A letter about Circle Week
Dear Fleur de Lis Community,
Last summer I was able to attend the entirety of Circle Week. As anyone who has volunteered for Fleur de Lis’ Circle Week will tell you, it is a life-altering experience. As the week began, I found myself nervous about being a camp counselor again. It’s been a while, and I wasn’t sure I had what it takes anymore. That anxiety quickly faded as the week got rolling. The girls I worked with were inspiring; it was joyful just being with them for camp activities, singing in the dining hall, and walking the camp road.
I witnessed these girls bonding through their common and traumatic experience of having lost a parent to death. As girls shared their stories and the ways that their loss and grief affected their lives, I was truly awestruck. I don’t have words to describe the impact on me of the feelings and emotions these girls shared. They were open about their sadness, their frustration and their anger. They were comforted by their memories but wistful for more. They were grateful for the support of family and friends but sometimes even that fell short. To me, the greatest gift Circle Week offers is the ability for these girls to come together with other girls with similar experience. Now they are not the only one living with the loss of a parent; all the Circle Week girls can relate to each other’s stories.
Just a few weeks after Circle Week, I flew to see my parents. My mom had not been feeling well for about a week and hadn’t gone to the doctor. I expected to stay a few days after the doctor’s visit helping her get back on her feet. Instead, we ended up in the hospital and eventually with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. I was fortunate to be able to spend those final weeks of her life with her, something I will be forever grateful. The pain of that loss and the ways that grief has enveloped me is something I am not yet able to put into words. I am empty of emotion and full of emotion at the same time.
I have found that I am often most comforted by being able to talk with others who have experienced the death of their mothers. Our stories and experiences of grief are varied, and yet there is respite in the familiarity we share. I have thought a lot about Circle Week campers as I navigate my own loss. I can’t imagine trying to do this as a child.
I am grateful for Fleur de Lis Circle Week. I am grateful we make it free to all campers. Our donations, yours and mine, make this week possible. At a cost of $750 per camper, donations underwrite the entire program.
Please join me in contributing what you can to keep this program going and serve as many girls as is possible who have suffered the death of a parent. I can tell you from personal experience that your donation will truly change the life of these campers.
Di Foster | Fleur de Lis Camp Board President
Three Ways to Give
- Check – made to Fleur de Lis Camp and mailed to 120 Howeville Road Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
- Securely Online
- Purchase something from your Amazon Wishlist and send it to camp for Circle Week 2019