Young Adult Grief Retreat
May 31 at 6:00 pm - June 2 at 1:00 pm
Join us as we together build a weekend community of 20 and 30-somethings who’ve each experienced significant loss–whether a sibling, parent, child, partner, or dear friend. Some of us are actively grieving recent losses, and some of us are many many years out, but we all know the heartbreak and wildness of grief, and want to make space to be right where we’re at with it. Come prepared to eat good food, laugh with new friends, cry, farm, make art, talk, be quiet, move, listen, sing, be. This retreat is open to adults ages 20-39 of all backgrounds.
Look forward to…
- Creative workshops
- Yoga & meditation
- Community ritual
- Social time with people who “just get it”
- POC affinity group space
- LGBTQ+ affinity group space
- …and much more
Co-sponsored by The Dinner Party.
Tickets: The retreat fee is a sliding scale $225-$550 per person for the weekend, which includes program, housing, and all meals. There are also a limited number of tickets available at a scholarship rate ($125) and a pay-what-you-can rate ($30-125). Meals will be catered and vegetarian with gluten-free and vegan options.
Application: Because we’ve had overwhelming interest in this retreat and expect it to fill, we encourage folks to apply early HERE. We will be prioritizing early applications, as well as applications from POC.
Accommodations: There are two types of accommodations. 1) Rooms with bunkbeds shared by four people, and 2) Rooms with 1 queen or full bed, which two people who apply together can share. If you and someone else applying would like to share a queen or full bed, please note that on your application. All bathrooms are shared and gender neutral.
Accessibility: This program takes place on an active farm with uneven ground. Please tell us about any accessibly issues or concerns you might have in your application. ADA accessible rooms are also available if needed.
Chloe Zelkha is a facilitator, educator, and chaplain. She currently serves as a chaplain resident at UCSF Medical Center, where she journeys alongside folks who are suffering, ill, or dying. Previously, she built and facilitated immersion experiences for youth and adults, most recently as the Fellowship Director at Urban Adamah, and as a community organizer at The Food Project in Boston. Since losing her dad suddenly two years ago, she’s turned toward the question of how to stay awake to the precariousness of life without living in fear, and she thinks the trick is community. This retreat is one of her answers to that question.
- Why folks in their 20s and 30s? Or: I’m 40, can I come?
- Losing someone you love can leave a profound impact at any age. And in this death-denying culture of ours, all of us struggle to find spaces where we can talk openly about that experience. We’ve found, though, that there’s a unique kind of isolation that comes when you are among the first in your peer group to lose a parent, sibling, partner, child, or close friend. This is also an age group that is typically underserved by the traditional grief community — too old for youth grief support and too young for traditional grief support groups where attendees are often older. For this retreat, we’re focusing on folks in their 20s and 30s. But check below for resources that might be of interest to you.
- What about other types of loss?
- Losing anyone in your life can be unspeakably hard, and the specificity of this retreat doesn’t mean to take away from that truth. However, due to limited resources and capacity, at this moment we are focusing on serving folks who’ve experienced a few specific types of loss. (And! Loss takes many forms beyond physical loss – break ups, divorces, life-altering illnesses and accidents, incarceration, family separation, deportation, and more). For now we’re focused on a specific type of loss for a specific crowd, so that we can do that really well.
- Is there a commuter option? Can I sleep offsite?
- Every retreatant will be assigned a bed onsite. There’s a special magic that happens when folks spend the full weekend together in the same space (and, we’ll add, a special magic to sleeping on an urban farm!), so we encourage everyone to stay onsite. That said, if for some reason you prefer to sleep offsite, and can commit to being present for all other programming, it’s fine by us. There is not, however, a separate ticket price for folks doing this.
- I can only make it for part of the retreat. Can I still come?
- In order to create the kind of intentional community that allows retreatants to feel safe and go deep with one another, attendance at the entire retreat is required for participation. We will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday (with the option to come as early as 5:00 pm to get settled) and end at 1:00 pm on Sunday. And, if you have a conflict that you absolutely cannot change, please note that in your application.
- Is this a therapeutic retreat, or a formal grief group?
- Nope. This retreat is created for and by peers, and is not, in the traditional sense at least, therapeutic. We do not have the expertise to provide professional therapy or support, and, with few exceptions, all facilitators are also participants (and all participants will play an active role in holding space for each other). For us, we’ve found that real life experience can be the best form of expertise. And when everyone has only their own story to go on, it means we’re all equally “expert”: we’re less prone to advice-giving, or attempts to “fix” something, recognizing that what most of us are looking for is a chance to hear and be heard, and to identify with others who’ve been there. That said, this retreat should be a complement to, and not a replacement for, the other places you can go to see a professional.