In April 2010, we launched the first Meadowlark Retreat, a grief support weekend retreat for mothers who had suffered the sudden loss of a child. In 2014, we launched our first retreat for fathers. Today, Meadowlark Retreats continue to honor and comfort mothers and fathers as they learn to deal with their new way of life—a life without a child they adored—providing much-needed support as they live the unthinkable and try to see their way to hope.
The weekend retreats are designed to provide intentional and loving care. From nutritious and lovingly prepared meals to the peaceful surroundings, we support participants both physically and emotionally. By attending to every detail with compassion, we create a place of safety, caring and validation. Participants know that when they share their grief it will be understood on a visceral level by a community of other parents who are offering support and empathy.
Over the course of the weekend, mothers and fathers participate in multiple facilitated grief group sessions. Using skilled facilitation, grief counselors guide them through sharing their thoughts, fears, anger, sadness, confusion and despair. Grieving parents can share without fear of judgment—there is space for every thought and feeling.
Between sessions, participants have free time to continue sharing with each other, take alone time, enjoy nature and find additional support. The retreat facilitators truly cater to the needs of all those in attendance. If a participant can benefit from an individual session, facilitators split up to provide the personal support that is needed.