With Awi Frances and Nickie Aven
In this retreat we will take a gentle look at our relationship to death, dying and grief, while being safely held and nurtured. (There will be cake!) With nature as our guide, we will explore how we can prepare ourselves for our own death and smooth the way for our loved ones who may care for us and will grieve us.
Nickie Aven is the joint manager at Bala Brook Retreat Centre. She is also a therapist and an interfaith minister and since 2000 has worked with people facing their own death or the loss of loved ones, including holding over a hundred funerals. Her son died in 2018 and she nursed her husband into his death in 2019 and has an intimate knowledge of the territory of loss. Nickie also set up and runs the MoorHeart Threshold singers, an all female group who sing for people on the threshold of life.
Awi Frances is an End of Life Doula and is a trainer of doulas with Living Well Dying Well. She believes that we can make cultural changes to our attitudes and awareness of death. Instead of viewing death as something to fear and to hide away from, we can live our lives more fully to the end. She sings with Nickie and the MoorHeart Threshold choir. She hosts Death cafes and ‘doing death differently’ related events in the local community.
Dying and grieving are universal experiences and yet, they are so little talked about within our culture that when the time comes we can easily feel unprepared, isolated and fearful. The cycle of nature is our inspiration and model for looking at these crucial times: growing, blooming, dying and composting and finding new life where there looked to be none. In this retreat, within the sanctuary that is Bala Brook Retreat Centre, you will be safely held by two wise facilitators and have the opportunity to talk about both your experiences of grief and your concerns about death and dying. We will explore what is meaningful for you in your life and allow this to inform your wishes around your own dying and funeral. You need only do as much as you are comfortable to do.
Sessions may include for example:
- Guided meditation
- Conversation café around death and dying
- Remembering your loved ones who have died
- Your wishes and preferences, treatments to refuse
- Planning your own funeral
- Time to relax into the sanctuary of Bala Brook and contemplate autumn on the land