At first blush, the idea of spending half a day thinking about loss sounds depressing and difficult…not something one might necessarily want to do with a beautiful spring Saturday. However, this seminar, as most of our seminar/retreats, are organized around a general theme and offer plenty of opportunity for smiles and conversation, even while discussing and working with potentially difficult issues.
Loss is a fact of mortality that all of us confront virtually every day of our lives. We age, losing capacities and interests that once felt vital. We change, leaving behind locations, people, events and circumstances that may have felt indispensable at earlier times. Our children grow up and we become empty nesters, losing core pieces of our mothering identity. We struggle with difficult questions of faith and/or ebbs and flows in our testimony. Dear friends move away. Marriages and important relationships end – or never begin. Chronic or serious illness changes our outlook for the future. Anxiety or depression limit activities we may feel desirous or incapable of participating in. We change homes, neighborhoods, schools, jobs. We move from financial stability to home foreclosure because of one surprising hospitalization. There are losses everywhere. Typically, we pray for relief and do our best to cope along as the days pass…often in quiet, sometimes in secret, and often feeling very alone…and sometimes misunderstood.
It’s interesting that while most of my clients can easily identify the losses in their lives which cause pain, few of them acknowledge having actively addressed and grieved those losses. Grieving is something we avoid like the plague. Our sense is that grieving hurts – and more than that, it documents the loss as real. And impactful. We want to hope that if we just hobble along, coping as we go, that the loss won’t feel so painful – or so real. And yet losses are real. And they hurt. Sometimes they seem to set our entire world askew.
The purpose of our seminar/retreat on coping with disappointment and loss is to help us all learn skills for the acknowledgment and acceptance of loss. Help us to understand why it is that some losses which, perhaps on their face, don’t look like they should hurt so much, do, in fact, level us. Help us find ways to make meaning in the midst of loss and to find our way back to joy and peace. Most attendees at this particular seminar report that they came away at the end of the day feeling increased peace, hope and meaning in their lives. They felt understood and comprehended. They felt less alone. They felt comfort. We hope the same will be true for you. Please join us on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at Superstition Springs Golf Club in Mesa. We’ll look forward to seeing you there.