Healing of the Heart Retreat - Fall 2018

01 November 2018

Last year, I was at lunch with Ady working on Hayden’s House of Healing - talking about the impact these retreats have, how many more people we will impact when we have a house, and how badly we need this space and this dream to become a reality. I was suddenly overcome with emotion and words came pouring out of my mouth. “What if we add a second ‘Healing of the Heart’ retreat next year and I lead it?” I was taken aback by my own words, but in that moment I just knew how right it felt.

This past year of planning has been filled with so many emotions. I knew the impact this retreat had on me, and I wanted so badly to create the same space of healing for these brave new women we were about to meet. I had many conversations with Ady about what to expect - but I’m not sure anything could have truly prepared me.

As I stood there surrounded by my amazing core team, we opened the door and in walked 24 beautiful mamas. Each of them took a leap of faith, traveling from all over the country to a retreat where many of them knew no-one, in the hopes that they could begin to HEAL.

These brave women bared their souls and shared the most intimate part of their lives - they shared their children, they shared their grief, they shared their true selves. While their stories were all different - some were just a few months out from their grief, some had been grieving for more than 10 years; some had children who lived hours, some had lost teenagers - the absence in their hearts was the same. I felt the pain in every story, but I also felt surrounded by such a deep love.

Yes, the weekend was filled with tears (a lot of them) - but it was also filled with laughter and singing and dancing (a lot of it.) The bonds forming between them could be seen almost immediately. They were organizing activities in their downtime and making it a point to know each other’s names and their children’s names. I watched them walk in on Thursday as strangers and leave on Sunday as if they had known each other their whole lives. And I knew in that moment, that we had done what we set out to do. They had a space to connect with one another, with pieces of themselves again, with their child. They understand each other, and now they have a tribe of women by their side to walk through their grief with.

The impact these women and their beautiful children had on me was beyond measure. I am humbled and honored that they took that leap and trusted us. I am filled with so many emotions as I think back to that weekend - but mostly I am grateful. Grateful for each and every brave mama there that weekend, including my amazing core team and those who gave their time to help. Grateful for everyone who donated to make each woman feel so special and loved. Grateful to my angel, Ella, for continuing to guide me and show me my larger purpose. Grateful to Ady for saying ‘yes’ and agreeing to let me take this on. And mostly grateful to Hayden - for continuing to be an inspiration that allows so many broken hearts begin to heal. 

Written by: Stacey, Fall 2018 Healing of the Heart retreat lead

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