First of all, you're awesome. So many couples who lose a child feel so alone as they go through their grief. You are demonstrating to your friends or family that they are not alone, and that has to mean a great deal to them. As much as you'd like to be able to fix this for them and take away the hurt, you've figured out that there is nothing you can do to fix it. But you want to do something that will really help them heal. Helping to make it possible for them to attend a Respite Retreat is a great way to truly do this. We hope they'll want to come. And, that they will come.
And that is an essential part of the equation—that they want to come, and that they are ready to come. Sometimes we're in a hurry to help people heal from this devastating loss, but they're not really ready for that. The reality of the loss is still settling in.
So, what should you do if you want to help a couple come to a Respite Retreat at the Beach?
We've learned a thing or two along the way of doing these retreats. One of the most important things we've learned is that it is good for every couple to have "some skin in the game."
Sometimes friends or a church want to do everything for the couple out of a desire to serve them during a time when doing the simplest things is challenging. But we think it is wise to require that the couple themselves:
1. request the application from us
2. fill out and return the application to us
3. pay at least $100 toward the $500 registration fee
We've found that when couples don't do at least these three things, maybe they don't really want to come or simply aren't ready yet. It might be better to wait until they feel the need for help toward healing enough to be willing to take these initial steps themselves. We've found that when others do these things for them, they are more likely to cancel at the last minute.
So we suggest that when you point your friends to the website. Let them know that if they want to come, they will need to request and return the application with $100 paid toward registration (you can tell them that we require that, because honestly, we do), and then, you will cover the remaining portion of the registration fee and any other costs you are willing to cover.
We hope your friends will come. We promise to love them well. Contact us if you have any further questions.
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