As I was getting set for last night’s episode of Game of Thrones HBO rolled out a brief preview for a new documentary premiering tonight, that even in its brevity, touched my heart and engaged my interest fully.
The film is called One Last Hug: Three Days at Grief Camp and it takes place at Our House of Grief Support Center in Los Angeles. This free bereavement camp is part of The Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin Network.
Via the home site for the documentary there’s an interview with the camp’s founders, former Major League Baseball Player Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen Moyer, as they explain how the organization came to be and why they feel Camp Erin is such an important service for the community:
Karen Moyer: The Erin story happens because we meet a girl through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, because Jamie is a professional athlete, and we decide to think about her sisters because we know she’s not going to make it. We’re able to create this camp to help people like Erin’s sisters and others who grieve a loss.
Karen Moyer: We expanded on that and took it through the United States through a map of all Major League Baseball cities and more. Now it’s keeping those camps going, reacting to a need — like being able to open a camp in Newtown, Connecticut. Or being able to go down to Oklahoma, where there are a lot of natural disasters, wherever there’s need. More than 1.5 million kids are grieving a loss, so there’s a lot of work to be done.
Here’s the preview for One Last Hug:
Karen went on to discuss the organic means by which the documentary came to pass:
Karen Moyer: We didn’t do this documentary, and I think that’s what makes this pretty incredible. I actually fought the documentary because I want to protect these kids and I didn’t want to exploit them at all. The film has no Hollywood ending. The story goes that there was a producer in LA who actually had a personal story of losing his dad when he was younger. He wanted to do something on children’s bereavement, and here we have this documentary. It offers so much. We can use it to educate our counselors across the country, we can take it to donors. This is a free camp, it’s important for us to continually serve the kids we do and to serve more. It can be obviously used in a situation where we just need to open up the conversation, where we can give it a voice.
One Last Hug: Three Days at Grief Camp premieres tonight on HBO at 8:00 PM EST. I know I’ll be watching.