Grief & Loss – 2-Day In-Person Retreat (Sat-Sun)

“To fully inhabit grief is to hold the contradictions of the great mystery that loss shatters us and we become whole…We mourn our beloveds’ absence and we invoke their presence. We cease to exist as we once were and we become more fully human. We know the darkest of all nights and in so doing can bring the light of our loved ones into the world. We are paradox. We are bearers of the unbearable.”
                                                                         ~ Joanne Cacciatore (from Bearing the Unbearable)

There is presently much grief & sorrow in both the outer world and the inner world of our personal lives. We are a culture in grief. Some have lost loved ones to Covid, to cancer, to suicide, to old age. We grieve their loss and, for some of us, we have done so isolated & alone. The pandemic has interrupted the usual rituals & ceremonies we have to gather & celebrate these losses. They may remain unacknowledged & unattended. And some of us have carried these ‘unattended sorrows’ and a deep & vast grief for a long while: old losses that, perhaps, we have never honored, the accumulated losses of a lifetime.

It is essential that we name & open to our sorrows, speak of them and bear witness to them in the presence of others who are also suffering. Teacher & author Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow) writes that being with grief is ”the solitary work that we cannot do alone”. We need each other on this path of loss – in our pain and in our mourning – to tend & heal our broken hearts. So, we invite you to join us in community, sorrowing together in the shared experience of grief & sorrow.

Please join Harmony Hill Faculty Chris Adams & Denise Carrico for a 2-day retreat to deep-dive together into loss & grief. To give voice to the pain & suffering and to do so with great compassion, love, tenderness & respect. The retreat will include small & large group practices of meditation & gentle movement, ritual, time & walks in Nature, sharing together & in silence, writing, art & poetry.

All who have lost a loved one, at any point in time, are welcome.

Retreat Tuition:

Private Accomodations: $525
Shared Room with someone you are attending with: $425
(All-inclusive of program, accommodations, 4 meals – Lunch/Dinner/Breakfast/Lunch) 

Chris Adams, MD

A valued member of the Harmony Hill Faculty since 2004, Chris brings a tender depth of compassion and kindness to each attendee participating in the retreats she facilitates.  As a family doctor who practiced integrative and mind-body medicine for many years, she was inspired to join the Harmony Hill faculty to work with people with cancer and caregivers who face life-challenging conditions as a part of the healing process. She leads workshops for health professionals who are on the front lines of caring for others and can benefit from learning to sustain their spirits and stamina in this essential work. She currently works as a counselor with individuals for insight, growth, grief work, and resilience.


Recognizing her personal long-held sorrows and how they have impacted her life, Denise set out on a path of discovery to explore grief and loss, both her own as well as the universal experience of grief. Mostly unacknowledged and unattended in our culture, grief requires our deep attention and our great love. Grounded in a long-time practice of Yoga & Meditation, Denise deepened her attention and her work in grief and is learning to welcome and tend all the loss and disappointments that are a non-negotiable part of being human. And her wish is to offer space for others to do the same. We are a culture in grief, and we need safe and warm spaces to be with ourselves and others to begin to open and heal our broken hearts.

Denise is a trained Compassionate Bereavement Care Yoga Provider as well as a Hospice volunteer and is currently finishing a two-year, advanced-study Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program through Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM. Her final project for the program looks deeply and tenderly at the process of gathering in community to speak of our sorrows and heal our wounds. As Faculty-in-Residence at Harmony Hill, she is deeply grateful to offer retreats there to do just that.

When not studying or gathering in circle, Denise walks the quiet woods of Harmony Hill every day as a spiritual practice with her dog and, sometimes, the cat and hikes the mountains of the Olympics as often as possible.  And cherishes what is holy & beautiful in this world:  her grandchildren, the body in motion, calligraphy, the mountains, poetry, kindness, love.  These words of St Teresa of Calcutta guide her life & work:  “We can do no great things;  only small things with great love.”


Cancellations 30 days or more prior to the event can receive a 100% refund. Cancellations 14-29 days prior to the event can receive a 50% refund. Cancellations less than two weeks prior to the event can receive a 50% credit towards a future retreat. The program registration can be transferred to another person at any time. The balance of the tuition will be converted to a program scholarship fund.

November 18 @ 9:00 AM — November 19 @ 4:00 PM
9:00 am — 4:00 pm (31h)

Harmony Hill Retreat Center

Chris Adams, Denise Carrico