Five days after Samara’s 6th birthday, her mother Eva was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. This marked the first significant loss of many to come for Samara.
Eva was 34 years old and a single Mom. Over the next 18 months she underwent chemo, radiation, and surgeries. Her ability to “mother” Samara in the way she had, changed significantly. Playing, outings, cooking, reading stories at night all where a challenge for Eva. Samara, at 6 years old became mom’s “helper”. From making her own sandwich when Mom couldn’t get off the couch, to straightening up the apartment or putting herself to bed some nights after Mom’s chemo, the losses for Samara grew and she was already missing her mom.
When Eva could no longer work, she and Samara moved in with Eva’s parents. Samara lost the only home she had known, her bedroom decorated with her Disney characters, her backyard and swing set, her neighborhood friends and life as she knew it to be. Samara’s grandparents were her lifeline as they took on the role of becoming her main caregivers.
By age 7, Samara was receiving emotional and anticipatory bereavement support from her local hospice. Through helping Samara and Eva create lasting memories together and giving Samara a safe place to express her feelings the mom and daughter learned to navigate one of life’s most difficult journeys - end of life.
Two months after her 8th birthday, in the early hours of a cold Tuesday morning, Samara’s mom died. In the many months to follow the continuum of care for Samara carried on through the hospice. Samara participated in a children’s bereavement camp and one on one bereavement support. She was an 8-year-old girl who’s live had forever changed. Through the help of her family and a strong support system, Samara continues to be cared through her grief as she learns to live on in a new world.
Samara falls into the 1 in 50 statistics, but to Samara she is just a little girl without her mom.