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Posted: January 17, 2009 8:22 p.m.

A chance to heal

Abbey Hospice holds retreat for grieving

The loss of a loved one is undoubtedly one of the hardest things to deal with. Sights, sounds and even smells will bring back memories of that person and, in the beginning, can overwhelm the person or people left behind to cope with the loss.

Although only time can heal those wounds, Abbey Hospice is hosting an adult retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in an effort to help those grieving find some peace.

"Sometimes during the grieving process individuals may want to get away for the weekend and experience something new, something peaceful," said the Rev. Callie Weber, bereavement coordinator for Abbey Hospice. "A retreat provides a great opportunity to have a time apart from everyday life."

The hospice is hosting its first adult retreat at the monastery Feb. 20-23. The three-day, two-night retreat will feature speakers and art projects, as well as meditation and relaxation time. The keynote speaker is Robert Lanford, a staff member at Covenant Counseling and Family Resource Center.

A minimum donation of $120 per person is needed in order to cover food, lodging and activities. Any additional amount donated will go to the monastery. Private and semi-private rooms are available and guests are permitted to come alone or to bring a friend or family member along with them.

"For many people walking through the front door of a home they shared with their loved one, being surrounded by all that person's things, or simply spending all day in a place filled with memories can be too much," Weber said. "Taking a few days away may help that person face those memories.

"Grieving over the loss of a loved one is a very painful experience," she continued. "At times it can seem overwhelming. Expressing your thoughts, reactions and feelings to others can be helpful."

For more information about the retreat, contact Weber at (770) 464-5858 or through e-mail at bereavement@abbeyhospice.com. More information on the monastery can be found at www.trappist.net.

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