and her three children are spending this Father’s Day without their dad, Aaron. Thank you, Rubio family, for opening your hearts and sharing your story.

(Left to Right) Aaron, Carys (13), Daniel (11), Kyndra (8)
Drawing by Kyndra

My two oldest children, Carys and Daniel, have their father’s green eyes. Daniel has his dad’s mannerisms to the point where some of my family members still slip up and call him “Aaron” – his dad’s name. They were buddies. Even our youngest, Kyndra Joy, can impersonate some of her dad’s facial expressions like nobody else. All three of them have an amazing sense of humor that I absolutely love.

Last Father’s Day, their first gift to their “Dada” was a potato they’d drawn a silly face on and meticulously wrapped. It was followed by a t-shirt that read, “My favorite people call me Dad”. I’m not sure which gift Aaron loved more. Unbeknownst to us, that Father’s Day week would be the last time we would all live together with any semblance of “normalcy”. He and I had our struggles until, heartbreakingly, Aaron died by suicide only a few months later. 

Needless to say that for nearly the last 12 months, I have looked ahead to the month of June with a bit of a knot in my stomach. There has been uncertainty about how to approach this year – the kids’ first Father’s Day since their dad died. For us, however, there has been nothing more healing than sitting together sharing memories, whether that meant laughing together, crying together, or both. It is exactly why we have found the services at Tu Nidito to be so beneficial. The children and I each have a place there where we can speak Aaron’s name and dedicate some time to share special memories, talk about how our present lives are affected, and even consider things that may come up in the future. Most kids seem to recoil from the notion that there is anything that makes them too different from their peers. Losing a father to suicide is certainly not something that any of their school friends or family members could directly relate to. I credit this organization with giving my kids, and many like them, a safe place to identify and speak up about their true thoughts and feelings, which has played such a vital role in our family’s healthy healing over the many months we have been with them.

Carys, 13 years old

My dad and I shared a love for birds. For Christmas in 2018 I got a cardinal puzzle. It was 3-D, but the instructions were vague and unclear. My dad was very interested in this puzzle and helped me by looking it up online. He told me where each piece could go. We finished it and left it out for everyone to see. We were proud of it. My dad’s name was Aaron. He was a good dad, and I loved him.

Daniel, 11 years old

One of the things I miss most was Dad’s food. He made the best mac and cheese, that stuff was legendary and no other mac and cheese maker could compare. His super good meal was his biscuits and gravy; spicy and peppery, and the biscuits were perfection. And when he made chilaquiles, he would always let me cut tortillas into chip shapes before he fried them.

My dad was a great father, but after he died of suicide lots of things changed. I started to feel left out because I am the only boy in my family now. I also started wishing for him back, and I would try and remember what fun things we did when we were together. I still remember the silly reasons why he would scold us. Also I still remember the great foods he would make. But most importantly, he cared for me and my family.

Kyndra, 8 years old

My dad was so fun! His name was Aaron. He loved hound dogs, so we had three. Every night when I said goodnight, Dada would give me lots of high fives before giving me a poke in the belly. And the memory that keeps playing in my head is his goofy laugh, a really adorable laugh that lit up his whole face!

After hearing each of my children share some of their favorite memories about their father, we all sat surrounded by a flood of emotions. We still have a long road ahead of us as we experience many other firsts in life without him, but I am also confident that they- that we- will all be ok. As a mom that is doing my best to be present with them every day, I am also so proud of them for sitting with the pain long enough to make it to whatever is on the other side of it. I’ve been surprised a number of times at how such intense pain can actually be turned to thankfulness and joy. Of course they will never forget their father, that loss will forever be with them, but likewise, they will never forget these and other very special memories of him. For those close to our family, I would even reassure them that they should not be afraid to speak Aaron’s name to us, since he is never far from our thoughts anyway. We have all learned to press into our faith this year, embrace our own journey, and we have grown closer as a family than I ever knew possible.

– Anita Rubio

The following are examples of books that may be helpful for a child or teen that is grieving the death of a fatherly figure in their life. Each of these are available for purchase on Amazon. If you’re interested in checking out other reading materials related to grief from our library, give us a call at (520)-322-9155.

For Littles and Younger Middles (Ages 3.5 – 10):

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books, Penguin, 2010)
Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley
Knock Knock My Father’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty
The Blue Roses by Linda Boyden
The Grandad Tree by Trish Cooke

For Older Middles and Teens (Ages 11-18):

Rebound by Kwame Alexander with illustrations by Dawud Anyabwile (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018)
Mama’s Gonna Buy You a Mockingbird by Jean Little
Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schroeder
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (Dutton, 2017)

If you have questions about Tu Nidito’s services or need support following a medical diagnosis or death of a loved one, please contact us. 

La historia de Pena y Amor Por una familia de Tu Nidito

La familia Rubio

Como muchas festividades y metas, el Día del Padre puede ser difícil. Para algunos, trae un día de celebración y unión; Para otros, un doloroso recuerdo de perdida y duelo. Mientras te aproximas a este fin de semana, queremos invitarte a expresar tus emociones de una manera que puede ser nueva para ti. Como familia o como individuo, dinos tu historia. Tu historia puede estar marcada por hermosura, dolor, esperanza, tristeza… Puede ser un vistazo a un momento, un sentimiento o toda una vida. Lo que sea que escribas vale la pena expresarlo. Un cuentacuentos puede ser hecho mediante la escritura, dibujo u otras formas de arte. Puedes escoger quedártelo para ti mismo o compartirlo con otros.

Como un ejemplo inspirador para comenzar nuestra narración de cuentos este Día del Padre, le preguntamos a una familia de Tu Nidito que nos contaran su historia. Por primera vez, Anita y sus tres hijos estarán pasando el Día del Padre sin su papá, Aaron. Gracias a la familia Rubio por contarnos su historia.

(Izquierda a derecha) Aaron, Carys (13), Daniel (11), Kyndra (8)
Arte por Kyndra

Mis dos hijos mas grandes, Carys y Daniel, tienen los ojos verdes como su papá. Daniel tiene los gestos de su papá al punto que algunos familiares algunas veces le llaman “Aaron”- el nombre de su papá. Eran muy amigos. Incluso nuestra mas pequeña, Kyndra Joy, puede personificar algunos de los gestos faciales de su papá como nadie mas puede. Los tres tiene un sentido del humor que absolutamente amo.

El ultimo Día del Padre, el primer regalo para su “Dada” fue una papa en la cual habían dibujado una cara chistosa y que envolvieron meticulosamente. Fue seguida por una camiseta que decía “Mis personas favoritas me llaman Papá”. No estoy muy segura cual regalo le gusto mas a Aaron. Desconocido para nosotros, esa semana del Día del Padre seria la ultima vez que todos viviríamos juntos con una apariencia de “normalidad”. El y yo tuvimos nuestras dificultades hasta que, lamentablemente, Aaron murió por suicidio solo unos meses después. No hace falta decir que, por los últimos 12 meses, he estado esperando por el mes de Junio con un nudo en el estomago. Ha habido mucha incertidumbre acerca de lo que nos espera este año-Los niños en su primer Día del Padre desde que su papá murió. Para nosotros, sin embargo, no ha habido nada mas sanador que sentarnos juntos a compartir recuerdos, aun si eso significaba reír juntos, llorar juntos o ambos. Es exactamente el porque hemos encontrado los servicios de Tu Nidito tan benéficos. Los niños y yo tenemos un lugar donde podemos hablar de Aaron y dedicar tiempo para compartir momentos especiales, hablar de como nuestras vidas en el presente están afectadas e incluso considerar las cosas que nos esperan en el futuro.

La mayoría de los niños parecen retroceder ante la idea de que hay algo que los hace demasiado diferentes de sus compañeros. Perder a un padre por suicidio no es ciertamente algo que sus compañeros de escuela o familiares se pueden relacionar directamente. Le doy crédito a esta organización por darle a mis hijos y a muchos como ellos, un lugar seguro donde se pueden identificar y hablar acerca de sus verdaderos pensamientos y emociones, lo que ha jugado un rol vital en la sanación de nuestra familia en los muchos meses que hemos estado con ellos.

Carys, 13 años

Mi Papá y yo compartíamos el amor por los pájaros. Para Navidad en el 2018 agarre un rompecabezas de un Cardinal. Era en 3-D pero las instrucciones eran vagas y no muy claras. Mi Papá estaba muy interesado en el rompecabezas y me ayudo a buscarlo en el internet. El me dijo donde iba cada pieza. Lo terminamos y lo dejamos afuera para que todos lo vieran. Estábamos muy orgullosos de el. El nombre de mi Papá era Aaron. El era un buen padre y lo amaba.

Daniel, 11 años

Una de las cosas que mas extraño es la comida de mi Papá. El hacia los mejores macarrones con queso, esos eran legendarios y ninguna otra persona que hiciera macarrones se pudiera comparar. Su súper comida era los bísquets y salsa gravy; picosos y con mucha pimienta y los bísquets eran perfectos. Y cuando hacia chilaquiles, siempre me dejaba cortar las tortillas en forma de totopos antes de freírlos.

Mi Papá era un gran papá, pero después de que murió por suicidio, muchas cosas cambiaron. Empecé a sentirme fuera de lugar porque soy el único hombre en mi casa ahora. También empecé a desear que el regresara, y trato de recordar que cosas divertidas hicimos cuando estábamos juntos. Todavía recuerdo las razones por las que el nos regañaba. También recuerdo las grandes comidas que el solía hacer. Pero lo mas importante es que el cuidaba de mi y de mi familia.

Kyndra, 8 años

Mi Papá era muy divertido! Su nombre era Aaron. A el le encantaban los perros Hound, teníamos tres. Cada noche, cuando decía buenas noches, mi Dada y yo la chocábamos mucho antes de que diera un piquete en la panza. Y el recuerdo que sigue tocando en mi cabeza es su risa disparatada, una risa muy adorable que iluminaba toda su cara!

Después que cada uno de mis hijos terminaron de compartir sus recuerdos favoritos acerca de su padre, todos nos sentamos rodeados de muchas emociones. Todavía tenemos un gran camino por delante mientras experimentamos muchos “primeros” en nuestras vidas sin el, pero estoy segura que ellos-que nosotros- estaremos bien. Como Mamá se que estoy haciendo lo mejor por estar presente para ellos cada día, estoy orgullosa de ellos por sentarse con su dolor por un largo tiempo para lograr ir a lo que sea que este del otro lado. Muchas veces me he sorprendido de cómo un dolor tan intenso puede convertirse en agradecimiento y alegría. Por supuesto, nunca olvidarán a su padre, esa pérdida siempre estará con ellos, pero del mismo modo, nunca olvidarán estos y otros recuerdos muy especiales de él. Para aquellos cercanos a nuestra familia, incluso les aseguro que no deben tener miedo de decirnos el nombre de Aaron, ya que de todos modos nunca está lejos de nuestros pensamientos. Todos hemos aprendido a presionar en nuestra fe este año, abrazar nuestro propio viaje, y nos hemos convertido en una familia más cercana de lo que nunca creí posible.

– Anita Rubio

Los siguientes recursos pueden ser de gran utilidad para sus niños y adolescentes que están pasando por el duelo de la muerte de una figura paterna en sus vidas. Si está interesado en ver otros materiales para leer relacionados con duelo, nos puede llamar al 520-322-9155.

Si tiene preguntas acerca de los servicios de Tu Nidito o necesita apoyo después del diagnostico de una enfermedad medica seria o después de una muerte de un ser querido, por favor contáctenos.