Retreat Reflections by Katie Shenck

My husband & I are forever grateful for our time spent at the first “A Memory Grows” retreat. We both went into the weekend with a lot of fear, anxiety, & caution because we had no idea what to expect. But thankfully, the weekend was just what we needed at just the right time. I realize all couples have different experiences but after meeting everyone we found out that each & every one of us had the “flight” feeling – we all at one point or another, felt like we needed to turn around & not show up. Fortunately, we all stuck it out and instantly bonded. We felt a connection to the couples and DeAndrea where we felt completely comfortable to talk openly about our children, our family dynamics, uncomfortable situations, etc…

The conversations were emotional but we could laugh & cry & laugh & cry. At the end of the retreat I didn’t want to leave the bubble of this group but it was easier to go back to the real world because we knew we were no longer alone. DeAndrea did a fantastic job of thinking of ways to honor our children, we hang our arts & crafts proudly throughout our house. One of the greatest gifts I received from the retreat was my husband saying our son’s name in front of the group for the first time since Fisher passed away – he didn’t even realize he said it until I pointed it out to him later that evening. I don’t know that he would have felt comfortable doing that in any other setting.

Now, weeks later, I reflect on that weekend, and the memories I left with are those of pure happiness. I still have difficult days, but it helps to look back on times when I felt happiness even after the loss of our son; to know that on this journey I can have happy days along the way. I can’t say enough good things about our experience, I hope that for all families who attend a future retreat will have a similar experience.


One Comment

  1. Lisa Marino April 26, 2017 at 6:46 am - Reply

    I am thankful to be able to lend support to this cause. I love seeing the support and healing provided to grieving families through A Memory Grows. By working with DeAndrea, I feel I am remembering and honoring my own angel babies, and it is a blessing!

    Thank you, Katie, for bravely sharing your experience!

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