Join HopeHealth for a free virtual weekend experience encouraging hope and healing for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. This annual adult grief retreat for those 18 and older will include a variety of interactive workshops and hands-on activities through Zoom that will nurture the body, mind and spirit.
Activities will take place Friday evening through Sunday morning. Ample breaks will be available throughout the program. More details, including distribution of supplies, to be provided after registration. This program is free thanks to the support of our generous sponsors. Space is limited. To secure your spot, please register as soon as possible.
In order to participate virtually in the retreat, participants will need internet access, a working email, and a desktop computer, laptop, iPad, or smartphone. The device must have a camera and video/audio capacity.
The Clay Workshop
What does it feel like to shape your feelings of loss in clay? What does it feel like, using that same clay, to shape that which will allow you to feel safe in the presence of such loss? And still using that same clay, how can you use these two pieces to help rebuild your new life? Come spend time in non-judgmental exploration, learning about ourselves, from ourselves, by playing with clay. No artistic ability is necessary, only a willingness to let your hands guide you through this magical process. Presented by Volunteer Jill Brody.
Masks of Grief
During the grief journey, people often say that they wear masks, to cover feelings, in order to cope and get through the days, weeks and months. At the same time, people express the need to show their feelings in a safe place. This hands-on workshop explores the ways we may mask our feelings of grief. Participants will make their own individual masks and discuss what masks reveal about their grief. Presented by Grief Counselor Diane Lambert.
Poetry to Express Grief
Would you like to learn a non-traditional way to express your grief? Do you struggle to find the words to tell others how you feel? Do you feel the need to release emotions of loss, sorrow, uncertainty, confusion and hopefulness? This workshop will teach you simple but meaningful ways to express emotions in poetry, using as few words as possible but having each word carry great weight. Participants will write and share poems, with gentle guidance from poet and HopeHealth volunteer Pam Goodness.
Mindful Yoga for Self-Care and Deep Healing
This class is designed for all levels and abilities. No previous yoga or meditation experience is required. Yoga is a wonderful tool for getting in tune with our body, mind and spirit. Through the practice of slow, gentle flowing postures and breath awareness we can more fully inhabit our bodies and tune in to our needs in the moment. Yoga brings flexibility to mind and body and helps reveal the wisdom and healing that lies within. Please bring a yoga mat, towel and wear loose/flexible clothing that will allow for a full range of motion.
Mindfulness-Based Grief Support: Meeting Ourselves Where We Are
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that engages posture, breath and mindful, focused awareness. In practicing together, participants can foster a deeper sense of the present moment, reduce stress and anxiety and find new meaning after the death of a loved one.
Meditation: Self Compassion & the Grieving Process
A regular practice of meditation can often help us find balance and regain our footing after a loss. It may enable us to access spiritual resources within that previously we had been unaware of and to gain a degree of peace even in the midst of sorrow and loss. This workshop will introduce meditation to those who are unfamiliar with it, and a place to share your own experiences or difficulties with meditation for those who have a meditation practice. Brief guided meditations will be conducted, and participants will be encouraged to share what their experiences were like during the meditations.
Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of (virtual) touch to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being. Reiki is offered through light, non-invasive touch with the practitioner's hands placed and held on a series of locations on the patient’s body. The placement of the hands should never be intrusive or inappropriate, nor should there be any pressure. The balancing, restorative energy of Reiki offers soothing care to those needing emotional and spiritual support. Feeling more relaxed and centered after a session may begin to ease the weight of sorrow enough to enable the healing process to begin. A peaceful, compassionate environment and a respectful Reiki practitioner can create a place of quiet comfort where grief or sadness can come to rest and release as needed – without words or explanation, if that’s preferred.
A Companion Animal Therapy (once known as pet therapy) program offers a soothing environment that encourages emotional expression and helps ease pain and suffering. Just being (virtually) in the proximity of a loving companion animal has a measurable positive impact on mood, mindfulness, blood pressure, general wellness, and social interaction (Get Healthy, Get A Dog: A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report). It is a way to offer comfort, to provide a fortitude that helps participants deal with difficulties that they face, and often share a good dose of entertainment! Offered virtually by HopeHealth Pet Therapy Volunteers.
Equine therapy can be an effective form of grief-support, as it removes the stuffiness of a counselor’s office and encourages people to get acquainted with other people and horses. Since horses are social creatures, like humans, they can be incredibly receptive to a person’s need for emotional support, allowing individuals to feel comfortable expressing their emotions surrounding their grief. Offered virtually by Faith Hill Farms.
Grief through the Eyes of Children
This workshop is an open discussion about how children and teens grieve, often in unique ways. Participants will share their experiences regarding grieving children. Grief Counselor Sarah Cordeiro, who oversees Camp Braveheart, HopeHealth’s summer grief camp for children, facilitates this workshop.
Finding Meaning Following Loss
Participants will share the struggles and rewards of searching for meaning in their lives following loss, with the assistance of supportive facilitators.
Soulful Signs The goal of this workshop, facilitated by Grief Counselor Bettina Brothers, is to provide a forum to discuss and recognize the possibility of After Life Communication (ADC). Attendees will be given the opportunity to express and ask questions about their own personal experiences with signs of communication from their departed loved ones. Reference will be made to current sources/authors of publications pertaining to the subject. John Holland, David Kessler, James Praagh, Brin Weiss, Tom Zuba.
Tai Chi and Qigong
This workshop is an introduction to the Chinese disciplines of Tai Chi and QiGong. The workshop, suitable for beginners, will incorporate gentle movements to help promote a relaxation response. Tai Chi is sometimes referred to as “Meditation in Motion”. There have been over 600 scientific papers on the benefits if Tai Chi. Qigong is a centuries-old system of movement, breathing and meditation to promote health. Presented by Henry Tow, 7th Degree Black Belt Instructor and Jane N. Gemma,Tai Chi and QiGong Teacher.
Balance, Walking, & Soft Martial Arts This workshop will focus on exercises which will assist in balance, walking, and range of motion. Awareness of surroundings and self-defense will be introduced in a fun way. Presented by Henry Tow, 7th Degree Black Belt Instructor.
Fun with Music
Greg Cooney, music teacher and performer, uses traditional and homemade musical instruments to reflect emotions in this fun and inspiring workshop. Participants are encouraged to join in to create a unique symphony of sounds. Greg shares how music can help support us on our journeys.