Testimonials from Former Retreaters

"Attending the Retreat was a most significant step in my grieving journey. I received much useful information and reassurance regarding my feelings of grief and how to accept and deal with them in a healthy way. Also, I made contact with a new community - widows and widowers - thereby gaining some perspective and comfort. I was not alone in my grief! And the organizers offered wonderful touches of loving and nurturing. This sincere care-giving of me was a wonderful respite after my having been caregiver of Sandy during her illness."
John-Chris, New Hope 00

“It was wonderful to hear that my experiences and feelings were normal. Highlights were speakers, workshops and especially interaction with other widowed people. It increased my desire to reach out to others who often felt like a ‘5th wheel’ and resulted in the start of the Rebuilders, a group of widowed people in the Vancouver, BC area who meet once a month for interaction and a social activity.”
Margaret , New Hope 00

"The New Hope retreat makes you feel at home though in a kind of family you've never before experienced. Widowhood as the common denominator amongst the participants is the bond to help make one feel less displaced, less a person after a tragic loss. Care, kindness, support and understanding comes from everyone...including yourself. I feel that the New Hope retreat met my needs and expectations as a man, as a person and as a spiritual being. The workshops are tremendously well organized, relevant and extremely helpful for ideas on coping and life management techniques. In fact the entirety of the New Hope retreat is one of the most organized and well run functions I have ever attended."
Richard, New Hope 00

“The New Hope Retreat was a life changing experience for me as I met others who shared a common bond of grief thru the loss of a spouse. It helped me realize I was not alone or abnormal in my reactions. The people at the retreat were real in sharing their struggles, and victories over depression, loneliness and withdrawal. Going to weekly grief recovery meetings did not appeal to me, but to have it all compacted in a weekend retreat was so helpful. If you have lost your mate, I heartily recommend New Hope Retreat. “
Brenda , New Hope 00

"The New Hope Retreat 2001 provided me a safe and loving cocoon to honor my grief journey. It was food for my soul and balm for my troubled spirit.The fellowship of empathetic people helped me to gather the strength and courage to continue on the road to healing."
Val, New Hope 01

"When my husband died, I was afraid of what lay ahead. The retreat gave me a chance to meet people, to talk and share my thoughts and fears. I remember being in awe while sharing the stories of people's lives. The courage and strength of people participating in the workshops inspired me. I came home with a new sense of hope for my own future. I will always be grateful to Grace and her wonderful group of volunteers for providing the opportunity to find myown courage in such a safe and beautiful surrounding."
Debbie, New Hope 01

"Hearing the stories of others' tragic experiences was tremendously encouraging for me. I came Friday night and stuck my little toe in the cold water and by Saturday things had really heated up for me. You did a great job with the retreat and are to be commended."
Earl, New Hope 01

"Upon my arrival I felt so sad that I needed to be at such a retreat and as I looked around the room all I could see and feel was pain because all these people had been touched by grief. But the highlight for me was when we first divided into small groups to share our stories. As the other three ladies told their stories first, I was overcome with emotion, wishing my turn would never come. But I got my story out. I felt so good to be with other women around my agae who had lost their spouse, and still had children at home. We related well and a bond was formed between us which made me excited and more comfortable with taking in the rest of the retreat. I learned a lot about grief, that it looks different for each person but there are some common things in grief we share, whether old or young."
Susan, New Hope 03

I felt at home, comfortable and safe. The special gifts...were much appreciated and made me feel loved and wanted.   RL, New Hope2006

R's presentation was a perfect way to start the weekend. While it was a tear jerker, her willingness to share her pain was very helpful.  unknown, New Hope 2006.

I was looking forward to meeting new people and sharing, to renew faith and to strengthen my hope, faith and spirituality....To relieve stress and confide in a safe group, knowing others have been there and experienced similar pain and feelings. I had been feeling at the end of my rope , so to speak. (The retreat)...was very emotional and helpful, just seeing there was a way out of the tunnel and that moving forward has helped give strength and purpose for the future...People were so generous and kind, reinforcing that you cannot do it alone. LM, New Hope 2009

I especially appreciated the sense of comraderie and support developed on Friday evening. It was nicely balanced with relationship development and relaxation. The information (Saturday) was so helpful and felt it was tailor made for me..for such a time as this I came.     I loved the "Telling your Story "group.                           SC, New Hope 2009                                 




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