A well-known phenomenon is the intense bond between twins, and one can only imagine the intensity of the pain when that bond is lost.

On Thursday afternoon at the annual Camp Good Grief, 9-year-old Emily Bookwalter, of Franklin, expressed that pain through art.

In its 27th year, the camp was hosted by the Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County at Seneca Hills Bible Camp.

Taking shelter from the afternoon showers, the campers painted on pieces of broken flowerpots, which were then glued back together, a visual representation of brokenness and healing

Amid a swirl of blue and purple color tones, Emily painted a letter J on her flowerpot to represent the loss of her twin sister, Jessica, which she described as "really painful."

Jessica died in April 2017 at the age of 7 after battling cancer.

When asked about the special closeness of twins, Emily solemnly said, "True."

Allison Beers, a VNA hospice social worker, said the flowerpot project represents how what is broken can be made whole.

"We talked about how something could be broken and put back together, but not necessarily the same way," Beers said. "They knew. It resonated."

This year's theme was "Inside Out," based on the 2015 Disney movie in which a young girl's emotions are personified by animated characters, each with their own unique color.

Layla Felmlee, 8, of Rouseville, lost her father last July.

On her flowerpot, she drew her cat, Olaf.

"When I get sad, I talk to my cat," she said.

Layla was all smiles at camp on Thursday, however, and she was beaming as she said that she and her older sister Jolene were both named after songs.

Shelly Hart, marketing director for the VNA Foundation, said the experience of being able to provide this service for the area's youth is rewarding.

"Parents and guardians call in to say thank you, because sometimes they're at their wits' end," Hart said.

The counselors were happy that the rain held off Thursday morning and allowed the campers to enjoy ziplining.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent indoors watching "Inside Out" while campers completed their art projects. The day concluded with a memorial service.

One particularly outgoing young man was first-year camper Braden Straw, 8, of Franklin, who was eager for the rain to stop so he could go back outside. He said that being active helped him feel better.

When asked why he came to Camp Good Grief, he said, simply, "Mama," and pointed at the sky.

When asked if spending the day at camp was helping him cope with grief, he replied, "Let's just say, it's like this kind of."

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