What are the Benefits to Inviting a Support Person?
As your are working to reconnect to past memories and feelings, you can also reach out to the terminated or damaged relationships in your family. The memorial service is a beautiful vehicle to help facilitate this reconciliation. If you choose to share this event with a family member, spouse, or someone who cares deeply about you, your guest will be affirmed for their support. Our staff is present to model and instruct how they can best be supportive. The experience of grief is bonding. Sharing grief naturally leads to intimacy, as you will surely experience on a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend.
This releases the negative effects of the secret trauma, the shame, guilt and isolation. Trust is restored when one opens this wound in a safe environment and receives the loving compassion of fellow weekend participants. Of course, its up to you to decide what you would like to do regarding inviting a family member or support person. Any choice you make regarding this will be respected. Here is a comment from a mother who was invited by her daughter:
I witnessed miracles last weekend. Our daughter invited us for the memorial service on her Rachel’s Vineyard weekend. It was a profound experience: women and men given the opportunity to grieve openly, to name that grief and those children, and to share the joy that comes with the realization that your are not alone in your grief. I feel so much closer to my daughter now – and feel honored that she trusted us enough to be present to her in this pain. Weekends, such as the one are were privileged to witness, give us back the essential part of healing. Thank you all. At this time it was also a miracle to see the church function as it should as a loving sheltering structure enhancing relationships with God, rather that and institution often hindering them. Peace.
The Rachel’s Vineyard weekend is very respectful of the unique needs and situations of all participants. For most people it is only after they are well into the weekend that they feel the desire to invite a loved one to the memorial service. The comfort of a close family member can be an important event in the healing of isolation and feelings of abandonment which frequently accompany an abortion experience. Sharing grief, and the healing and hope that follows, can bond us in a deeper way with those we love.