On May 4th 2014, The Healing Center celebrated it’s 6th Annual May Day Walk at Gas Works Park with over 60 participants and 25 volunteers. Here are our top 3 reasons why we loved the day and are excited to keep the May Day Walk tradition going for our Healing Center community. Be sure to check out the pictures below.
1. YOU – Nothing makes us happier than seeing our Healing Center friends and families come together. We believe so much benefit comes from meeting others that have shared the experience of walking through grief. While this year it was under more drops of rain than rays of sun, we are so grateful for all who joined us and those who couldn’t make it but supported their friends and family in other ways. You are our inspiration.
2. The chance to remember – Transitional periods can be difficult – even the transition between seasons. As we move swiftly into spring, we enjoyed the opportunity to do some reflection during the art activities during the Walk. We wrote a message to our loved one on a message flag. We considered what we’d say to them in a private message. We contemplated the meaning of short-blooming cherry blossoms during origami folding. We stood with everyone and felt the words of the poem, “We Remember Them”.
3. Support for our programs – With the combined donations from The May Day Walk and GiveBIG two days later, we received $63,053 from our generous supporters. This doesn’t even include the GiveBIG “stretch funds” that will be applied to our GiveBIG donations soon. These funds mean so much to The Healing Center and our community. They keep our doors open, buy pizza for our weekly children’s groups, make healing client retreats possible, and help to train our dedicated volunteers – all contributing to our overall mission of offering a safe, loving place that honors grief, helping you to move through it and heal. We thank those who fund-raised for us, our wonderful donors, and our $5,000 sponsors, Safe Crossings Foundation, Nintendo, and University District Kiwanis. THANK YOU!
This week The New Yorker featured an essay written by Mark Slouka, “Nobody’s Son”, a piece that looks deep into Slouka’s own grief in the wake of his father’s death.
Although we all will have a time in our lives that we grieve the death of a person dear to us, sometimes it takes a honest portrayal such as this to realize it is a commonality we all share.
One of our goals at The Healing Center is to bring adults and children together who have similar losses so we can support each other. However, as Slouka’s essay expresses, and as grievers know, “in the aftermath of loss, the ones you love will keep you whole, but the journey is yours alone. Whatever you do, whatever you feel, becomes the map.”
We hope you can keep this in mind as we transition into a new year. “Nobody’s Son” outlines one man’s grief story but we all have our own that are ever changing as we experience new things and gain new perspectives. To end with what Slouka believes his father would tell him if he could: “You don’t love me less by living more. Live! Live like you mean it.”
Click here to read “Nobody’s Son”.
At The Healing Center, we like to say, “take what resonates with you, and leave the rest.” Although we make a point to not offer advice to each other (because we all get ENOUGH advice), we do like to share what has worked for the many widows and widowers who’ve come through our door over the past 20 years.
One of our Healing Center widows passed on this blog from Tiny Buddha today. Please comment on your ways of coping with stress so we can be reminded about all the ways available to self-care through our grieving journey.
Let Go and Experience Life: 8 Ways to Stop Living in Crisis Mode | Tiny Buddha
1. Find a neutral advocate.
Objective outside support is crucial during a crisis period. Friends and family can often recommend a life coach, therapist, or spiritual advisor with whom they have worked. If you are reluctant to talk with friends, you can use social networking tools like LinkedIn to see if someone in your network is connected to an individual who can help.
2. Practice mindfulness.
There’s value in focusing on our breath to quiet the turmoil in our minds. Look for a meditation or spiritual center that offers a basic class in meditation, mindfulness, or prayer. Even ten minutes each day in quiet reflection will improve your focus, resiliency, and peace of mind.
3. Replenish yourself.
You might be depleted from years of constant vigilance and striving. Commit to leave at the end of your workday, at least a few days a week, even if everything isn’t done. Reconnect with parts of yourself that you haven’t seen for a while by watching a favorite movie or surrounding yourself with your favorite color.
4. Try another perspective.
Most people are doing their best but are primarily caught up in the storyline of their own lives. Even thirty seconds of viewing a situation from another’s point of view can diffuse your negative inner dialogue about a person or situation.
To read the next 4 Ways visit
Let Go and Experience Life: 8 Ways to Stop Living in Crisis Mode | Tiny Buddha.
Weekend Early Group Retreat
April 27, 28, & 29
Please join us for a weekend Early Group retreat as we explore creative ways to heal our grief through group support, reflection, self-care, massage, sharing of stories and pictures, guided visualization and other healing activities. This retreat is specifically for men and women who have had a partner die within the last two years.
Willow Pond Lodge and Lake House, on Whidbey Island, WA, is the site of this year’s retreat; made possible by Travis Penn & John Wicher. Participants will receive a packet of information before the retreat, including a schedule, what to bring, and directions.
The cost of the retreat is $350 for the weekend and includes: food, lodging, group sessions and a massage. Space is limited to 6-8 people, so we ask you to reserve your space with a $100 deposit. Scholarships are available, and it may be possible to get insurance reimbursement for this retreat.
To reserve your space, please phone or email Tom Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (206) 523-1206, ext. 12.