Lean In — Embrace Your Grief Retreat

April 19-22 (Thursday dinner – Sunday breakfast)

In these times, there is much to grieve, both personally and collectively. There are so few communities in this culture where our strong emotions, our deep grief, and our anger are welcome. Thus, our grief is compounded by loneliness and lack of support. This retreat is an opportunity to gather as a “village” for the important work of releasing grief and healing our tender hearts.

The retreat includes talking circles, singing, ceremony, sharing food, and quiet time in the woods. The heart of the retreat is a ceremony learned from Sobonfu Some of the Dagara Tribe, who brought this ritual to the West from her homeland in Burkina Faso Africa. The ritual involves a sustained period of African drumming with participants chanting and dancing, while others in the village express themselves at a Grief Shrine.

The spiritual container for the work is indigenous and earth-based: we call in the elements of the 7 Directions, invoke ancestors and “all our relations” from animal, plant, and stone, from  seen and unseen worlds.



This retreat is blessed to have 4 big-hearted facilitators, each bringing unique gifts to the group:  Thérèse Charvet has been offering Grief Retreat since 2002, after doing many intensive ceremonies with Sobonfu in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. A former nurse, midwife and midwifery educator, she is now an elder who offers a variety of emotional/spiritual circles and rituals from her eco-retreat on Bainbridge Island, Sacred Groves.  Tere Carranza, formerly a carpenter (and still a builder), has been at Sacred Groves since 2004, initially offering her cooking and other practical skills. Now an elder and still a cook, she has stepped into the role of co-facilitator, bringing her big heart and warm humor to all.  Laurence Cole is a well-known song leader and respected elder with long involvement in grief work, men’s work, and many other aspects of healing and enlivening the human spirit. He has been co-facilitating Grief Retreats with Therese and Tere at Sacred Groves since 2009 and was blessed to have experienced this ritual with Sobonfu Some. In addition, he has been offering a ritual called “Grief Song,” at singing events for the past 3 years. Mary Hart brings her commitment to authenticity, vulnerability and transformation to the team. She has been a lifelong seeker and began deep emotional work in 2001. She is a trained workshop facilitator, personal coach and has participated in many healing rituals over the years. She was introduced to this work in 2014 and joined the facilitation team in 2016.

Learn more about Thérèse, Tere, and Sacred Groves here:

Learn more about Laurence Cole here:


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Program Fee: $160

Information on housing and meal fees is available here.