RESPITE is a weekend for married couples to spend unhurried time with other couples who understand the devastation of losing a child. We gather to learn from each other, encourage each other, and experience renewed hope for the future.
Respite is for couples with strong marriages, and for those whose marriages are struggling under the load of grief. It’s for those whose faith has grown through this loss, and for those who have hard questions. It’s for those who want to talk about their experience and their child, and for those who are tired of talking. It’s for couples whose loss is fresh, and for those who’ve been walking down this road for a while.
What do you do at the retreat?
We share our stories with each other and pray for each other. We go for walks and sit on the porch sipping coffee. Over the weekend, we talk about:
grieving together in a way that strengthens our marriages
helping our other children through grief when we’re grieving ourselves
dealing with fractured friendships and family relationships
allowing grief to release its grip on us
finding meaning and purpose in our loss and joy in spite of our loss
coming to terms with lingering questions about God’s role in our loss
The weekend is not a conference or workshop. It’s a retreat—a mixture of directed large-group conversation, enjoying meals together, and opening up God’s Word together in search of perspective and hope that can only be found in Christ.
Who Comes to Respite Retreat?
We’ve been hosting three to four retreats per year since 2009, and in that time, we’ve had couples come from all over the country, as well as from outside the U.S. We’ve had couples who lost a child only a month prior to attending, couples whose loss was fifteen years prior, and everywhere in between. Our goal is to help you take steps toward healing from wherever you are. We usually have a wide range of ages represented in the children who have died, from infants born still to young adults in their twenties or thirties, as well as a wide range of causes of death.
Where is it held?
Respite Retreats are held at The Hiding Place, a beautiful 12-bedroom lodge owned by a Christian ministry. It sits on a bluff overlooking the Cumberland River, about 30 minutes northwest of Nashville in Henrietta, Tennessee. Surrounded by 75 acres of wooded property, it is serene, private, and comfortable. Each couple has a private room with a private bath and either a queen bed or two single beds.