We are often asked why our Spark of Life Retreats are given as a gift by our foundation. As most of you know, all the rooms, food, and materials cost our participants nothing. As we say often, “all you have to do is get here,” meaning the only charge one has to attend a retreat is for their transportation to and from the retreat location. This is also why we are offering our retreats at many locations around the country.
First, we want our retreats accessible to anyone who has experienced loss. It is tough enough to come and deal with one’s grief with others you do not know, without the added burden of financial issues. Many grievers we know have spent a lot of money dealing with their loss, and many participants have shared that they would not have been able to afford a retreat had they had to pay for it. It is our way of making our retreats accessible to as many grievers as possible.
Another reason we do not charge anything for the retreats is the ‘honoring’ factor. Those who have suffered loss are hurting. Well-intentioned friends at times say unhelpful things, such as – “It’s been a year, you should be over this by now” or “It’s time to get up and start living again.” After hearing these and other statements, grievers often think something must be wrong with them.
As we state often during the retreat, grievers have broken hearts, not broken brains. They do not need to be fixed. They need to be loved, accepted, honored, and pampered. Grieving a loss means we care about the one we lost. So the gift of the retreat honors those who are hurting so deeply. People they have never met really do care and really do want to help – thus they give to Spark of Life so these retreats can be given as a gift.
Through 28 retreats with over 400 participants, we have seen the power of affirming, honoring, and simply loving all those who come. As we encourage the participants, they are more ready to work on their grief, and utilize the practical tools we share with them that can help them out of that grief pit, that can help them ‘live forward.’
So to all of you who are giving financially to Spark of Life, over 400 people say “Thank You!” You are helping more than you know. And to all who are grieving, please accept this gift, and come knowing that you will be pampered and loved.
Spark of Life Retreats – All you have to do is get here.