While We're Waiting Weekends for Bereaved Parents
The weekend retreat for bereaved parents is the cornerstone of the "While We're Waiting" weekend events. This is a weekend for bereaved couples and singles to spend some relaxed, unhurried time with other parents who understand the experience of losing a child. As we go through the weekend, we will learn from each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, and find out that we are not alone on this journey.
Our goal at these retreats is to point grieving parents to our only true source of comfort, Jesus Christ. Anyone who has lost a child is welcome to come. You are welcome if your child has been in Heaven for thirty days or for thirty years. You are welcome if your child was stillborn and never took a single earthly breath, or if your child lived to be an adult and had a family of his or her own. Come, knowing you will be surrounded by people who care, who understand, and who will pray for you. This will be a safe place, a place where we can honestly discuss our struggles, knowing we will not be judged, because every one of us has been there at one time or another. We will also share our victories, and rejoice with each other as we move along the road toward healing.
What will we do over the course of the weekend? We'll talk about our kids in Heaven and we'll pray for each other. We'll enjoy the beauty of nature, and relax in rockers on the deck overlooking the pond. We may do some fishing and explore the walking trails in the woods. Our weekend together will be informal, but structured. Certainly, we will cry together ... but we will also laugh together.
What will we talk about during our group time? We'll discuss some of the practical issues that all grieving parents face ...
-- Those difficult dates -- birthdays, anniversaries, holidays
-- Dealing with our child's bedroom and belongings
-- Relationships with friends or family members that may be strained following the death of our child
-- Parenting our surviving children
-- Various other topics, to be chosen by WWW attendees
None of us knows how many more years we have on this earth before we are reunited with our children in Heaven. So, our main focus throughout the weekend will be discussing how we're going to live while we're waiting for that glorious reunion. We believe that we honor our children and our Lord the most through our healing, and we will be seeking to begin or to continue that healing process through this weekend.
Most of our While We're Waiting Weekends are held at the While We're Waiting Refuge in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which is specifically designed for the comfort of bereaved parents, with a large kitchen/dining area, a comfortable and cozy meeting room, a library/sitting area, and ten hotel-room style bedrooms. There will be no other guests present at the Refuge during our retreats, so we can make ourselves fully at home.
Our events include Friday and Saturday night lodging, as well as meals and snacks from Friday night dinner through Sunday breakfast. Attendance is limited to the first nine singles/couples who submit a completed registration form, and preference is given to those who have not attended a previous Parents' Weekend.
Please click HERE to see all of our upcoming dates and to register for one of these events in Arkansas, Oregon, and Maryland.
If you would like to come to an event, but the particular weekend you want is full, we urge you to go ahead and register and get on the waiting list. We quite often have cancellations, and there is a fairly good possibility that a spot will open up for the retreat you choose. We will be happy to place you on multiple waiting lists so you can get in at the earliest possible opportunity!
"But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance." Romans 8:25