Testimonials 2018-05-16T20:08:40+00:00

Retreat Participant Experiences

 

It was such a blessing to be able to gather with other women who are walking the same journey I am. I loved listening to each of their stories even if my heart broke a little more each time. But there is healing in coming together and making new friends. We each lit a candle with our child’s name after we told their story. We had a great panel discussion, lunch in a beautiful venue, and ended with a wind chime craft. And I’m looking forward to the couples retreat when we each get to make a quilt square. -Mother of Maddison

Absolutely enjoyed myself this Saturday at the A Memory Grows Retreat. I was very nervous to come, but so thankful I did. I will cherish this day forever. Knowing you are surrounded by women whom know exactly how you feel is very empowering and relieving. I hate that we all have the same broken heart, but so thankful I feel “un-alone” now. I appreciated also that DeAndrea made seating arrangements for us to be seated with other women that had similar situations. So thankful also that i got an opportunity to share my daughter Logan’s story and thankful I got to hear everyone else’s. Thank you for a wonderful day. I hate that I had to be there, but I’m thankful I was. (if that makes sense) -Mother of Logan

I had the opportunity to attend a one day retreat this past Saturday in Arlington, Tx. I am from La so it was about a 4 hour drive. This retreat was amazing. Not only was it held at a gorgeous and relaxing bed and breakfast but the ladies in charge went above and beyond to make sure that everything was wonderful. The location, food, activities etc were just what a grieving mom needed right before a big holiday like Mothers Day.
There is something so refreshing about sitting in a room full of moms who know exactly what you feel like on a day to day basis. Why? Because every single mother in that room has experienced the hardest loss in their life. The loss of their child. Thanks to A Memory Grows, Mother’s (and fathers at times and couples at times) are able to gather and share their memories of the children. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to speak your child’s name in a group of others who genuinely do care about you and your child. So thankful this organization exists as we don’t have many in Louisiana! Thank you again for spending your Saturday pampering such a wonderful group of ladies. -Mother of Layton

My husband, David, and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the April Infant Loss retreat. It was refreshing to feel safe talking about our loss of our daughter, Eleanor. We honored 9 children lost, including Max. The friendships that were formed amongst the parents and the love that we all now share for each others’ children was comforting and filling. A Memory Grows is doing great work helping families who are grieving and showing them they are not alone. We all had different stories, but we all were grieving the loss of a child/children, and that bonded us. DeAndrea was an amazing facilitator. The conversations, crafts, and meals helped us all to get to know each other better and share our stories. I love the precious moments DeAndrea captured in photos as we honored our child’s memory. It was heart-warming to see the Dads bond and open up about their little ones. I could not have imagined the retreat having a more positive impact on us. Thank you for the work you are doing! -Parents of Eleanor

I recently went to the Mother’s Day retreat not knowing what to expect. It was amazing. Being able to share my daughters story and be surrounded by people who understand was priceless. I will definitely go to more events. -Mother of Calista

A Memory Grows is a blessing to all of those traveling on this difficult journey of loss. I recommend the weekend retreat for all of those who have lost a child, it is beyond life changing. From the bonds you make with other families in your shoes, to the different activities planned through the weekend along with the advice and experience not only DeAndrea brings to the table but the guests she brings in, you will leave a different person and only for the better. While I will never get over losing my child, I have a sense of peace with me that didn’t exist prior to the retreat. The little surprises along the way from different members of the community who want to help make the retreats an even more touching time for the families are simply angels here on earth, and those keepsakes will be treasured for eternity.  -Mother of Avery

My husband and I can’t say enough wonderful things about this organization. DeAndrea is one of the most caring, compassionate and loving people we have ever met. From the moment we walked through the door, she made us feel like family. DeAndrea works incredibly hard to make sure everything is personalized to each grieving parent. She remembered the names of every child and spoke their names often. You can tell she truly cares about everybody and simply wants to offer her love and support. We spent the retreat bonding with the other parents and learning unique ways in which we could honor our child. We truly got to know and love the other parents and each of their precious children. DeAndrea encouraged us to share our story and she responded with such empathy and grace and love. DeAndrea has experienced such unimaginable heartache from the loss of her son. But she is also one of the most joyful and loving people I have ever met. Her laughter is so genuine and joyful it fills the room and your heart with happiness. My husband and I would recommend this retreat in a heartbeat to any parent who has lost a child. You will be in such good hands with DeAndrea. We walked away feeling so loved and cared for.  -Parents of Lilly

I attended the Mother’s retreat and it was amazing. The journey since Brenden passed has not been easy, but being able to share his story with other mothers helps me. I hope to go to more retreats in the future. – Mother of Brenden

The April weekend retreat my husband and I attended with A Memory Grows in Granbury, TX was amazing. I will forever be grateful to DeAndrea and all of the volunteers that made this weekend possible. Our loss was 20 years ago and I was so nervous about going and I had no idea what to expect. But it ended up being one of the best memories we will ever have – we laughed, we cried, we listened, we learned. The retreat allowed me to have a safe space to talk about our son and we did activities to create crafts and memories in honor of him. Everything about this weekend was so relevant and meaningful in this journey of grief. If you or someone you know has lost a child no matter how or when, I highly recommend attending this retreat. It was so healing for me and allowed me to connect with others who are walking this same road – we came as strangers and we left as friends. -Parents of Reid

“The retreat my husband & I attended in Granbury, TX, was absolutely incredible. It has been one of the most special experiences of my life.

The opportunity to share our love for our baby Eddie, to offer support to others who understand, & to create a legacy is healing. What this organization does is important & sends a ripple of transforming love into the world.”  -Parents of Eddie

“I have been battling grief after the recent loss of my Elijah Alexander and needed to find some sort of support group. Through Facebook I managed to come across A Memory Grows and saw that there was an upcoming retreat. I decided to contact DeAndrea and sign up. I went in a little hesitant and unsure if this Infant Loss retreat would help me or if I would be too scared to share my story. First she was super welcoming and just knew the right words to say. The activities lined up for us helped us express our feelings, cry, and most importantly laugh. It was hard for me to laugh when my world was dark and gloomy. We were able to create new memories and learn how to honor our little ones. To the donors, those who created something from the goodness of their hearts for complete strangers, we thank you!”  – Parents of Elijah

“What an incredible weekend that we had in Granbury. A very special thanks to A Memory Grows for providing parents a place to honor, remember and help cope with the loss of our babies. The hospitality of the bed & breakfast was amazing, we got to do fun & emotional activities and we had the pleasure of meeting some inspirational & strong parents of baby angels! We were so scared the first day and it was very intense but overall it helped us talk more about Cherokee and her journey. There is no such thing as back to “normal” after losing a child, it’s a tragedy and time doesn’t fix this kind of loss. It’s the way we choose to grieve and we choose to honor, love, and always talk about Baby Cherokee. We choose to make her proud and to live life for her! Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this retreat possible. We greatly appreciate it! We will never forget our angels! Max, Cherokee, Isaac, Aubrey, Elijah and Eddie!”  -Parents of Cherokee

“A Memory Grows has forever changed our lives! We came to this retreat after losing our precious girl, Aubrey, last September. We were lost and felt so disconnected in a multitude of ways. This retreat gave us a healthy ground to continue to build on and connections with other families to last for eternity. We are grateful to have been able to share not only our child with them, but for them sharing their precious children with us! The love to “carry on” is so much greater than I ever imagined possible. Thank you for being exactly what we needed, when we needed it!!”  – Parents of Aubrey

For the first time in 44 years I was able to celebrate the brief life of my son.

-Mother of R.S

My husband and I attended the August retreat and it was life changing. Neither one of us knew exactly what to expect or if we’d get much out of it but knew it was worth a try. We do not regret it one bit. It was so nice to be able to meet other couples that have had similar experiences and leave the retreat as friends. Being able to talk about our son, Collin openly was refreshing.
The amount of planned and unplanned activities was just right and I enjoyed the meaning behind each of the projects. DeAndrea has such a caring heart and is truly invested in making each family feel welcomed.

-Parents of Collin

When my husband and I signed up for the retreat, we did not know what to expect and wondered if we would get anything out of going. We were pleasantly surprised with how much we got out of it. We truly enjoyed the experience and made great friends. It felt good to be among people who we could relate to and who could relate to us.
It is very difficult balancing how you “should be” and how you really want to be in everyday life after you have lost a child. We feel pressure to “move on” and get back to “normal”. This is a struggle we face daily. The retreat gave us a weekend where we were allowed to just be who we wanted to be and say what we wanted to say without judgement. My husband and I were able to talk about our son freely, without any hesitation. It was nice that all of us were able to boast about our little ones like every other parent has the pleasure of doing. It was a safe place to laugh and cry, and laugh and cry, and laugh and cry some more.
DeAndrea was a wonderful host. All her activities had meaning and helped us honor our child/children. For us, it was very healing and we will never forget what it has done for us. Thank you DeAndrea for being such a wonderful mother to Max, leaving a legacy for him that has touched our lives forever.

-Parents of James

My husband and I attended our first retreat honoring our twins that passed away in October. This was such a special time for us to talk about our children and meet other parents that have been through something similar. We took away new lifelong friendships and items we made honoring our children. We were nervous going in and by the end of the weekend we did not want to leave. DeAndrea has a big heart and truly cares for each family. We are so glad we went. It was a very special weekend.

-Parents of Grace and Dillan

A Memory Grows was and continues to be such a gift to our family. We made life long friends. We grew in strength and confidence. We were really nervous about going because we weren’t sure what to expect, but each night it got a little easier to share with other the moms and dads, each night we learned something new about our families, by the end we were sad to leave.

-Parents of AK

My husband and I just returned from the School Aged Child Loss Retreat at the Iron Horse Inn in Granbury. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to spend this time together in the fellowship of other grieving families and under the thoughtful, caring and extremely insightful guidance of DeAndrea Dare. We felt safe and comfortable sharing our story, learning about the grief process and learning ways that we can carry on and move forward while always remembering and honoring the life and legacy of our son.

-Parents of Nathan

I attended their one-day retreat for women and it was amazing to say the least! It was a safe place with people who understood what I was going through! It was also so great to make new friends that I plan to keep in touch with! Thank you for this PERFECT experience! I can’t wait to attend another event!

-Mother of Charley Sue

My Husband and I attended the first ever retreat last weekend. We hadn’t dealt with the loss of our three babies who we lost early on. A Memory Grows will be forever in our heart! We learned a lot, laughed a lot and cried a lot! I hope this organization grows as it should! We appreciate everything that was offered to us and will have a lifetime relationship with this AMAZING organization!!!

-Parents of Howe Babies

The weekend retreat my husband & I attended was just what we needed – to be with men & women who are on this awful journey with us. To know that we are not alone and to know that we can still be parents to our son who is no longer physically with us. It was apparent from the very beginning that everyone involved in setting up this retreat knew exactly what was needed for our weekend to be simultaneously fun, healing, nurturing, and open. And it was clear that DeAndrea truly understands what parents of loss need to feel they are in a safe place. My husband and I will always be connected to this organization because it gave us multiple ways to honor & remember our son, while also providing an environment where we could relax and enjoy the presence of others. We love A Memory Grows and will never forget the impact one weekend has had on our lives.

-Parents of Fisher

My husband and I had the privilege of attending the first retreat for A Memory Grows! Thank you to DeAndrea and her team for hosting this unforgettable getaway! We met the best people, had the best food, and made incredible memories. It was the perfect amount of planned activities, as well as some free time to enjoy with my husband and our new friends! A Memory Grows created a safe place for us to share about our children and remember them together.
Most importantly, it reminded me that it is normal and ok to continue to “mother” Owen in this unique way for the rest of my life! For parents of loss, we often feel like the world is telling us we should be moved on by now. Here we are almost 3 years later, and Owen, I promise you that we will never move on. You are a part of our family, sweet boy! I could not be more proud to be your mommy and to love you this way forever.

-Parents of Baby Ray & Owen

October 15th was our first unborn child’s due date. So it just all fit perfectly that I found this great event to attend. I surprised her with a date night and the first thing she did was cry. She was worried and apprehensive about people seeing her cry, until she saw others hurting/healing too. We loved it. You guys don’t understand how much you helped our family. We can breathe again. We know the future may still have ups and downs and setbacks…but now we have hope. Now we know we are not alone in this. Thank you for everything

-Parents of Baby J

An incredible weekend with our new little family! I am so grateful that we all got to share the stories of our beautiful children while making life long friendships. We created memories in a comfortable, safe place that allowed us openly parent our babies in the very special way that we do. We appreciate everyone involved in organizing this retreat. Losing a child is not an easy road to travel but we don’t have to do it alone and we are grateful to you for helping us on our journey. Thank you for listening, for sharing, for advising and for your support. A memory really does grow and I am so proud to have been a part of this very special group.

-Laura & Jim

My Husband and I attended the first ever retreat last weekend. We hadn’t dealt with the loss of our three babies who we lost early on. A Memory Grows will be forever in our heart! We learned a lot, laughed a lot and cried a lot! I hope this organization grows as it should! We appreciate everything that was offered to us and will have a lifetime relationship with this AMAZING organization!!!”

-Leslie and Rob

The weekend retreat my husband & I attended was just what we needed – to be with men & women who are on this awful journey with us. To know that we are not alone and to know that we can still be parents to our son who is no longer physically with us. It was apparent from the very beginning that everyone involved in setting up this retreat knew exactly what was needed for our weekend to be simultaneously fun, healing, nurturing, and open. And it was clear that DeAndrea truly understands what parents of loss need to feel they are in a safe place. My husband and I will always be connected to this organization because it gave us multiple ways to honor & remember our son, while also providing an environment where we could relax and enjoy the presence of others. We love A Memory Grows and will never forget the impact one weekend has had on our lives.

-Katie & Andy

My husband and I had the privilege of attending the first retreat for A Memory Grows! Thank you to DeAndrea and her team for hosting this unforgettable getaway! We met the best people, had the best food, and made incredible memories. It was the perfect amount of planned activities, as well as some free time to enjoy with my husband and our new friends! A Memory Grows created a safe place for us to share about our children and remember them together.
Most importantly, it reminded me that it is normal and ok to continue to “mother” Owen in this unique way for the rest of my life! For parents of loss, we often feel like the world is telling us we should be moved on by now. Here we are almost 3 years later, and Owen, I promise you that we will never move on. You are a part of our family, sweet boy! I could not be more proud to be your mommy and to love you this way forever.

-Amy & Derek