Q –Why call it Mama Bears?
A –The name is two-fold. My husband and I were scout leaders for 10 years. The youth gave me that nickname and it stuck. It also felt appropriate for loss moms in general. As another mama bear said to me “we’re constantly fighting to keep the memory of our children alive”.
Q -I’ve had a miscarriage/lost an older child. Is this retreat for me?
A – The loss of a child at any age is difficult. Whether it’s only the dreams of what could have been, or the loss of a bright future. From experience, I can tell you mourning a miscarriage is just as difficult as mourning a stillbirth. They are however mourned for different reasons and in different ways. This retreat is designed around late miscarriage, stillbirth and early age loss (2 & under). That being said, if you feel you would benefit from joining us, you are most welcome.
Q –What can I expect at the retreat?
A -Speaking with other loss Mamas, the most common reply when I asked what they would look forward to the most, was meeting other mom’s. Not only will we get to connect with other mama’s, the idea is to give you a safe, non-judgmental place to remember your child and process your grief. This is not always so easy to do in society. We will also have some excursions planned in the provincial park, some group discussions, massage options, art therapy and yoga. Or if you just want some quiet time to yourself that’s cool too. This is about you. If your’e not interested in participating in something, there is no pressure to do so.
Q –Is this being run by a therapist/specialist?
A –Although we will have a grief counselor at the retreat for a few days, this week will be primarily a peer support run event. I am not a therapist. I am a Mama Bear who has grieved 5 1st term miscarriages and our son Daniel who was born at 5 months who only survived a few hours. My 6 angels inspired me to create this.
Q -Is this event religious?
A –No. In all honesty, I am a practicing Anglican (Episcopalian). My faith may have played a part in creating this event, but it does not control it. Mothers of ALL backgrounds/beliefs are welcome. There may be a spiritual aspect to this retreat, but no religion.
Q –I am currently pregnant. Is it okay to attend?
A –If your doctor approves of the travel, then yes! Every child is a gift, from the ones we’ve lost to the ones on the way. Please note, if you are pregnant I will be informing the other mama bears so we can all be ready to embrace that belly! I’ve taken a look and for your reference the closest medical centre is in Pinewa about 30 minutes away.
Q –I have an infant. Can I bring them along?
A –Regrettably I have to say no. I can understand having anxiety over being separated from your living children, however this retreat is for mom’s to take time for themselves to heal. Not only would it be difficult for you to take that time with your children around, it would possibly make it difficult for other mamas. Perhaps waiting for next years retreat would be a better option (yes I am planning/hoping this becomes an annual event).
Q –What is the price to come on this retreat?
A- The cost is $995 Canadian. This includes 4 nights accommodations, 3 hot meals a day, outings and excursions. This does not include airfare. If there are not enough local mamas willing to carpool out to the lodge then we will look at the cost/option of renting a van.
Q –How big is the retreat?
A –We have booked the entire lodge. That is 17 rooms. If you are willing to share a room, more mamas can join us. The bonus of sharing a room? Your fee reduces by $150.00 but please note, that all the rooms have a queen sized bed and a hide abed. You can decide if sharing a room works for you.
Q –The price of the retreat is an issue. Is this negotiable?
A – My advisory board and I are working hard to find ways to reduce the price for everyone but at this time, the price is set. If we are successful in fundraising, then all attendees will have a reduction in price. This is a non profit event. To be honest I am hoping to break even as it is. However…….
Q –Is there somewhere I or friends/family can donate?
A – YES!!!! A gofundme has been set up. ALL donations will go directly to the retreat. If you have friends or family that want to help you financially they can here: mama-bears-child-loss-retreat If I am informed who the donation given is for, it will go directly to reducing that mama’s registration fee. All general donations will be divided among the rest of the mama’s.
Q –Do I need to pay in full right away?
A –No. A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required within 2 weeks of registering. The remainder owing after donations have been tallied must be paid by August 16th, 2019. All donations received thru the go fund me page will be tallied, and a credit will be applied before final payments are taken.
Q –I’m in! What do I need to bring?
A -Once you are registered I will send you a list of items to bring closer to the retreat date. Pretty much the basics. There is a general store on site, in case you forget something.
Q –So where do I register?
A –The registration page should be up by the end of May.
Q –I still have a question……
A –Then by all means, send me an email through the contact page. Please remember, I have a full time job so responses may take a while.