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High school graduate’s summer plans: cancelled

Dear Harlan: My daughter’s summer has now been canceled. After high school graduation, she was going back to overnight camp to be a counselor. She has been going there every summer for eight years. It’s where I went to camp too. Camp is the one place she has where she can get away and be herself. I’m devastated for her. Every week there is another disappointment for these kids. I don’t know how to help her. Any suggestions? I’m out of answers.

— Mom Without Answers

Dear Mom Without Answers: You don’t need to have answers. Just hug her, listen to her and be there for her. She is going through these emotions with all the other high school grads and counselors. You can’t fix this for her. You can just be there for her. The answers will come. Maybe the counselors will get together and create a service project or volunteer as a group. Maybe they will get together at the end of the summer for a week at camp. Something will happen. We just don’t know what. Once she has a chance to grieve this loss (there are so many to grieve), encourage her to find something to do that gives her joy. What can she do to be there for the campers, her friends and the community? After the tears comes hope. With hope comes new ideas and meaningful change. Just hold her until the tears end and trust that something wonderful will happen. Because it will.

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