UPDATE 27/1/19: The retreat explained below has now passed. We had a small group of people, all of whom had experienced one or more suicides amongst their close family, and I believe everyone gained something from our time – as one lady wrote, “A very special time. … I have been looking forward to this retreat and I have not been disappointed. … I felt I could place myself in your hands and see a way forward to navigate the rest of our life without (our son).”
We do not yet have a definite plan to run this specific retreat again. However, if there are enough requests, then we will try to arrange it.
If you have arrived at this page because you are interested in attending a supportive retreat on this subject, please drop me a line (no obligation) as that will help us plan ahead. Thank you. (Contact)
Christians Bereaved by Suicide – a Living with Loss Retreat – 18-20 January 2019
At the Greenhouse Christian Centre, Poole, Dorset.
Life can be a struggle following the loss of a loved one or friend, and it is widely acknowledged that death by suicide can be one of the most difficult bereavements to cope with. This can be as true for a Christian as for anyone else.
Loss in this way is so sudden; your life changes dramatically from one moment to the next. There is so much left unsaid and undone; there is so much room for “what if’s” and “if only’s” and self-questioning.
This Living with Loss supportive retreat is for those who are grieving the loss of a family member, partner or close friend as a result of suicide. This may have been a long time ago or it may have been recent.
At the Retreat we will look at loss and grief from a gentle Christian perspective, acknowledging with sensitivity the mixture of feelings and questions that we may be facing, our relationship through memory with our loved one, and exploring how to find a way forward in the changed circumstances of our lives.
The weekend will have a varied programme, with all activities optional and confidential, including led sessions, time for quiet reflection, creative activities and moderated discussions.
The retreat will be small, with a maximum of 12 participants.
A FEW NOTES:
This retreat is for adults, aged 18 and over.
Living with Loss retreats are open to those of any faith or none, although you should be aware that there is Christian content in the programme.
Suicide is a sensitive and complex subject. We will not have open discussions related to actual details of suicide.
The retreat leaders will be available for individual prayer.
COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS AT OTHER “LIVING WITH LOSS” RETREATS
It is natural to feel nervous before attending a retreat on such personal topics. Please be assured that your privacy will be respected, and all activities are voluntary. If you’d rather step out of the room or skip a session, that is entirely your choice. Perhaps the following comments from previous participants might encourage you:
“It is well worth [attending a Living with Loss retreat] no matter what your experience, or the length of time since your bereavement. You will not be pressurised in any way or at any time and you will find yourself in an environment which is supportive and kind, and where you can just be yourself. It will undoubtedly be helpful for you.” –Annette from Surrey
“I thought Abi led the sessions with sensitivity and compassion. It was obvious she had ‘been there’. I liked how she shared her story.”
“The sessions were well researched, delivered and well-paced.”
“Handouts were very helpful, information given too, as one can only take in so much at the time and it was good to have practical things to do. … There was a good atmosphere throughout – confidentiality respected, opinions valued, everyone was accepted. I was grateful for an opportunity to be prayed for.”
“I had no idea, really, what to expect this week. I am returning home feeling assured that I will survive and continue to take ‘small steps’ on my journey.”
BOOKING AND DETAILS
The Christians Bereaved by Suicide – Living with Loss Retreat is being held at the Greenhouse Christian Centre in Poole, Dorset on the weekend of 18-20 January 2019.
The cost is £126-186 (depending on the type of room), full board, with snacks and all retreat materials provided.
It may be possible to bring a companion, a close friend or family member.
To find out more about booking, please contact the Greenhouse directly on 01202 764776 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greenhouse Christian Centre: https://www.the-greenhouse.org/
To find out more about the content of the retreat itself, please get in touch with Abi (contact)
A short perspective on suicide: https://avalleyjournal.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/bereaved-by-suicide/