Hello, I am glad that you have found my website, and I am truly sorry that you have had to look for this website. Below is a bit about myself. I welcome your call or email so we can talk about you, your story and more details about what this weekend involves.
Feeling safe and finding hope were the two things that I needed most in those beginning weeks following the burial of my 27 year old son Matthew. The world no longer felt safe to me, even within my own circle as the emotional and physical pain grew more intense and more draining over the weeks and months that followed. As time went on, I fought to find the one thing each day that would get me through that day, and sometimes each hour, or each minute of every day.
As I began to talk with other bereaved mothers, I found that being with them offered me a respite from feeling so disconnected from the rest of the world or what I described as "the land of the living" . With them I found a place where I could begin to feel a sense of order and balance in the midst of the chaos of grief. I craved this connection and as time went on, my world began to feel a litle more sane, because I realized that I was not alone. As I witnessed the survival of one mom and then another and another....those who had made it through this horror and unbearable pain, I began to believe that I too just might be "ok" one day.
With other moms, either individually having a chat on the phone, or meeting for a coffee or in a support group, I slowly began to feel that I could actually heal a little.
I listened to other mothers talk about their child's life and death, and couldn't believe that they were describing exactly how I was feeling almost to a tee; the experience of shock and disbelief; the feelings of deep sorrow and sadness; guilt and anger; fear and confusion; hopelessness and many other things in between. I listened to how they were surviving each day, and the more and more stories I heard, the more amazed I was at how many moms I began to connect with. Some contacted me, others I found through the name of an acquaintance or an email. I began to see just how many of us there are out there.
Many months later, as the fog lifted, the doubt I had about living through the death of my son began to ease up a little . As I started to reach out, I began to gather a sense of understanding and also felt compelled to "do something" that could support other bereaved mothers.
In these next few paragraphs I describe a little of my background so that you can have some understanding as to how I came about putting this comfort retreat together and offering it to bereaved moms everywhere.
I have been facilitating groups on meditation and personal development in the Norfolk, Haldimand, London and Hamilton areas since 1997. I completed Level 1 of the Mindfulness Meditation Professional Training Workshop ((Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction MBSR) offered through the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, and I am a graduate of the University of Waterloo. Up until November of 2016, I had been employed in the social service sector for over 35 years.Now semi retired, I am slowly building my world to facilitate Mindfulness Meditation and Restorative Yoga workshops, as well as offer day and overnight retreats for women.
In my youth and early adult years, learning about meditation and relaxation was a key element for working through my challenges with anxiety and depression. A single mother for many years, I utilized the relaxation practices I now teach. During this time, I made many wonderful connections and friendships while operating a small book store and wellness shop for almost 5 years where I offered wellness literature and workshops to community and professional groups and individuals. These connections continue to flourish, and weave in and out of my life.
It is through networking with others and being networked with others that I began to recognize how valuable these “connections” become in our ability to reach out, bring close and gather what we need at the time, and then offer ourselves back again when we are strong enough to be there for others.
I had no way of knowing just how valuable connecting with others would be until August 17, 2009, when suddenly and tragically my son Matthew at the age of 27 died while he was working out west.
After the first anniversary date of Matthew's death, I began to feel ready, and had the mental and physical energy to explore the intellectual aspect of grief and loss. I completed a course at Mohawk College in Hamilton on Complicated Grief, then the following spring, attended courses at University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work on Bereavement Education. That summer, I completed a course in Bereavement Education with Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Bereavement Educator, Speaker and owner of The Centre For Loss in Fort Collins, Colorado. You will find more information ( a link) about Dr. Wolfelt on this website.
As I began to heal and feel stronger, I designed the Care and Comfort Retreat for Bereaved Moms and began offering the comfort retreats in 2012. One in the spring and one in the fall.
It is my hope that when you are ready, you will be able to join us for the next weekend retreat.
This Care & Comfort Retreat has been designed to support you at any time, early in your grief or if you are a few miles down the road and need some time to rejuvenate and/or just be with other moms who are journeying where you have been.
Mothers who have attended the retreat are of all ages and their loss may have been as short as a few months to 10 years or more. These are not therapy retreats, but simply a time to gather togther with other moms and to be nurtured and cared for through the wellness modalities we do throughout the weekend.
Kimberly Ryan is a bereaved mother. Her son Matthew died suddenly in August 2009 at the age of 27 as a result of complications from addictions. Kimberly had been involved in meditation and alternative health modalities long before the tragic loss of her son, and now uses her knowledge and wellness background to offer a place for other moms who are bereaved. Please contact Kimberly at:
Phone: +1 519 909 9644
The next retreat is scheduled for May 25, 26, 27th and October 26,27,28th, 2018..
Please contact Kimberly to register as space is limited.
Welcome ALL mothers who are bereaved. There is no time frame on our grief., if your loss was longer ago or recent. Each of us has experienced the death of a child. We gather together to support, gain strength and provide comfort. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a chat and learn more about who I am, what this is all about, and discuss if this is good timing for you.