Essential Information for Women Attending the Retreat

Share Your Story  

We spend the first afternoon/evening sharing our stories with each other. Opening up and being vulnerable can be scary, but there are so many rewards. 

  • First, you are honoring your child by talking about him/her and saying his/her name.
  • Your experience is validated. You are in a room with other women who have been through a similar experience and truly understand you.
  • You find a small (or large) piece of your story in everyone else’s story, which connects you all to each other. You are not alone.
  • By creating a story/narrative, you are weaving together different pieces into a whole, which allows you to make better sense of your experience.

In preparation for this, I am asking you to write a 1 page story about your and your baby’s story, which you will read out loud to the group. A one page limit may seem a bit strange—however, we have learned through experience that if we don’t limit it, the stories go on until bedtime and people are both physically and emotionally exhausted. 

Honoring Our Babies

On the first day, we will create a sacred memorial area in which to honor our babies. Feel free to bring a few items that remind you of your baby: a photo, footprints, special blanket, etc. Only bring what you are comfortable sharing—you will get to take your mementos home.

Participate in Research

Dr. Ivy Margulies and I have witnessed that the retreat is an effective tool in helping people move through their healing journey. However, we are interested in finding out HOW it's helping so that we can assist more women in the future. We have decided to continue with the research we are collecting at the retreats and would like you to participate. 

Below are 6 forms that I'd like for you to complete (it should take no more than 15-20 minutes). You can either fill out in Word and email to me OR print and bring to the retreat.

  1. Informed Consent to Participate in Research
  2. Media Release (so we can use photos on our website)
  3. Pre-retreat survey
  4. Feelings Checklist (if you cannot open this document, try the PDF)
  5. Self-Compassion Scale
  6. Perceived Social Support

We will follow up with more questionnaires at the end of the retreat. Of course, this is completely voluntary. If you would not like to participate, please let me know. Thank you in advance for your willingness to participate. As always, send me any questions you might have.

Important Information

Phone/text number: 310-403-3856 (Kiley Hanish)

Dates: May 18-21, 2017                                                                                                                               Arrival: 3:00 - 4:00 pm on Thursday, May 18                                                                                         Departure: 12:00 pm on Sunday, May 21

Venue Contact Information                                                                                                                      Villa Ojai                                                                                                                                         802 Canada Street                                                                                                                         Ojai, CA 93023

Retreat Agenda

Facebook Retreat Group

If you are on Facebook, can you send me a friend request (Kiley Krekorian Hanish). Most of you have done this, but wanted to include it here if you haven’t. I have created a private FB group for the retreat attendees so we can communicate before the retreat as well as support each other after we go home.

Items Recommended to Bring  

  • A small to medium-sized suitcase (we are sharing rooms) – however you will be taking some extra items home with you, so leave a little extra space
  • Sunscreen & Sunglasses
  • Bathing suit (pool that is heated)
  • Shoes that slip easily on and off and sneakers (if you want to do any hiking)
  • Warm socks or indoor shoes
  • Water bottle: filtered water is available
  • Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Hair dryer
  • Camera (optional)

Clothing Attire

Bring what you would wear to a spa or the gym.  We want you to feel comfortable while you are there.  The weather varies, so bring items that you can layer.  I encourage you to check the weather before you come.


All your meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be made on site by our private chef, Goyo. He and his wife Anita will be creating nourishing and comforting meals and has taken into consideration all of your special dietary needs. We will eat 3 full meals a day, but if you feel the need to bring extra snacks, please do so. ALL MEALS ARE VEGETARIAN. 

Goyo has requested that you complete this Dietary Considerations form. Please email to me when completed. 


Optional massages are offered by an Ojai massage therapist, Suzanne St. Claire. All individual sessions ($100) are not included in the price of the retreat and must be booked by you in advance. These will be held during our free time on Friday and Saturday. Please email Suzanne if you are interested

Alcohol and Drugs

There will be no alcohol or drugs allowed at the retreat. This is a time dedicated to deep emotional work, and use of these substances would be unhelpful in this process. In addition, smoking is not allowed at the retreat center.

Possibility of pregnant women

Though the Return to Zero Healing Retreat is a retreat for women who have experienced the death of their babies, please understand there is a possibility that some women may be pregnant while at the retreat. We ask that you mentally prepare yourself for this if you feel like it may have an effect on you, and we also ask that these women be treated with non-judgment and compassion.