Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, is a New Jersey based nonprofit that offers free grief support for children, young adults and families dealing with the death or life-altering illness of a parent, sibling or child. The Uplands hosted a retreat, led by Imagine facilitators, which provided grief support and restorative care for 12 adults who were mourning the loss of their life partner and co-parent.
In attempts to nurture a sense of self with newfound promise, resilience and hope, the retreat theme was “I Am.” There were a variety of group sessions including grief support sessions, meditations, bonding games and an extensive art experience in which participants created miniature “peace-zone sanctuaries.” Also offered were yoga, sound baths, nature walks and an “atmosphere-shifting performance” through a surprise Banner Dancing.
Participants forged a new community of bonded fellow grievers to call upon going forward for sustaining support, and reported they came with empty plates and left with plates overflowing with generous love, care, and hope. Their smiles were brighter, wider, lighter, their faces softer and gentled as though a leaden burden had been lifted.