Life Matters Newsletter - Spring / Summer 2021
Meet Karlee Brewer and Buster. Each day across 28 counties in North and South Carolina, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region (HPCCR) cares for those facing serious illness or nearing death. Part of the HPCCR mission is to help the bereaved heal after the loss of a loved one. Karlee is one of those tender souls. We’ll get to Buster in a minute.
"He calms me down, Karlee says. I get happy."
Karlee lost her dad, Samuel, in a motorcycle accident last July. Samuel and Karlee were best friends. Until she was 3½, the only place she’d sleep was in his arms. “Samuel had her spoiled rotten from the day she was born,” says Sha Brewer, her mom.
Losing her father at the young age of seven left Karlee defiant. She struggled to process her feelings. Enter HPCCR Grief Counselor, Missy Francis, and Buster, the Dutch bunny. Determined to comfort this freckle-faced little girl, Missy turned to a unique ministry that uses the most tender living things to soothe our hurts, therapy bunnies.
“He calms me down,” Karlee says. “I get happy.”
Buster and his therapy bunny friends belong to Brittany Bryson. Brittany founded "Bunny Blessings" as a non-profit ministry to comfort folks in nursing homes, homeless shelters, and the like. Her bunnies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Most had been abandoned.
Buster and Company started out in her home, then moved to the garage, and finally to a bunny barn the family built on their five-acre spread in Belmont. With COVID-19 preventing Brittany from bringing the bunnies to people in need, the people in need are coming to the barn. That includes Karlee and her mom, and hopefully other members of the HPCCR family. “Our mission is to love one another,” Brittany says. “These bunnies bring so much joy. They’re small, they’re quiet, and they’re not aggressive. Bunnies are super soft.”
The therapy bunnies are developing a following. Some nurses in Australia saw them on Facebook and messaged their support. The bunnies even have their own website – www.bunnyblessings.com – with pictures and bios. Along with many other entertaining stories, it says right there that Karlee’s friend, Buster, spills his water bowl all day long.
HPCCR’s Missy Francis, whose mission is to heal the hurts, says the bunnies were guests at an Employees Therapy Day in Lincolnton, but it’s watching Karlee and Buster at the barn that leaves her nearly speechless. “It’s Karlee’s own special sanctuary,” Missy says, unable to finish the thought. “I’m crying. I’m sorry.” Magical time with soft bunnies is just one of many ways the HPCCR team finds to bring comfort and joy to those who grieve.
GRIEF CARE SERVICES - We Support. We Listen. We Care. - 704.375.0100
Grief is unique to each individual. Through fundraised dollars, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region (HPCCR) provides comprehensive grief services for all ages. We extend support to family members and other loved ones, both before and after death, through: Short-Term Counseling, Referrals to Intensive Therapy, Chameleon’s Journey Grief Camp for Children and Teens, Support Groups, Educational Workshops, and Workplace Grief Support Programs.
Visit https://www.hpccr.org/life-matters-spring-summer-2021 to read more from our Spring / Summer 2021 Edition of the Life Matters Newsletter.