The Bradley Center offers support for grieving children and familiesSep 08, 2022 11:24AM ● By Peri Kinder
It takes more than time to heal from devastation; it takes love, support, empathy and community. When Carrie Moore and Janice Taylor lost their husbands in a plane crash on Jan. 15, 1996, the two women built that community to help their children cope with the loss of their fathers.
The mothers started the Bradley Center (11100 S. Redwood Rd.), which has become a place for children and families to try to understand and deal with the devastation inflicted upon them by the tragic loss of a loved one.
“I could not find what I needed for my kids after losing their dad in such a traumatic way,” Moore said. “I was looking for resources for my kids but support groups had long waiting lists.”
Moore’s three children were aged 12 and younger when their father, Brad Moore, was killed along with five other Coca-Cola executives in the crash. After the accident, the widows met each month, going to dinner and talking about how hard it was raising children alone. Moore said laughing and crying together made a big difference and she wanted to create something like that for the kids.
Moore, who became a hospice and hospital chaplain, understands how grief is isolating. The Bradley Center gives kids a place to talk about the hard feelings and difficult emotions in a safe place.
“I knew within about six months of losing him in that plane crash, that I would need to create a resource for people who didn’t have any resources, because that’s how I was feeling,” she said. “This is a way we can give back and help other people avoid some of the really hard stuff they had to deal with.”
The Bradley Center offers grief support, not counseling, although they are working to get that service as part of the program. Taylor said when a child loses a parent, they feel like they don’t fit in anymore. Events like Mother’s or Father’s Day, father-son outings and daddy-daughter dates keep opening the wound that leaves a child devastated.
“There’s no booklet for handling death. You really have to go through it. You can’t stuff it or go around it because eventually it will come back and bite you. You need to grieve and go through the emotions,” Taylor said. “Kids oftentimes can’t voice what they’re experiencing to their parents because they don’t want to upset the parent that’s left and make them feel bad because they’re just trying to hold it together.”
The Bradley Center is located in the American Heritage School in South Jordan. They don’t do a lot of advertising but they know the people who need them, find them. There is a cost of $60 per family, per month, which is less than the charge of one counseling session.
For those who can’t afford the cost, the Craig Taylor Scholarship Fund provides full or partial scholarships. Taylor is honored to have the scholarship named after her late husband.
“My husband Craig was such a good, generous man,” she said. “He would want anyone and everyone who needed help to be able to access it, and that’s what that scholarship fund means. Nobody should be turned away when they’re in pain and when they’re struggling.”
Statistics show that kids who don’t work their way through grief often engage in self-abuse, fail at school and make dangerous life choices. Taylor said the program has been around long enough that they’re seeing kids who started with the program who are graduating, getting married, serving church missions and starting families. Several of them have come back to work as volunteers because the Bradley Center made such a difference in their lives.
Moore and Taylor are bringing the program to schools. Counselors recommend students who lost a parent or sibling, and the child is able to get counseling during school hours. The Bradley Center is open from September through May. For information about grief support, or to become a volunteer, visit BradleyCenterGrief.org.
“It makes all the difference in the world for families. Most people think they need it only for their children but honestly the whole family needs it,” Taylor said. “It’s one place where it’s safe to talk about feelings and fears and anger and beliefs freely, without being judged.” λ