NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – “My wife passed away the very beginning of last summer, the last day of school, in fact,” says Tom Eisenmann. During her illness, he had a very difficult time finding counselors to help his family.

“I spent hours and hours calling these lists and got nowhere,” he says.

But then he was referred to Tighed Together.

“We felt really strongly that grief and trauma were a silent part of families,” says founder Tracy Tighe Johnston, a West Hartford mom living with Stage 3B breast cancer. The non-profit supports those healing from trauma of any kind.

Facilitators at Tighed Together get to know families like the Eisenmann’s through organic activities such as painting in the driveway or cooking in the kitchen.

“We just begin to get to know each other, we just show-up and are present with them and ready to morph and do whatever needs to happen,” says family facilitator Marjorie Russell.

“Our whole premise is that a family that plays together, stays together,” adds Tighe Johnston.

10 to 25 free sessions culminate with a special experience. The Eisenmanns recently took a helicopter ride out of Sikorsky Airport.

“I got chosen to be in the front, it was pretty cool, too,” says 14-year-old Vassily.

“It was definitely a first for me, a first for each of us,” says his dad.

These memorable events are recorded so the family has proof of their healing journey. 12-year-old Yev is grateful for the progress she’s made.

“Now I can talk a lot about it more and it’s easier,” she says.

When families are trying to find a new normal, Tighed Together shows up to make a difference.

“We often use this quote from Rumi which is, ‘Where there is ruin, there is hope for treasure,'” says Tighe Johnston. “And Tighed Together staff believes that we’re treasure hunters.”

Tighed Together leaves families with tools to deal with the cycles of grief and trauma, as time progresses.

Click here to learn more about the organization.