Spring into Healing Grief Retreat
Navigating a Journey We Didn’t Sign Up For
“Truthfully, I don’t want to here,” bravely admitted a grieving mother as she signed into COJ’s Spring into Healing Grief Retreat.
Chances are – if surveyed, nearly all of those in attendance would have shared a similar feeling. After all, grief is an unwelcomed guest. Who among us ever willingly assumes the title of ‘bereaved’?
And yet, here we were on this beautiful, sunny, spring Saturday morning, gathered together – more than 50 men and women of all ages – united in our grief, hungry for answers, holding out hope, looking for the chance to move beyond the deep, abiding pain. Gratefully, the day did not disappoint…
Sheila Munafo-Kanoza reminded us that grief is like a slinky, with many ups and downs. It never goes away, but it does get a little easier… with time.
Debbie Heidrich acknowledged common physical, social and emotional signs of grief and emphasized the importance of self-care as we heal.
And finally, Dr. Sharon Phillips walked us through the journey of grief and helped us unpack the multiple layers of complicated grief. She shared a universal truth – that grief is inevitable when we share attachment, when we share love for one another. ‘It’s the other side of the same coin.”
The day ended with some small group sharing, remembrance activities and lessons on how to lighten our loads and tips for how to recognize the sometimes overlooked signs of healing.
Within this day of education, sharing, healing, and remembrance, there were many tears shed, connections made, laughs rediscovered, nods of understanding exchanged and sacred moments shared.
Here’s what a few retreat participants had to say about the day…
“Lovely people at this event. I feel empowered. I feel like I am not alone”
“This seminar allowed people to feel included and supported.”
“Thank you is not enough!”
This day would not have been possible without the generous support of our local donors, speakers and partners, along with the dedication of staff and volunteers – thank you!!
Special shout-outs to…
Jersey Mike’s of Mason – thank you for providing us with a delicious lunch!
The family of Dotty Miller. Thanks for paying it forward in supporting the bereaved of our community while honoring Dotty’s legacy of compassion and kindness.
Our venue, Sabin Hall at Liberty Center was a beautiful venue for this event. Thank you for your generous hospitality!
Our incredible speakers, Debbie Heidrich, Dr. Sharon Phillips and Sheila Munafo-Kanoza – Thanks for bringing your ‘A’ game! Together with your shared wisdom and compassionate hearts, you three make one dynamic team!
All the COJ staff members and volunteers who made this day possible – Thank You!