Zach Bulger goes into the play room at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver, and picks from an assortment of toys.
There are knights, dragons, polar bears and much more to choose from. He decides to play with a toy ambulance, airplane and police car.
“They’re all getting ready for their next mission. They just came back from a fire,” says Zach, 9, as he sits down to play with his counsellor. He’s wearing a hat that says, “How Great is our God,” and a Black Panther necklace that belonged to his older brother, Cameron.
Cameron died three years ago from aggressive brain cancer, and since then, Zach has been taking part in play therapy. It’s an approach that lets children work through difficult emotions through play, with the help of a counsellor.
And Zach’s mother, Sharon Bulger, says it has made a big difference for her son.
“Over time, you could find that he started to develop a language. …