Yoga Retreat For Mothers Grieving A Child Loss By Suicide
A yoga retreat created by a mother who is surviving her child’s death by suicide, Colleen Dean.
Led by Monique Minahan, author of The Grief Practice, and co-facilitated with yoga teacher Lauren Gaglione.
Three nights in a space curated for your heart, full of supportive movement and mindfulness practices, guided writing sessions, beach walks, comfort and healthy food, surrounded and accompanied by supportive humans sensitive to what a body, mind, and soul need post-traumatic loss.
It all started when Colleen asked Monique if she could meet for coffee…
Colleen had an idea.
As months went by I could not find relief from the pain in my chest, from the weight of my body, from the struggle to breathe.
I found a bio of Monique on an internet search and sought her out for help.
It was the first time I felt some relief from the physical side of my pain.
In the process of trying to heal, I have found that a yoga and meditation practice, along with being around other mothers who have walked this path before me, to be the most helpful.
This retreat is my way of bringing those things together.
I met grief when I was 25 years old and my husband Nathan suddenly died. With a long history of major depression, no embodied resources, and living in a society that stigmatized grief, I dropped into a deep and dark crevasse of isolation and complicated grief for many years.
Now, 18 years later, I create supportive containers for people to move with and through all kinds of loss safely. I am a trauma-informed yoga teacher and author of The Grief Practice book, an exploration and explanation of grief in the body through a scientific and soulful lens. I use yoga as a way to support our minds and bodies in grief, not as a tool to fix grief.
After Colleen and I met for coffee and she explained her vision of this retreat specifically for mothers who had lost children by suicide, I reached out to my friend and fellow yoga teacher, Lauren Gaglione, whose husband died by suicide, to see if she would be willing to co-facilitate this experience.
I was thrilled when she said yes.
I discovered yoga as a tool for healing in 2001, eight years after losing my father to a heart attack when I was 14 years old. I felt immediately that this practice was essential for my physical and mental health and my interest eventually led me to become trained as a teacher years later in Anusara and Vinyasa yoga.
My knowledge had never been more helpful than when my husband began to suffer from mental illness. Yoga had taken a backseat to my role as a busy mom of two toddlers but coming back to a practice of mindfulness and body awareness became a lifeline to help me through crisis.
My husband died by suicide in 2018. I find myself as both a student of grief and trauma as well as in a position to guide those on their healing path. It’s an honor to be asked to help with this retreat.