Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Living Legacy

Here are a few of the photos I took of the beautiful retreat center in the woods, where I trained last week. It is more than 5,000 feet in the foothills above Fort Collins. Serene and timeless - extremely conducive to learning and growing into the future.

The training was amazing - it was titled, Comprehensive Bereavement Skills Training and comprehensive it was. The creator of this model of "companioning the bereaved" is Dr. Alan Wolfelt, an amazing teacher. Alan and his staff, Kathy and Kerri, welcome each person with open hearted goodness and unending hospitality.

The week of training is the first of five week-long sessions that I plan to attend over the next 12 to 15 months. At the end of five sessions, participants earn a certificate in grief counseling from Colorado State University. I am inspired to do this - it feels as though all I have done in my professional life has led me to this place. I can see the future - this is the legacy of my grief journey.

The majority of participants were social workers, registered nurses, therapists, hospice workers and other professionals already working in the field. One of the important parts of the learning is Alan models the companioning method constantly throughout the training. We all talked about our various losses and our individual grief journeys. It was very emotional at times. I made many new friends last week - people that I will stay connected to and perhaps even see at subsequent trainings.

As I look to the future - I see a new path. Amazing.

I also have been struggling since my return. Missing my darling once again - I suppose it stems from talking about him so much during the retreat. Yet, here I am turning into the wind. The next steps beckon - I have much on my heart and I am excited about a new direction. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps to a new future. Namaste.


  1. Hi Suzann!!!! It's Michelle Post from the center for loss conference. I love your blog about the retreat and the photos are lovely. It was so wonderful to meet you and to spend our last night in Fort Collins together. Please stay in touch... my email is mpost@onelegacy.org or 213/447-5854.

  2. That really is a beautiful place Suzann...in more ways than one. Yes...baby steps...all the way.

  3. Lovely views and certainly would create a contemplative atmosphere for your training. Glad you've found the experience to fit so well for your continued life plan.

    Talking and writing about loss can be a mixed bag, so to speak, for me. I sometimes find myself getting into a frame of mind that I'm better not in when I tap into too much memory, but I don't avoid doing so when thoughts arise. I am a little more careful about deliberately seeking those memories.

  4. What a beautiful place Suzanne..So Peaceful looking and filled with tranquility.....I wish you all the best on this new path, my dear. I think you will be superb in this area, having taken your own personal journey through grief....Namaste, back-atchya!

  5. I do think you now have found a path to your new life.
    Bring Tom's Heart and experience together with you. I'm sure he would have loved you met new friends and adventures.

    By the way, I've been to Fort Collins. Have friends living in Greeley.

  6. That looks really a nice place, Suzanne...very tranquil...

    Wishing you a good weekend!

  7. This retreat center is so beautiful. Reminds me of one in the San Bernardino mountains I like to go to called Spirit Mountain. We had 80 degrees at the beach this weekend, but it will cool down into the late 60s this week. Spring definitely will come to St. Paul very soon.