The Power of Connection

Author: Bunnie Jacquay

"I haven't laughed this hard since the death of my son." What a seemingly simple statement yet so powerful. The beauty of being surrounded by love, being comfortable with those around you, puts you at ease and allows you to breathe, to feel, to live. "I had no inkling of the lasting impact this experience would have on me."

Women Embrace

There are few who understand a mother's grief, and even fewer still who allow a mother to grieve. There is comfort in shared tears and yet the spirit is strengthened by the camaraderie of peers and the similarities we discover. We came together as strangers and before the first night was over we found our common bond, recognizing the deepest wound and instantly knowing there is someone else that understands this pain. "I look around the room and see myself reflected in the faces of others."

The moments of intention, coupled with the moments of spontaneity, created the perfect balance for the TAPS Moms Retreat held at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island.  Whether exploring the property and experiencing the beauty and splendor of nature or gathering in the Great Room to share our stories and celebrate the life of our child, we quickly became family, sisters. "The club I never wanted to join is now the group of sisters I am gratefully connected to for life."

We challenged ourselves through activities and learned to trust ourselves through the often chaotic grief journey, realizing that we can rely on each other for support and comfort just by being nearby; a hug, an unspoken look, or to just stand alongside each other and know we are not alone. "I left the retreat with a full and grateful heart."