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Essie Laflamme

I will always be the adult who runs to sit at the children’s table. My love for children is ineffable. When the time came for me to forge my path, I followed my heart and it led me directly into early childhood education. I was in my element in a job where my ‘briefcase’ was a basket of puppets! I knew I was home. Over the last forty years storytelling and puppetry have played a vital role in my journey. The puppets and the voices I created for each one of them were a conduit that opened a portal to where children were allowed the freedom to express themselves within a safe environment. Being in the divine presence of a child turned into a service of caring for children in hospitals and in hospice and palliative care. I began to journal my experience and putting pen to paper helped me to release my own emotions. Today I am honored to be an author of a series of children’s illustrated books. My “Caring for'' series are gentle bereavement stories that speak to love, loss, and hope. In addition, I have also written “Lola, the Roving Reporter,” a story of friendship, inclusion, and compassion. My love for little hearts guided me to being invited as guest speaker at many national forums, including; The National Alliance for Grieving Children’s annual conference on the Power of Puppetry in Pedi-Palliative and Hospice Care at the University of California Long Beach, The New England Child Life Conference at the Hole in the Wall Camp in Connecticut and the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Boston, Mass. The workshops and interviews I continue to offer allows me to pass on guidelines about supporting children through loss, and honors them by sharing their voices. Every sacred lesson I have learned comes from the greatest minds I have ever worked with; our children. Way back when, my passion, mission, and purpose was to be of service to children. Today, it still is.

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