HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Esther Camealy was going in for her routine twelve-week ultrasound when the nurse practitioner told her that her son would not live long.
Camealy, then had to tell her husband and their three children that their baby brother Isaac would not be coming home. She had to figure out how to tell her children, the eldest being six, the devastating news.
“So we told them you’re going to have a baby brother. His name is Isaac, and he is very sick the doctors are telling us he is not going to live for very long and he is not going to be able to live in our house,” Camealy said. “They crawled up into the bed with us and just cried understanding as much as they could at that age.”
In August of 2023, her son Isaac passed away 43 hours after he was born.
“Shortly after he was born we were able to get the kids home from school they came and gathered around the room and meet him so they had a few moments with him that day,” Camealy said.
The loss of a loved one is a pain unlike any other, but she has three children to take care of all while trying to grieve herself. That’s when she found the Caring House.
“Our program supports children developmentally so helping a child at three or four like Evelyn (Camealy’s daughter) we do preschool support sessions to help with things like misconceptions like could I have caused this or helping to know there’s nothing you could have said or done,” said Kim O’Leary, Caring House coordinator.
“It’s been a safe place for them to land and process outside of our home it’s helped normalize conversations around grief and it’s helped them reconnect in other ways just their brother,” said Camealy.
At the Caring House, kids ages 3-18 are able to express their grief through creative play, arts, sharing and listening to other and more.
Through the work at the Caring House, the Camealy family is able to not only process and navigate grief but preserve Isaac’s memory.
“For Halloween we all had costumes and we went by the cemetery and included him in that too, we were a family of Mario and he got to be a part of that we took a little stuffed animal that matched the costumes they got to celebrate that with him too,” said Camealy.
If you would like to donate to The Caring House, you can visit the HHF Season of Caring page by clicking here.