Aiden’s Place- A Retreat For Bereaved Parents.
He was so excited about this place. It was 3rd grade and his class had gone to a nature preserve called “5 Rivers”. He couldn’t stop talking about the trails, the bridges, the fish and aaaallllll the wildlife he got to see. We ‘had to see it’, he said. So one day the 5 of us went to 5 Rivers with Aiden as our tour guide. It was so wonderful, I see why he loved it- miles of shaded trails, trees fallen into ponds to climb out on, wooden bridges and 5 rivers full of wild life. He made sure we did not miss a single feature of his new favorite place and as he did I remember feeling such calm and contentment being out there just exploring and walking around.
I thought it was just the enjoyment of being with all of our boys and seeing Aiden so excited about everything- leading our little pack of 5 for once. Now I know it was more than that, that there is something special that happens to humans when we are in nature.
We calm, we breathe, we restore.
Aiden’s place was the outdoors. That is where he loved to be and I truly believe he has helped guide us to his place- to mountain trails and lakes, to rivers and the wondrous creatures of our Fathers creation. To a place where the heaviness and pain would lift for a time simply because of the beauty that surrounds us.
It has been a dream of mine to create a place in the mountains where parents like us could gather and receive strength and true understanding from each other. A place where no words have to be filtered, no emotion judged or misunderstood. A place in and around nature where it’s healing power would silently and gently soothe our souls as we shared our stories and our children.
Our dream is taking flight!
I am so excited to announce that this dream, Aiden’s Place Retreat For Bereaved Parents, is hosting it’s first retreat! It is scheduled for November 6-8 not far from our home, in beautiful Boone, NC!
(You’ll notice the 5 rivers in our logo along with 3 trees for Aiden and his brothers, the radiant sun for the Father, Son and His Holy Spirit, and of course, our beloved mountains.)
In the setting of a spectacular mountain home, we will have space for walking, outdoor yoga and cornhole. A place near hiking trails and waterfalls!
A place to be and say our truth to others who can say, yes, we understand.
Check out this video of the home and grounds we will be staying on.
There are 7 bedrooms and 3 “glamping tents” indoors for people to stay on site and a local hotel for additional space or for those who prefer more privacy and want to stay off-site. To keep this experience small, comfortable and intimate, we are only taking 10-12 couples/singles. I envision a warm and accepting environment full of talking, praying, crying and just being together because we know doing that with other parents of such traumatic loss is a blessing beyond words.
We will also be providing Pastoral support and/or a professional counselor and even healing yoga if that is something people want. I know this is going to be a profoundly impactful weekend for everyone who attends.
We will not go home the same as we came. That I am sure of.
How to get involved.
Registration will open in early August. Aiden’s Light Memorial Fund will be covering much of the cost to help make this special and affordable to anyone who wants to come. To be notified of registration opening or for more information, please email us at AidensLight18@gmail.com
If you feel compelled to donate to this ministry, we are striving to cover as many expenses for our parents as possible with donations. Every dime received from this link now until November 1 will go towards this retreat.
To donate please visit our website and click any DONATE BUTTON
If you cannot donate, but you know someone who may need the support and love of other parents who are walking this difficult path, please share this with them. Share to social media as well!
We appreciate both efforts so much. You will be blessing these people in ways you cannot imagine!
To read my post on the creed for bereaved parents and “believing against the grain” please click HERE.
Jen, Dave and sons,
The dedication and work of I’m sure all of you has come to fruition finally.
The theme of what’s behind this project was Aiden’s love of nature as told by you above and as I write this I’m sitting in my rental camp in the ADK’s which I also love and have total understanding of how wonderful nature can make you feel.
I’m sure there will be a very special angel hovering over Boone in August lighting up the skies each night.
God bless all of you.
Awwww Ray, thank you, my friend. Yes, this is a special thing. Thank you for reading, thank you for caring.
All of us.
This is so beautiful Jennifer 🧡🧡🧡
Thanks Kathy =)
Oh Jennifer….I am so happy for you! I know how much you wanted to make this dream a reality. Such a beautiful concept that I know will help many parents who are grieving the loss of their precious children. The place looks perfect and I love your logo so much!!! I’ll be praying that this retreat will bring comfort and a measure of healing to you and to those you seek to help. The world needs more people like you! Sending you a hug XO
Thank you Naomi, We are very very excited. Thank you for the prayers and continued friendship and support. The world needs more people like you too!
So proud of you friend!
Thanks Jen, and thanks for reading. Wish there were emojis to use…. =)