Three families from British Columbia, Canada, attended the Camp Kerry Maui Family Bereavement Retreat from July 10 to 18.
The Camp Kerry Society generally serves families where children have lost a parent, but they also assist parents and grandparents who have lost their children, according to a news release. All of the families who attended the retreat had suffered multiple and sudden losses. Two mothers and one young father attended with their children ranging from 8 to 16 years old.
Participants were immersed in an intensive therapeutic process that included individual counseling, support groups, reflection circles, music and art therapy sessions, yoga lessons and an oceanside candlelight memorial service.
Camp Kerry Maui Family Bereavement Retreat participant Susan Lefebvre from the Squamish First Nations Band in British Columbia, Canada, presents Maui resident Kimokeo Kapahulehua with an eagle feather as a token of gratitude. Kapahulehua led retreat attendees through sacred teachings, a memorial ceremony and canoe paddling.
"It is difficult to find the words to describe the experience in totality, however it is for certain that we are changed for the better," said retreat participant Terry Pillon.
Several Maui businesses and individuals donated goods and services, including Kihei Canoe Club, Charlie Fleck of Blue Soul Maui, Flatbread Company, Merriman's Restaurant, Monkeypod Kitchen, Costco and Grand Wailea Resort.