Essential Information for Women Attending the Retreat

Dear beautiful mamas,

I am so glad that you will be joining me for the Return to Zero Seattle Women’s Healing Retreat at Aldermarsh Retreat Center. I am also honored to spend Mother's Day with you, celebrating your beautiful mother hearts.

I know that you will fall in love with the openness and sacredness of the land. The energy at Aldermarsh is powerful and supports us as we open up, dig deep, move our grief, and find ways to grow and heal. 

I have put together some important information regarding the retreat. After reading it, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me. 

Jennifer, Catherine, and I very much look forward to meeting and spending time with all of you!  

With love,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kiley

Important Information

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

Dates: May 10-13, 2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Arrival: 2:00 - 4:00 pm on Thursday, May 10                                                                                                                                                                                                Departure: 12:00 pm on Sunday, May 13

Venue Contact Information                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aldermarsh                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       6426 Maxwelton Road                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Clinton, WA 98236                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         360.579.8861

Link to Retreat Agenda (likely to be modified during the retreat to best fit the retreat attendee needs/wants).

Sharing 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.





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
  • Eye pillow or scarf to cover  your eyes for restorative yoga (new item)
  • Bathing suit (for hot tub)
  • Shoes that slip easily on and off and sneakers (if you want to do any hiking)
  • Warm socks or indoor shoes (no shoes in indoor areas)
  • Water bottle: filtered water is available
  • Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Hair dryer
  • Small flashlight or headlamp to get around at night
  • Camera (optional)
  • Rain jacket/umbrella

Gifts for Others                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is completely optional, but in the past some women have brought small gifts to give to the other women. It doesn't have to be something you purchase - it can be a poem, card, something hand-made. Sometimes it represents the local culture or environment where you live. Right now we have 17 women + 3 facilitators (but numbers can change - I'll try to update here).

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.  

Breakfast is provided by the retreat center, and lunch and dinner will be prepared by a Bryn, a local private chef.  The menu will be guided by the seasonal vegetables and fruits that are available. She 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 (we do have a small refrigerator that you can use). 

Transportation to Aldermarsh                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am arranging a vanpool from the Gold Coast airport to Aldermarsh on Thursday, and then again back to the airport on Sunday. 

The mini-bus will plan to leave the airport at 2:45/3:00 pm (the last flights arrives at 2:30 pm). I will update you with a central meeting place to meet the bus driver. 

Currently, I have the following people signed up for the mini-bus: Domenique, Vanessa R-K, Amy, Amanda, Fancy

Cost (not included in the retreat costs): TBD

Spa Options                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   You might want to get a massage or spa treatment in your free time. The Inn at Langley is a beautiful option.  There are probably other possibilities that you can find online. 

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. If you do need to smoke, they request that you do so in the parking lot, away from the main retreat center structures.

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.